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Can a herniated disc cause stiffness and pain, especially from waking up in the morning...

ButterflyPainBButterflyPain Posts: 290
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have a slight to moderate herniated/ruptured disc at C5/C6 mostly to the left. Along with it I have mild to moderate osteoarthritis, bone spur growth, and a hypertrophic impingement of the nerve hole in the same spot all on the left side of the joing on C5/C6.

I've had MRI and Xrays to confirm it to be mild to moderate. My Neurologist believes it isn't anything for surgery.

I've been suffering for about a year now since it ruptured.

My question is, is stiffness and pain in the lower back of the head where the skull connects to the neck, the back of the neck, and the left side of my neck, especially upon waking in the morning a normal symptom of a neck problem?
It seems to have gotten worse in the past couple of days, and the pain goes on the sides or top of my head as well.

My neurologist says my headaches/head pains aren't due to my neck, but I didn't start having them till right around when I noticed my neck was having problems. I've had an MRI etc for the brain that has come back normal.

I am on Soma 1/2 350mg 3 times a day, tylenol w/codiene once two twice a day, lexapro 10 mg, cymbalta 30 mg, klonopin 1/2 3 times and .5 at night (sometimes I dont take all of it a day though), Atenolol for my Mvp symptoms.

I don't see my neuro till Nov.7th. And just find along with the above mention my spine hurts in different places, cracks a bit, and near my neck the spine hurts if I bend my head to the right.

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Comments

  • I say yes. Although I do not have a herniation in my neck, I have reverse curvature, and I very much have stiffness and pain where you say you do.
  • I have herniation at C5&6, currently treating with anti inflamitory drug, and chiropractor. And YESSSSS it hurts more in the morning than any other time. My NS said its because when we sleep fluids settle that normally move around while we are awake and moving, usually after Im up for 30-45 minutes moving around the pain subsides and is pretty good for the rest of the day, however it does seem to have its own moods and can flare up whenever it wants! I can bend to pick something up from the coffee table or reach for something and my spine cracks. I was told this was actually a good thing, supposedly this shows the spine is relaxed enough that its adjusting itself. That came from the Chiropractor. Anyway Im off the surgery hook for another month to see if I can make further progress with the chiropractor. My neighbor told me of a new one in town and says he has the hands of God, best one she has ever seen (she has scoliosis) so I think I will go see him for yet another opinion... Good luck to you, and to us all with these darned PAINFUL disk problems!
  • ABSOLUTELY! I have a significant protrusion at C6/C7 touching spinal cord and possibly left C8 nerve root. I have had two mornings which were the worse where i could not get my head off the pillow. Otherwise, every othe rmorning, yes, my neck is stiff and painful.

    So your Dr. is not recommending surgery - did he say why? Jsut that it's not bad enough? What was your neuro examination like? How were your reflexes - were they normal in your upper body?
  • I have bulging disc and osteophyte at C5/6 waiting surgery. Your symptoms sound just right to me...I found raising the pillow hight has helped recently.
  • 3 herniated discs on the left and my issues, up until recently, have only been on the right. Pinching, burning and unrelenting stiffness in the same areas as you. I have 3 herniations, c-7 being the worst but I've been told they are mild. I try to stretch as much as I possibly can as soon as my eyes open to kind of just get things moving. Doesn't really help a whole lot though. ~X( I've been going down the conservative route since June and I'm no closer to resolving the problem. I've done injections oral steriods, physical therapy, STEM unit, currently I'm trying traction and today I'm going in for deep tissue work by a chiro.
  • cindylouwho said:
    ABSOLUTELY! I have a significant protrusion at C6/C7 touching spinal cord and possibly left C8 nerve root. I have had two mornings which were the worse where i could not get my head off the pillow. Otherwise, every othe rmorning, yes, my neck is stiff and painful.

    So your Dr. is not recommending surgery - did he say why? Jsut that it's not bad enough? What was your neuro examination like? How were your reflexes - were they normal in your upper body?
    Hi
    Yeah, he's not recommending surgery. He doesn't think it is bad enough. The X-rays I had said I have mild to moderate osteoarthritis, bone spurs, and narrowing of the nerve hole on C5/C6 mainly on the left side , oh and the other stuff was on the joint. Then I had an MRI and I haven't personally seen the results but he told me I don't have a clean MRI, and that I have a ruptured/herniated disc. Are those interchangeable, because it seems he calls it one or the other like it means the same, if not maybe I have both...

    He has been in practice for almost 40 years, and my mom has MS and has been seeing him for 20 years. A lot of his patients in the waiting room praise him for helping them, so I don't think he is a bad neuro, but I just think maybe he isn't trying other things maybe due to cost or whatever. I have insurance, it is fairly good, but it isn't brilliant.

    Plus I am only 26, so who knows if he is taking age into consideration. He has been working with me for 9 months, but I only got the x rays in May and the MRI's this July. I have done 9 sessions of physical therapy which seemed to help a little especially in the last two weeks.

    The doctor just seems to think once I am active and do things, it will hurt less and I won't feel it. Sometimes that does work, but not enough.
  • Tig said:
    I have bulging disc and osteophyte at C5/6 waiting surgery. Your symptoms sound just right to me...I found raising the pillow hight has helped recently.
    I often wonder if my pillow or my bad posture for a certain amount of months before it started hurting was the last straw for it... I got a cervical memory foam pillow. The thing is I sleep on my stomach, so I have to use the flat side of it, which I guess defeats the purpose. I try to use the other side, and lay on my side, but my body just wants to go on my stomach lol.

    I was told I have a long neck, which makes me more prone to neck problems. I lay back on two pillows to watch the tv which is straight ahead , and I found last year and now after awhile it bugs my neck on the back and gives certain head pains. I've never been really able to sleep on more than one pillow. And I tried that for awhile when I was in a ton of pain and it helped but it still didn't solve my problem. I am wondering if I need to get a better cervical pillow or something. I bought a new mattress pad that is six times more stuffed than regular ones to see if that helps.
    I try cold packing the back of my neck and I have a cervical heating pad, and both help, but basically only for the time they are on my neck.

  • angela said:
    3 herniated discs on the left and my issues, up until recently, have only been on the right. Pinching, burning and unrelenting stiffness in the same areas as you. I have 3 herniations, c-7 being the worst but I've been told they are mild. I try to stretch as much as I possibly can as soon as my eyes open to kind of just get things moving. Doesn't really help a whole lot though. ~X( I've been going down the conservative route since June and I'm no closer to resolving the problem. I've done injections oral steriods, physical therapy, STEM unit, currently I'm trying traction and today I'm going in for deep tissue work by a chiro.
    Wow...Yeah, I've been given the move ur head side to side and shoulder rolls when laying down by the neuro. It sometimes works, but only works when he does it...Maybe part is anxiety, but I dunno.
    I haven't tried traction yet, I am heavily considering it. I used to see the neuro once a month or every six weeks, now he says two months. I find after a month the pain is different or worse and then it is like what am I suppose to do? Six weeks is better, even if it is just two weeks sooner. I am trying to see if it is a mental thing like seeing him eases my mind or if after a month it really is changing. I mean I know it isn't just mental, like at first they really wanted to blame it on. He is pretty good at seeing me sooner, but it is the secretaries that are hard to get past on the phone. You almost have to go there to get your point across, and he's so busy he doesn't call you back. The PA his daughter is better at calling you back, but it seems you have to call a few times a week to finally get that.

    So this sometimes has led me to my regular doctor who wants me off the meds and I know it sorta bugs the neuro, but I mean if he isn't going to return my calls what am I suppose to do?

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