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I have cervical disc herniations

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi. My name is Donna and I have three cervical disc herniations which have caused pain for the last 9 years. At first I got numbness, tingling, and pain down my left arm. Now that is mostly gone with the exception of pain/pressure in my upper arm sometimes. Now instead I have sharp pain in my neck, and dull pain across the shoulders and upper back area. My doctors have told me that much of my pain is due to overcompensating with the way I sit or stand to avoid pain in my neck, instead it is causing pain in the muscles of my back. You can actually feel the knots in my muscles. So surgery is out since they don't believe it will help with the issues I have.

Over 9 years I've had all kinds of meds and treatments and won't go into that for now since I don't want to write a book, just a little intro and say, "Hi!"

Other info about me, I'm turning 46 on the 18th. I've been married for 20 years. I have two sons, 18 and 16. We live in New Hampshire but only just moved here 2 years ago from Wisconsin. My husband works for UPS and got a transfer.


  • And welcome to Spine Health! Hopefully we all will be able to help you more as the days go by, just remember we are not doctors, but ust are here for support and advice (non-medical). I have found that excersizing has nearly helped me get back on my feet once more. After 2.5 years of barely being able to walk, I took up a nice diet, gots a puppy, and started excersizing and now I am walking, running, and working full time. I have reverse curvature of the neck, T11-T12 disk herniation, scoliosis, and now there is something wrong with my foot...lol I am 22 years old and live in Florida.
  • welcome to this site.
    I just joined two weeks ago
    I'll tell you i would trade you any day
    1. for not having major spine problems
    2. for living in NH :-C :-C
    a few questions...
    what physical activities do you like?
    have you had physical therapy?
    Be looking to hear from you....
  • araine, I'm not big into exercising unfortunately for me, the most exercise I get is all the stairs in my house! lol For awhile I couldn't even walk much, even had a hard time managing the stairs, because I took neurontin with gave me edema and huge weight gain, got off that and then took lyrica which also gave me huge weight gain but even worse gave me horrible edema, I didn't think feet could swell to that size, they were enormous. I couldn't wear any of my shoes just shove my feet into my slippers. I think it also caused my high blood pressure, so I'm now on lisinopril for that, and hydrochlorothiazide (a diuretic) to keep the swelling in my feet and ankles down. I was on both neurontin and lyrica for less than a month but still have the high blood pressure and edema a year later. I finally lost the 35lbs I gained from back then though!

    ACK! Only 22 and having these kinds of problems!? I'm just glad the exercise (and puppy) are doing you so much good! Hopefully you'll keep doing better and better and staying active and healthy.
  • pete, I have had physical therapy and that's why I don't have pain in my arm anymore. The traction took care of that, and if I ever get the pressure in my upper arm or any other symptoms in my arm, I have a home traction unit now and use that and it works like a charm. It doesn't work for the neck/upper back pain though. :(

    As for physical activities, not much yet. We do have a pool and I intend to swim once it warms up, but with the issues with edema in my feet, I really can't run or jog etc. I do have some exercises I should do at home that I learned in PT, but my pain has been so high since last Christmas I think I would just scream if I even tried!
  • Hello Donna -

    Welcome to the forum and you're a Wisconsonite I see??? I am as well (I'm in Port Washington), still here though and will be for at least a few years until we make our move to Nashville...we have kids in school here so we don't want to up-root them right now.

    What your Doc said about the muscle compensating is really very true, and it happens to one degree or another to all of us whom have structural issues...it's just the nature of the beast. What's most important is to keep limber and stretched out, and a good muscle relaxer med can be very beneficial too.

    I'd been seeing a Neuro-Surgeon for spine issues at Froedtert and in fact I worked there for over 10 years, but most recently am seeing an excellent team of Doc's in the Advanced-Aurora Medical Center in Mequon...they've been great to work with. I hope that you can find a good Pain Management Doc in N.H. cuz it sounds like you're in need of one...perhaps your Primary Doc can direct you to one.

    Take care Donna and all the best to you and I hope your weather in N.H. is better than here...we're having another cool and wet WI summer I'm afraid!

  • Wow! What a small world! I moved from...Port Washington! We lived walking distance to the Sentry.

    I was scheduled for a second opinion and consult with Dr Maiman over at Froedtert but had to cancel because of the transfer. I heard he is one of the best neurosurgeons in the country.

