C5-C6 Diagnostic Nerve Block Yesterday
I am new to the forum and am glad to have found it! I have a 3 year history now neck issues stemming from flying high-g aircraft in the air force. There is not one single incident that I can recall that injured it but I believe four years of flying at 7-9 g's with a 20+ pound helmet on my head has taken its toll. The first time I noticed my symptoms was from nothing more than getting up from a chair..I had a sharp "electric shock" type of pain shoot down from my neck and I was immediate incapacitated (would turn out to be the first of my neck issues). I found out that nerve roots in my neck had become immediately inflamed and it stayed like that for about two weeks. At that time it affected only my neck, left shoulder, and left arm..I would get a flare up of the nerve root every few months and it would always last about a week and a half with the pain levels worst at the beginning and it would eventually subside. During the symptoms I wouldn't be able to run or do much. I had an MRI done in april of 2008 that has the following diagnosis in writing "bone spur" and "mild stenosis" at C5-C6. The neuro surgeon said verbally that it looks like I have a disc herniation..possibly two. This was all last year. I did physical therapy that included traction. I couldn't go any further (steroid injections) because it would have repercussions in my flying.
So fast forward to this year. My flareups are coming more frequently and it now involves my neck, both shoulders, top of my chest, and both arms. The tingling and numbing if my left arm has not happened much in the last six months. This is leading me to believe that I may have more than one problem in my neck.
Well I had a diagnostic nerve block done yesterday to confirm the correct locations in my neck for surgery. It was done on the LEFT c5-c6. Now up to this point it has gotten bad enough that driving over bumps, coughing, breathing heavily, etc will cause pounding pain in both shoulders, neck, and top of my chest. Immediately after the injection procedure my left side pain was gone (again the injection was on the left nerve root)..but I still had the pains on the right side. I don't have my followup with the neuro surgeon until the 12th. I was wondering if they would most likely schedule another nerve block or proceed with scheduling surgery. I will of course find out on the 12th but I just hate playing the waiting game.
It is tough that I only get these flare ups in two week stints and that the pain is not constantly there. I say that because I can't just go in for a nerve block with little to no notice and I have to keep the symptoms going in order for the nerve block to be effective.