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Old 12-01-2012, 05:03 AM   #1
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New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

Hi there,

Just found the forum this morning. After many years of ongoing neck, shoulder, arm pain, where I'd have bouts of pain lasting from weeks to months, with frequency of bouts getting to stage where I essentially have constant pain, I've finally found the source of my problems. An MRI this week shows protrusions at C5-6 & C6-7.

I've been given referral to a physiotherapist and script for ixprim 37.5mg/325mg and Diazepam.

From some reading I'm getting the impression that treatment is more about pain management & that physiotherapy has little benefit. Has anyone who has has similar issues derived any benefit from physio?

 
Old 12-01-2012, 08:36 AM   #2
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

Has surgery been ruled out, or is the PT just a question of trying everything else first?

I recall that there was someone on this board maybe a year ago who worked very hard to correct his spinal problems through exercise and PT and said he'd been successful. I remember being quite impressed.

 
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:41 AM   #3
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

Surgery hasn't been mentioned as yet, plan seems to be try PT first and then steroid injections to nerve root. So far I can't find any references by patients to PT being of any help.

 
Old 12-01-2012, 11:00 AM   #4
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

Has surgery been ruled out, or is the PT just a question of trying everything else first?

I recall that there was someone on this board maybe a year ago who worked very hard to correct his spinal problems through exercise and PT and said he'd been successful. I remember being quite impressed.

 
Old 12-01-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

Hi Dave,

Welcome. I'm sorry you're in pain. I had a similar feeling when I saw my MRI. It explains a lot, but what now? You've done a good thing by getting the medication; it will relax the muscles. You don't want to be in chronic pain.

I have similar problem(s). I have had success with a physiatrist. You should ask about trigger point injections. They are typically done once a week for three weeks. They are small needles (think acupuncture-style) with pain medication in them. They're injected into the area(s) of worst pain. You hardly feel a pinch. You may be sore on the day of, but the effects lasts long enough to be well worth it.

As far as this profession being mostly about pain management, I can't answer that. Mine has gone well beyond that; as in, looking to cure this, not just put a band-aid on it. I do know that you can't get better when your pain level is so high you can barely think. In this sense, they provide a huge benefit.

I think I know what you're getting at. No, this is not just about palliative care. Hopefully, your doc. is working with others to get at the root problem. You will probably be told about these injections, as well as other, more intensive injections (to keep down inflammation so you can heal).

Hopefully, you will be hooked up with a physical therapist once you're well enough to get beyond the pain and into strengthening. If not, please ask about that.

I just found out the other day about something called a TENS unit. Ask about that. I would tell you more, but am just learning myself.

Best to you~

Last edited by Hemlock07; 12-02-2012 at 09:43 AM.

 
Old 12-01-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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Hi. I'm brand new to this forum. I saw a physiatrist a few months ago. Very nice and intelligent person. My experience was that she wanted me to exercise more, increase Pilates, swimming, and 30 minutes of walking. This was before my MRI from 3 weeks ago. I've had two fusions and I have new problems in my neck. I would listen to what they say and your primary care, and all doctors taking care of you. I did increase my exercise and my pain increased. This is my experience. My MRI shows reactive bone marrow edema (painful swelling) in my facet joints, 3 disc protrusions, and a few other things. It might be because I had an ACDF fusion with myelopathy in 2011. Right now, I slowed things down do to the huge increase in pain. I use heat, ice, a TENS unit, stretching, and walking 20 min. I wanted to wait until I had the results. I can only say what has worked for me. I feel that pain is the body's way of saying something is wrong. Yet, I know that I need to keep moving, eat healthy, etc. My primary care doctor emailed me after my MRI and said you have arthritis and nothing should cause an increase in pain. I'm frustrated that my doctor doesn't want to sit down and discuss it with me. I so feel the physiatrist was helpful. However, I have new problems at every level in my cervical spine since my last MRI and I need to be careful. I am looking at finding a neurosurgeon or spine doctor give me a second opinion. I can relate to your situation. I hope that you find helpful information for your situation.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:21 AM   #7
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

Physical therapy and the tens unit WORKED wonders for me and got me stablelized for at least 7 years!

Last edited by hb-mod; 12-03-2012 at 06:37 AM.

 
Old 12-02-2012, 10:05 AM   #8
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

Hi RM,

Good to "see" you again.

I'm so glad to hear that you've had success. I did try the TENS for about 10 minutes-it didn't do much, but that's not enough time, I'm sure. I'm gonna keep an open mind. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the insurance company that won't even cover the Lidoderm patches will go ahead and give me a TENS.

I have an EMG next week. It gets to the point where one is so used to being poked and prodded, one just shrugs it off after a while. I must admit, though, this one freaks me out. It's better to know what's going on, though-I know.

It's hard to even play happy when pain consumes one. That's where I'm at now. No one really wants to be around me, I guess-I can't say I blame them, but-If it sucks to hear or see, imagine what it's like to feel like this. That's what I want to say to the people who I feel should be helping but have just left the building, but I won't.

This whole thing is so upsetting. Which makes the pain worse, and upsets me more and it goes around- Thanks for "listening."