    The one that was pushing me to get the surgery was an orthopedic surgeon in Cedarburg, and I did not trust him or like him. He's one of those doctors who thinks he is God and doesn't like you asking questions. My husband came with me to one of my appointments and had to walk out because he felt like punching his smug face and my husband isn't a violent person!
  • hi Donna....you have a pool...wow....that's another thing i'd trade you for...although it's been a bit cool lately.
    I tried something that was beneficial to my neck and arms in the water. i used a snorkel which allowed me to keep my neck steady. then i just did a simple dog paddle. if you do that i think you'll find there is very little strain on your neck plus the muscles loosen up plus you feel good. I do it and it helps.
    by the way i live on cape cod. the water has been so cold i have yet to get my whole body in the water

    ARAINE...talking about dogs...yours is a beauty.
    Pets can certainly be the best company when you're hurtin.

    take care
  • pete, our pool so far is only 70 degrees, so it's warming up, but that's still BRRRRR too cold for me. Hopefully we will get a few warmer days and it will get to 75 and I'd be willing to jump in to that.

    I can't do snorkeling. I get claustrophobic and just can't bring myself to breathe through it!
  • 70 is like a steam bath compared to 60 here!
    no matter on the snorkel. just do the dog paddle with your arms while sitting or standing in the water. It's so easy to do and it's so beneficial to your arms shoulders, neck etc. I can't wait till temp gets up to 65 then in i go
    have a great day
  • That is entirely unbelievable, cuz what are the chances of making the "from the same little city in WI" connection this way!

    We are on the other side of town, renting an apartment for the time being on Mineral Springs Dr. (since we're looking at leaving soon), just down the street from the Citgo and George Webb's on Hwy 32.

    Dr. Maiman is a great and very well renowned Neuro-Surgeon and I know him personally from my decade at Froedtert...and he's quite the character too! Many surgeons (Ortho and Neuro) can be pushy when it comes to suggesting/recommending surgery, because in their eyes..."surgery is inevitable so the patient might as well get it done now before it gets any worse".

    There is at times SOME truth in their thinking that way, but the patient has to be entirely ready and willing to have the surgery done. For the C6/C7 ACDF that I had done on June 1st...my Ortho Surgeon presented his case for surgery to my wife and I and then said..."the choice is now yours, I would NEVER push anyone into having surgery if they aren't in complete agreement with me". Well, my case was so obviously necessary that I said "lets got for it" right on the spot and that was that.

    Anyways, it was crazy to learn of your being a "Port" native, that still blows my mind. I'm originally from Menomonee Falls and my wife from Random Lake but we've been here for quite some time now. Take care Donna and all the best to you, I hope you get the good care and relief that you're looking for! Bye for now -


  • Really! I mean it's no surprise finding more than one person from Wisconsin, but from the same little town? That is a really big coincidence.

    My husband is the one from the upper midwest, upper Michigan. He is an aircraft mechanic and Milwaukee was as close as we could get to home for him. He works on the big jets and those don't fly into the U.P. I'm the one originally from New England. I was raised in Connecticut. This was the closest we could get a transfer to my family, there weren't any openings in Hartford, and we didn't want Boston so didn't even try there.

    How old are your kids? My sons are 18 and 16.
  • Hard to believe isn't it??? I could see if we were talking about Milwaukee perhaps but Port Washington...what are the odds hey???

    Your husband needing/wanting to be close to the U.P. would explain your being a short drive from Milwaukee, and it's nice that you can now be closer to home for awhile anyways too.

    I have 3 daughters...ages 22, 16 and 12 plus a step-daughter age 16 and a step-son age 13. My 22 year-old just finished up her senior year at LaCrosse (Psychology and Nursing degree's), my 16 year old will be a junior at Milwaukee Lutheran H.S., my 16 year old step daughter will be a sophomore at Port H.S., the 13 year old step son will be in 8th grade at T.J. here in Port and the 12 year-old daughter will be in 7th grade next year at Immanuel Lutheran in Brookfield. So as you might imagine...it can get really crazy around here at times! :)

    I need to get fixed-up ASAP so I can keep up with them all, and so far everything is on track to do so...but it's been a drag to be down and out and unable to be all that I can be for them. God willing, soon that won't be the case!

    Take care Donna and bye for now -


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