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  • bulding cervical disc

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    Old 09-01-2005, 12:32 PM   #1
    maw maw
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    Join Date: Sep 2005
    Posts: 23
    maw maw HB User
    Angry bulding cervical disc

    I need someone help!!! I have been told that I have bulging cervical disc at C5-C6. I have had MRI,CT Scan and the painful myelogram. I also have pain in the left shoulder and between the shoulder blades. Now when i can roll my neck I hear it popping and grinding.When i went to the doctor last he told me about the disc and I had a EMG done. My doctor told me he would be more concern if i was having the pain on the right side since the myelogram showed more damage on the right side. I have been out of work for over 30 days now. The doctor has given 3 different pain meds in the last 30 days.Can any one tell me what the next step would be. I am still waiting on the doctor to call me back to which it has been 4 days and still no call back.

    Last edited by maw maw; 09-01-2005 at 02:14 PM. Reason: add more info

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    Old 09-01-2005, 08:00 PM   #2
    Join Date: Jul 2005
    Posts: 489
    notpain HB User
    Re: bulding cervical disc

    You have a few options it is early on for you. I have been suffering multiple herniations for over a year.

    1. Find a chiropractor you trust (TRUST TRUST TRUST). Do not let them do a rapid velocity movement (quick twisting of the spine). Most experienced chiropractors (10 years or more) have seen hundreds if not thousands of cases. They (I have been to 3 including NUCCA) are NOT all alike. For me each one was different. INSIST on GENTLE non rapid cracking of the spine. A good chiropractor will be able to feel and adjust your neck gently with his fingers. The spine can be out of alightment - this is for real. Unfortunatley so many chiro's just want to get you in for multiple visits. The stats say 90% will self resolve within a few weeks to a few months. I know a month seems like forever - it's NOT! I usualy wait that long just to see a doctor.

    2. Find a really good Physical Therapist AND Massage Therapist. A good PT will examine you for muscle imbalances. Almost everyone has them. Most people have poor posture. Disc buldges are MECHANCIAL in nature - meaning mucles pulling on the disc due to poor posture eventually cause the disc to buldge. Other factor of course are poor diet (even if you think your diet is good - it probably isn't). Some chiro's are good with nutrition some are not. Don't just run out and start buying vitamins - you need to know your body's deficiencies. The massage therapist - one who does "deep tissue" massage will work out the "knots" or "trigger points" in your muscles. Muscles are often the culprits in pain. Retraining and releasing the pressure the muscles cause may be the solution. Muscles contract - repetitive office work causes all kinds of muscle imbalances.

    3. Aging - you will hear this a lot and it's true. Aging effects the water and fat content of discs. By about 25 the vascular supply to discs is cut off - afterwhich discs need to get their nutrition from movement. The consensous about movement is up in the air. Some will say rest, others will say keep moving. Who knows what is best? I don't. I've been to 11 physicians and I get different anwers from each.

    4. Nutritition. Back to supplements. Start a Fish Oil supplement and Flax Seed or Flax oil. Most diets are very deficient in Omega 3 Fatty Acides - and other beneficial substances like DHEA. I use Carlson's brand (tested for impurities - no mercury!), which is very spendy but it is the only one that does not give me "fish burp" all day. It isn't nasty tasting and has a subtle lemon flavor. It comes in a liquid not a pill. I have tried the pills and all give me fish burps all day long. Chondrotin/Glucosamine is beneficial to some not to others - more so for larger joints like the knees, however if you pain is caused by Facet Joint's then it may help. Eliminate foods that cause inflammation - search online about this. And drink as much water as you can stand - pure clean bottled water. There are many other supplements that may help, but it's best to get your blood chemistry tested by a knowledgeable Natropathic or DO BEFORE jumping on the vitamin bandwagon. Unfortunately most MD's are of the 15 minutes and out the door variety. They may take blood work but they don't scrutinize it. Bloodwork has a wide margin of "normal" ranges. You can have imbalances and still fall within the margins. Most physicans of the MD variety, unless they have a personal interest in nutrition will not know much about it. They don't study it in Medical School. They reach for the mighty prescription pad. Anti Inflammatories may work for some in the short term but are hard on the Liver. I wouldn't use them for more than a month. You need to find the CAUSE not just mask the symptoms. But for some masking the symptoms is enough time for the body to heal and you move on with life, if not you keep going to doctors. Most physicans would agree a multi-vitamin is good for everyone. But not all vitamins are the same, many have useless fillers. Read about TART CHERRY JUICE - Montemorecy Cherries. Most come from Michigan. I prefer the Brownacrefarms brand (at Krogers in the Midwest) or premixed Knudsens. Anti-inflammatory properties, melitonin (sleep), and anti-oxidents. Real good stuff even if it doesn't help you. I feel some benefits from it.

    5. Give yourself another month (8 weeks) but don't go past that. Use ice or heat and listen to your body. Do not do activities that aggrevate pain.

    6. At the 8 week point if you have not already had one it's time to consider an X-Ray to see if you have bone spurs. Bone spurs may or may not be the source of pain.