Hi Sunshine- Welcome. I'm sorry you're going through all this. It sounds like you're handling you're situation well. You're eating healthy and moving despite the pain. That's commendable. We can't be running marathons now.

Hey, WebDozer. *waves*

Hope everyone is well, all things considered.

 
Old 12-02-2012, 10:38 AM   #9
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

I've ran over 17,000 miles AFTER my spinal injury (many marathons, 50 milers even a 100 mile race) just an FYI of course thanks to a fall I'm worse off than I was in 2004 however I have hopes that after my 2 level ACDF given some time I will be back running, maybe not ultra's though

Last edited by hb-mod; 12-03-2012 at 06:37 AM.

 
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:41 AM   #10
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

((((HUGS)))) Sunshine! I'm getting ready for a 2 level ACDF due to Cervical Spondylotic myelopathy. Question for you, did the fusion help at all with the problems you were having before it? I worry that I'm going to end up in the "boat" you are in right now

Last edited by hb-mod; 12-03-2012 at 06:37 AM.

 
Old 12-02-2012, 10:45 AM   #11
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

Like I said, I'm not there at all. And looking at a nerve test next week.
Ummm---thanks.

 
Old 12-02-2012, 10:49 AM   #12
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock07 View Post
Like I said, I'm not there at all. And looking at a nerve test next week.
Ummm---thanks.
are you having a lot of "nerve" pain? I'm asking because I have a lot and have been on Neurontin for a few months. It doesn't take it away but it takes the edge off a bit


MTA: ((((HUGS)))) I know how frustrating and hard being in extreme pain all the time is!

Last edited by rockenmama; 12-02-2012 at 10:50 AM.

 
Old 12-02-2012, 12:11 PM   #13
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

"I have an EMG next week. It gets to the point where one is so used to being poked and prodded, one just shrugs it off after a while. I must admit, though, this one freaks me out. It's better to know what's going on, though-I know.

It's hard to even play happy when pain consumes one. That's where I'm at now. No one really wants to be around me, I guess-I can't say I blame them, but-If it sucks to hear or see, imagine what it's like to feel like this. That's what I want to say to the people who I feel should be helping but have just left the building, but I won't. "

Hi! I hope I'm doing this right. I am trying to be positive. I'm coming off a month of the worst pain I've had. I think it's the reactive bone marrow edema in my facet joints and the disc herniations causing the pain increase. Actually, I'm quite scared. I can't get anyone to read my MRI. I feel the same way you do when the pain consumes me. No one else quite understands unless they've walked in our shoes. The physiatrist told me my neck is just flexible. I don't know what to think when I read about my discs slipping over each other, I feel there's more to it. I don't think having discs slipping under my fusion is a good thing.
I've had an EMG for my lumbar. It's not like getting an injection. They started out slow with me. They kept asking how I was doing. They are checking for damaged nerves. It made my muscles twitch. I have a damaged nerve in my L 4-5. Not surprising since my other fusion is there. I would read up on the procedure. The physiatrist mentioned doing an EMG on my cervical spine.
I too have had a two level ACDF fusion. I hope they will find something out that helps you diagnostically. It's a frustrating place to be in. Don't know if this helps. Thank you for the nice welcome!
Thanks everyone and have a good day,
Sunshine
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:43 PM   #14
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunsine View Post
It's hard to even play happy when pain consumes one. That's where I'm at now. No one really wants to be around me, I guess-I can't say I blame them, but-If it sucks to hear or see, imagine what it's like to feel like this. That's what I want to say to the people who I feel should be helping but have just left the building, but I won't. "

Hi! I hope I'm doing this right. I am trying to be positive. I'm coming off a month of the worst pain I've had. I think it's the reactive bone marrow edema in my facet joints and the disc herniations causing the pain increase. Actually, I'm quite scared. I can't get anyone to read my MRI. I feel the same way you do when the pain consumes me. No one else quite understands unless they've walked in our shoes. The physiatrist told me my neck is just flexible. I don't know what to think when I read about my discs slipping over each other, I feel there's more to it. I don't think having discs slipping under my fusion is a good thing.
I've had an EMG for my lumbar. It's not like getting an injection. They started out slow with me. They kept asking how I was doing. They are checking for damaged nerves. It made my muscles twitch. I have a damaged nerve in my L 4-5. Not surprising since my other fusion is there. I would read up on the procedure. The physiatrist mentioned doing an EMG on my cervical spine.
Thank you for the nice welcome!
Thanks everyone and have a good day,
Sunshine
How about posting your MRI results here. Seems that there are some knowledgable people around here that may be able shed a light at least.

I've had EMG done's in both lower legs and arms but I haven't heard that they could do it on the central spine. I actually didn't mine the EMG though it my arm one was funny. My middle finger in right hand wouldn't stop flipping the doctor off. Took over an hour to do (doctor told me I made him work)

 
Old 12-02-2012, 02:19 PM   #15
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Re: New member with C5-6 & C6-7 protrusions

Great idea! I'll do that. Everyone does seem knowledgable and wiling to share experience, hope, etc. Thank you!
Sunshine
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