Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

At what rate does disc herniation progress?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I went to my doctor again and informed him I'm still having problems. I explained to him in detail to what was going on. He said it is probably a pinched nerve. He never mentioned getting an x-ray or an MRI. He said that he is prescribing PT.

I start my PT today.

At what rate can I expect the herniation or pinched nerve to progress to the point that I can no longer stand the pain?

Right now, it is only certain motions that cause a shock like sensation in my upper trap/shoulder/neck area. As of yesterday it started to tense up.

Should I expect to start having pain in the arm/hands/excrutiating pain within the next few weeks? I'm just trying to prepare myself as best as I can. This has already taken a huge toll on me mentally.


  • Did your PCP give you any medications for the pain? I would think he would have given you a muscle relaxer and something for pain.

    Many small herniated disc will heal on their own. I have injured mine 4-5 times over the last 9-10 year before it was bad enough to cause the arm problems.

    I don't really have a lot of neck pain. Occational shooting/electric like pain, mostly my pain is from muscle spasms. I do have arm/shoulder/hand pain, weakness, and tingling. It gets worse after driving or lifting. Anything with my arms being used above my elbow area.

    You should definately get an x-ray and an MRI. If your pain is bad don't be afraid to go to the ER or get a second opinion.

  • He asked if I wanted a muscle relaxer but I said I didn't think I needed it. I'm mainly concerned about the future. The pain is minimal right now but the fact that it's happening is what is freaking me out.

    I guess I'll try to figure things out after my first PT visit which is later today.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,371
    How many years young are you?

    Did you have any specific injury?

    What level is your pain currently? 1 - 10

    Does anything make the pain better or worse?

    How many years have you had this type of pain?

    History of years chiropractic "care"?

    What kind of "Doctor" did you see? M.D.? D.O.? D.C.?
    Orthosurgeon? Neurosurgeon? D.V.M.?? (ha ha)

    What kind of doctor - doesn't think an x-ray is called for. G_d forbid you have an osteophyte that breaks loose and causes damage during your P.T.?

    I'd get a second opinion (and an image or 10) b4 starting the P.T.

    I believe the whole trick to this spiney stuff is, Knowing the right questions to ask - and finally getting answers - we can live with.

    Best of medical care to ya!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    Metalneck identified so many of the things that we really dont know about your condition.
    It is very difficult for anyone here to make some sound solid advice without knowing any details.
    What really threw me off was asking about the healing time with a herniated disc and a pinched nerve.
    Depending on the details regarding your situation it is so difficult to get you more information.
    But going to PT sure sounds like the first step
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • its difficult to answer though because everyone progresses at different speeds.You could stay the same for a long time and not progress at all or you could get worse tomorrow and go down hill significantly.It all depends on the situation. Don't let yourself progress too far though without pain meds. or muscle relaxants because then your body gets the best of you and its hard to get a handle again.
  • I also agree with everyone else that some more info will help us answer your questions much better because we want to help you out. I think your doctor should order x-rays and an MRI ASAP while you're doing PT. They need to know exactly what is going on so you will be getting the correct treatment. It's hard to say how long it will take for you to recover if you indeed have a herniated disc. There is no way to proceed unless you have a diagnosis for your back pain. Take care
  • I'm 27 years old, I am overweight.

    I did not have any specific injury. The only thing that I can think of is I got pinched in the face on 4th of July and fell down to my knees. I got hit square in the nose.

    The pain is not constant, it's only when I yawn really wide, or make chewing motions with my mouth, when my neck is turned to the right and I talk, or anything to do with making certain turning movements forward, side, up down, etc.

    If I had to estimate what the pain is at right now, it's at a 0. When it hits it's at a 3-4. The pain is momentarily and it subsides usually almost immediately. Afterwards it does leave my shoulder kind of tight.

    This pain started in the early part of August of 09.

    I have not had any chiropractic care ever in my lifetime.

    My personal physical is a DO but he does not or did not do any alignments or anything chiropractic related.

