I've been reading many of these posts with great interest, and I figure you folks could probably give me better advice than the 5 doctors I've seen...so here goes.
I'm 31, never been in an accident, never played any kind of sport that resulted in my head being driven into the ground. I've had stiff necks or pulled/strained muscles in my neck since my teens but I never thought anything of it.
About a year ago I had some serious neck pain with tingling in my right hand. The doctor diagnosed it as a pulled trapezius with nerve compression, gave me a muscle relaxer and sent me on my way.
Fast forward to about 2 months ago. I start feeling the same pain in my neck and right shoulder. Again, I thought "ok, another stiff neck" and didn't give it much thought. It lasted about a month. Then I spent 2 days moving into my new house (thank you first time homebuyer credit). This was in mid September. A few days later the pain gets a little worse and I notice that my index and middle fingers felt cold. I'm think a trip to the doctor is in order.
The very next day I start to get intense pain in my right shoulder and down my arm. I couldn't get in to see my doctor so I went to urgent care. They diagnosed a pulled muscle, gave me some muscle relaxers and sent me on my way. The next 2 days were the most painful of my life. I was flat on my back and every move was agony. This was 3 weeks ago.
Ever since I've had a numb index finger, almost no strength in my triceps and a constant pain in my shoulder, down my arm, into my forearm
I get in to see my doctor, have an MRI and he says I have "a few bulging discs". He gives me prednisone for the inflammation and muscle weakness and lortab for pain. Neither helped. I can't sleep more than an hour or two because I can't lay on either side and lying on my back puts pressure on the shoulder, which puts pressure on the nerve, which causes pain, which wakes me up. I go back to my doc and he wants to send me to a neurosurgeon. He believes I won't need surgery, but he'd concerned about the weakness in my arm.
So I saw the NS on Friday. He says I have arthritis in my neck and 3 bulging discs at C4-C5, C5-C6, C6-C7. The C6-C7 disc is pinching the C7 nerve root causing the arm problems.
The NS says surgery is a possibility, given the severe weakness in my arm. For example, I had several xrays taken during the NS appt. The tech gave me a 10 lb weight to hold in each hand to get my shoulders as low as possible. I couldn't hold the one in my right hand and she had to take it because I couldn't lift it to give it back to her.
So the NS is starting me on PT for a month. Also prescribed Lyrica (which is wreaking havoc on my vision) and is sending me to a pain clinic. I'm not even sure what that is
The NS says if there is no change in pain or weakness, or if it gets worse after a month, then surgery might be the next step. But he said the success rate is about 75%. I'm not sure if that's good enough.
So that's my story. Sorry it took so long to explain
I wonder what others with this type of thing have done. What other options are out there if the
PT doesn't work? Chiropractor?
Thanks for listening!