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Old 11-06-2019, 07:41 AM
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Default Neck issues

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I have two bulging disks in my neck C3/4 & C5/6 for years. On the MRI C3/4 looks really bad but isn't causing me any problems. C5/6 is a different story. For years I had lots of numbness & pain down the radial nerve and I was able to keep things in check with PT and yoga but it's been bad lately. EMG shows a clear loss of function there & my right index finger constantly feels like a swollen sausage that's about to burst all the time.

For the last 6 months, I've only been able to lift weights about once a week and do Jiu Jitsu about twice per month & can't jog at all. I've completely lost what little definition I had and pretty much have a dad bod now. I had to really cut calories to avoid piling on the weight when I'm not so active.

Because I'm on a gov't healthcare system (Tricare), it's usually a month between steps (visit to PCM->neurologist consult->MRI->EMG, & so on) because referral approval takes so long in a bureaucracy.

The good news is that it's not herniated so disk replacement probably isn't needed. I'm getting cortisone injections later this week and the hope is that it'll take care of the inflammation which will relieve pressure on the radial nerve and allow healing to occur with lots of PT & yoga.

I know there's a lot of people with issues much worse than mine, so I'm thankful that I can still be a little bit active, but it's still driving me crazy. I never thought I'd be excited about needles deep in my neck but I can't wait. Wish me luck!
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:23 AM
wldwsel wldwsel is offline
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Be very careful how you treat this. If they start talking surgery, insist on MULTIPLE opinions.

I had back surgery 2 years ago that cured one problem and unmasked on just as painful. Not the doc's fault, but surgeons do like to cut, and back/neck surgery is not an exact science.


shoot straight - stay safe
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:00 AM
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Have you tried going to a good chinese pain relief massuese?

Or maybe get a better mattress? A high end Simmons mattress made a HUGE difference for me.

And an inversion tilt table is a must.

If you also have lower back sciatica problems, that can disrupt the entire spinal column. Ned to address the basement if the attic is crooked.

Side bend to stretch the piriformus muscle.

And I would recommend Tai Chi rather than Yoga.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:36 AM
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Find a comfortable pillow. I had neck pain for years that was triggered by the way I was sleeping. Some days I could not turn my head at all.

I tried experimenting with pillows.

My Pillow (advertised on TV) was useless for me, but did help my wife.

I settled on a down-filled pillow. That solved almost all the pain and stiffness problems.

Not PC, your problems sound more severe, but finding the proper angle for your neck at night could ease quite a bit of the pain.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:54 AM
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After working years in disability and reading thousands of medical reports, Get the surgery. the spine deteriorates as you age. Changes are normal. Chiropractors make a fortune off unsuspecting people. If there is compression of the spine the only medical therapy is surgery, there are several types of surgery. Of note, the bulge cannot be pushed back and can only be treated surgically. Some people respond to alternative methods for a while but it is mostly mental. Look down the road, the problem will not cure itself. What happen if you are parked at a stop light and some fool hits you from behind? The damage could put you in a chair.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:35 PM
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I had the injections this morning & already feel much better. I can tilt my head to the right & touch my ear to my shoulder & I haven't been able to do that for years. The plan is for some light stretching tonight and resume physical activities on Monday.

I appreciate all the good suggestions and I've tried most of them already. I went through 8 pillows before I found a good down one. All those chiro ones with the middle scooped out made things worse for me. I have an awesome mattress and use an inversion table regulatory. I'm better off when I do all these things but none of them are a cure in my case. The hope is that inflammation goes away and real healing/strengthening can start. Thanks again!
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:30 PM
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I have disc herniated/bulging in neck and lower back. Mine hurt all the time, but with aleve/advil and injections, I keep it bearable. I too have lost some mobility in my arm, fingers burn most of time. But I aint havin surgery till I cant deal with it anymore. They cant fix the back. They can relieve the pain some-sometimes. But it usually just moves up or down to next vertebrae. I get injections frequently, and they do help and can solve an issue permanently, as they help relax the area enough to allow things to move/rearrange themselves. Doc told me I have a 50/50 shot at solving lower back problem, and he also said fix one, the next one breaks. There are 3 in a row in my lower, and 3 in upper/cervical area. It kills me to stoop or bend over to work on car or stand in one place more than 10 minutes, but I just move at a slower pace.
The shots usually last 3-4 months, and can only be done 3-4 times a year.. If it is unbearable, you may be forced into surgery. But I know too many folks that still hurt after surgery, some are worse off. And were talking the best clinics in Dallas/ETex.
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:10 AM
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Blue ice is awesome
Ice baths and snowbanks, too. Polar Bear Plunge if it's cold eneough to have to cut ice first
Swimming in the coldest water you can find/stand
TENS unit.

Even temporary relief can help you sleep, do physical therapy, do yoga, etc. Working together some healing can occur, but if there is structural damage, something has to be done to fix the structural damage, or there will always be pain, temderness, inflammation, etc.

If they offer to send you to a pain clinic, be careful what you say, especially in Pain Management/Pain Psychology/Occupational Therapy, etc. Unqualified people have been known to put **** in records they are not qualified to diagnose, or that is an outright lie(s), and write it so it's [just barely] within scope of practice, but makes the patient look *questionable* [Red Flag Laws]
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:19 AM
three_dogs three_dogs is offline
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I had neck problems for years and then was involved in an auto accident that made my situation much worse in 2007 and finally in 2016 I woke up one morning with severe neuropathy on my entire lower right leg and it has never gotten better even after having my neck fused from c3 thru c7. I had been to neurologist and orthopedic surgeons several times and they did not recommend surgery until the last visit to a neurologist in 2016 after my problem worsened. My problem was bad enough to take an early retirement in 2010(disability) and also Social Security disability which I finally was approved after almost 3 years of fighting SSA in 2013. Get several opinions before having surgery.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:32 PM
Exarmyguy Exarmyguy is online now
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I have a herniated disc in my neck and one in my lower back. Weight training and traction help me greatly.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:46 PM
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My husband was scooting around on his walker, had the surgery. Scooting around on the walker for a couple months and then he asked for the wheelchair... and has not gotten out.

The surgery was so debilitating (multi level laminectomy) he was bedridden for a month. Thank God Medicare paid for a rehab hospital as I could not have cared for him and run the business.

He would NEVER suggest someone get the surgery. He was able to walk, albeit with a walker, before the surgery. Now he is wheelchair bound and has circulation issues, they want him on blood thinners now. He has been hospitalized once with bilateral blood clots (both legs). I have never seen an ER move so fast as when they got his results.

Try to manage with exercise, supplements, some foods cause inflammation. Sugar and wheat being the big ones. Talk to a dietician about an inflammation diet. Supplement with Vitamin E. All things I would do if we could rewind.
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