    I'm not sure why the doctor I seen most recently (he's not my normal doctor, my normal doc was not available) would want PT first. I should have demanded a MRI but I am not a demanding type of person.

    I will try calling a neurologist today to see if I can get an appt.

    My main symptoms are that right where the neck meets shoulder/trap area, right under that area I get this sharp, shooting, shocking like pain that is local to just that area. It is a pinched nerve of some kind because I know how a nerve being pinched feels and it isn't muscle related or tendon related.
  • I noticed you are asking at what rate can you expect a herniation or a pinched nerve to excel. Has someone diagnosed you with this already? If so what testing did they do. Keep in mind typically all doctors use conservative type treatments and PT is the easiest. Almost anyone over the age of 20 will have some changes in the spine, it is a natural occurring event. Most are none symptomatic. Many spine issues can be treated successfully with conservative type treatments.

    You said they are sending you to PT. What is the PT for? The physical therapist needs some guidelines to start with. How long has this pain been going on? Why did you turn down muscle relaxers? It sounds like your doctor maybe treating you for a muscle strain?

    A punch in the face could cause a whip lash injury. Whip lash can take quit a long time to heal. But, then obviously we are not doctors and can't diagnose a injury. I hope, whoever punched you in the face, you called the police on and made a report, about it. Physical violence should never be accepted. by anyone. Good luck and keep us posted on how physical therapy goes.
  • I went to my doctor on Saturday but since he wasn't available, I saw another doctor. I explained to him that basically I have this problem where I experience pain when I open my jaw wide and or sometimes when I turn my head.

    The pain is right where the neck meets the shoulder on the right side.

    If I turn my head to the right and up a little and then open my jaw, I can recreate the pain. It's like a shooting/shocking pain that feels like a nerve is being pinched.

    The doctor asked me to move my neck around, checked my reflexes and at the end of it said it's a pinched nerve.

    He said he's sending me to PT.

    I went to PT and the PT had me do these things like raise my arm up to above my head and on my right side, it would not go past my ear. My left side would go past my ear just fine.

    From there he turned my head to the right, and moved it back very lightly. Upon putting some pressure, I told him that it hurt. He explained to me that it's a facet joint problem, or it appears to be.

    But the weirdest thing is that the part where I feel pain is not the same part where my neck meets my shoulder. In any case, I explained this to him and he said it's because when I put my head back, the nerves are being pinched.

    I live in Hawaii, so some medical things like PT and or just in general, may be behind the continental USA in terms of what type of technology and knowledge they have.

    In any case, thank you all for replying.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,371
    Great job with the answers!

    Very pleased (like it matters to me) that you have not been a chiropractor groupee!

    I have respect for D.O.'s especially if they don't claim they can cure the common cold with manipulation(like some other practitioners of manipulation claim).

    (I'd better be careful .... I beleive that this site was founded by D.C's (and thank you for it!)

    I am still concerned that you are starting treatment, when you IMHO have not yet been properly diagnosed.

    You commented that you know how a pinched nerve feels... Do you have a revious history??

    Did you doctor by chance ask you any of these these types of questions?

    Are you on an HMO type insurance? If so ... that might explain the move to PT prior to proper diagnoses.

    C-Spine X-rays are cheap and can reveal much. Go get one !!

    Keep us apraised!!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)

  • It sounds like your getting some more information which is always a good thing. Facet joint problems are common and the nerves coming from there are what your doc. is saying is being pinched your probably just feeling it in a different area which isn't uncommon. A lot of times the patient doesn't feel the injury in the area that is injured.Hopefully your therapy will help your problem ,give it a go!! and good luck.

  • Nocturnal

    In my experience a good PT is as good or even better than a doctor at getting to the heart of the problem. THey also take more time to explain things to you. Imagine your doctor spending half an hour explaining what is happening??

    Also as you continue to go they can monitor what is happening. If they are good (and not all are) they will guide you back to good health. If you don't like your PT then go to another. They should be pushing you just into your pain area. Remember no pain no gain, but you have to take it slow also so that you don't cause more or new injury.

    Good Luck
Sign In or Register to comment.