    7. If you can find a doctor with Medical Thermography equipment I would look into it - much cheaper than MRI and it will show if there is inflammation. If not you will probably heal quickly. If so you may at some point consider an MRI if you can get a referral. Doctors can be slow to refer to MRI's due to cost and insurance companies frown on Doctors that refer too many patients out to MRI - they don't like paying those bills. To them it's not about your health it's about MONEY - PERIOD!

    8. If they suggest Narcotics - tread slowly and lightly and make sure you take the least amount possible for the least amount of time. They are addictive but you can get off them.

    9. If they suggest Benzodiazipines - Klonopin (Clonazepam), Ativan, Xanax, or any other drug in this family be very very careful. You can become dependant and the stuff is hell to get off of for many. There is no help getting off this stuff... you just suffer the withdrawals. In the UK they will only let them prescribe them for 30 days they are that addictive. They messed up my mind bad and took me 2 hellish months to come off of and I was on low dose.

    10. Consider Cortizone/Epidural ONLY if you are in excruciating pain. Steroids over time damage soft tissues. I have had the shot and it didn't work for me, but it does work for some. I understand why a person in pain will try this - I did!

    11. Facet Joint Blocks - diagnostic to see if facet joints are degenerated and the source of pain. I did this as well - no help and spendy. But don't rule it out. If it's your facets and you have surgery you could be wasting time and money and still have pain.

    12. Discogram - I can't advise as I have not had this, but I sure would if nothing else works, but this is way way down the road for you. Again 30 days is early on.

    13. Consider consulting a Neurologist to make sure you are not at risk for nerve damage - I would start this at 8 weeks. They will refer you to a neurosurgeon for his opinion if you are in severe pain, otherwise they will most likely refer you to physical therapist.

    14. Don't rule out alternatives like accupuncture - I am trying this and will see.

    15. Don't put all your trust in one doctors opinion, and if they tell you that there is not a problem and you are fine, and you still feel pain move on to the next. They don't feel your pain - you do!

    16. And finally be patient. I had a damaged disc 8 years ago, I was in excruiciating pain for 2.5 months. Woke up one day and the pain was gone! I thought it would never end. In hindsight this should have been a warning to me. I didn't realize it was my neck, I thought it was a pulled shoulder muscle. I sought no treatment. After this last episode I realized that damaged disc put more pressure on my remaining discs and eventually they gave.

    17. Consider surgery as a last resort. Surgery doesn't always solve the pain problem. Once the disc is gone it can not be returned. Surgery must be done for some, but don't jump the gun. Believe me I know that we want INSTANT pain relief, and it may seem like the answer, but it may not work. Funny (not literally of course) thing is many many people have been shown on MRI scans to have buldging, herniated, or protruding discs (Radiologists like to use many terms to describe the same thing) and have no pain at all.

    Condsider your options, stay postive, and do your research

    C5/6 is a very common area to hearniate.

    Check out Robin McKenzies (I may have spelled that wrong) book 7 steps to a pain free life. Very good information on exercises to centralize pain. They worked for me, I still have pain but it's all in my neck not my shoulders any more. Robin is from Austraila where they call the PT's Physiotherapist and is very well known. Cheap cost and great information.

    Do not do circular neck exersizes. Only left to right or up and down. And learn about neck retractions. You can injure your neck further doing the wrong exercises. You need to exercise the neck but only the right way.

    Don't worry about poping and grinding sounds, almost everyone will experience them over time. The discs wear out period!

    And don't put too much into where you think the location of the pain is, neck pain can refer from one area to another. And FYI - Getting a doctor to pick up a phone is almost impossible. I am suprised when the nurses even call me back.

    Quit smoking if you do - it's hell on discs.

    And I noticed you have had MRI & CT Scan. But this should be beneficial to those who have not.

    Old 09-02-2005, 05:44 AM   #3
    maw maw
    Junior Member
    Join Date: Sep 2005
    Posts: 23
    maw maw HB User
    Re: bulding cervical disc

    Thanks for the wonderful advise. I was refered to a physical therapist and that made it worse.She told me that every time she touched my neck muscles on each side they would start spazing I can't sit for longer than 20 minutes with out back pain now and my spine is narrowing. The doctor also told me that i have moderate to serv arthrist. I am only 42. And that i should not have this at my age. Thanks for the pointer on to quit smoking since i do. And i do do office work. I had the same pain in the same shoulder and neck over a year ago. The shoulder doctor gave me pt and it did not help. I did that for 5 months. Finally I quit pt since it was not helping. Now it is back to hurting and the pain has moved to the right side under my shoulder blades. I am at the point that i can't sleep. The pain meds just keep me awake. The last time was for 42 hours. I have also talked to my father since he had the same problem and they did finally say that he had bone spurs and he had them removed and is doing great.I know the doctor that he went to and may call him to see what he says. This happened over 5 years ago. I have been given the name of a doctor from one of the ladies i work with since she was having the same problems. I am thinking of calling him.Thanks again so much. I thought i was going crazy. I know my body and know when i feel pain but getting the doctor to listen is something else. Thanks

    Last edited by maw maw; 09-02-2005 at 05:46 AM. Reason: add

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