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

Hi, I'm Humberto

huhertohhuherto Posts: 16
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am just starting my cervical pain journey. I am male, 42y.

This is my story: 2.5 months ago, I hurt my neck while practicing brazilian jiujitsu. I thought it was just a sore muscle so I rested. But I remained active, biking and running. The pain was not too much at the beginning, just a stiff neck, but it started to get worst. I went to see the doctor (an orthopedist). x-rays didn't show anything. But the MRIs were clear. I have a disc herniation in C5-C6 and possibly C6-C7. I was depressed for a few days, because it seems like I will never be able to practice many sports. To start it seems like I will not be able to bike, run, swim (only dorsal), or lift weights. I am not a gym junkie at all, but I like to be active 3-4 days a week.

My other fear is that I may need surgery. From what I've read many people are able to recover without surgery. I am currently on PT. (Heat, electric stimulation, ultrasound, and neck movement). My pain is not too much, but it gets very uncomfortable after seating most of the day. At night, I can usually have a good sleep and wake up feeling well. It just deteriorates during the day. I work in the computer, but I make excuses to walk a bit during the day. I am hoping that I don't have to have the ACDF, and to get to the point where I can be comfortable during the day and I can practice sports that don't worsen my condition.

I was given some medications to reduce swelling and a muscle relaxant. I usually can stand the day with out any medication, but once in a while, I take naproxen, if it becomes too uncomfortable.

I see that I am not suffering as other people here. But still there is the fear of the unknown where I don't know if it is going be better or it can be worst.



  • Welcome to Spine Health. Many of us live with bad cervical discs and get by without surgery. It's a very individualized issue as to whether your injury will keep you from doing other things that you love to do. Your doc is the one who can best advise you as to what you should avoid.

    The initial emotional response to a spine injury hits all of us a bit differently. Most seem to feel as if "that's it, my life as I know it is now gone". Many of us go on to find out, that we were wrong and life not only continues on, but can even get better.

    Initially I was told that I would never be able to do the things I love to do ever again. Scuba diving, running, hiking, lifting weights, riding a bike, etc ... I got very upset and asked myself "what's the difference between me being injured and a pro athlete being injured?" The only real difference is the money to buy expert health care providers. Well I got angry and decided that even though I don't have the money, I have the determination and desire! If they can make miraculous recoveries, then so can I!

    An integral part of all of this, was my Neurosurgeon, who believed the same way. So with his help(surgically) and his encouragement, I refused to give up or give in. I still scuba dive, ride a bike, ride horses, lift weights ... just about anything I want to. I keep it within the confines of my physical limitations, but I still do it and enjoy it tremendously.

    This forum is a great place and full of great people. Please keep in mind that most people once they are done with surgery or the acute phase of their injury, leave and no longer require the support they sought out here. So it seems inordinately weighted with horror stories and seriously lacking in success stories. Don't let it discourage you.

    When's your next appointment with the doc?

    Take care,

  • Thanks hagland. It is very encouraging to hear about you.

    Today, is my last PT session. I will make an appointment for next week. I should probably start organizing my thoughts on what information I need to get for my next visit. This doctor is an orthopedist specializing in sports injuries, depending on how I feel after the next appointment I may look for a specialist in the cervical spine. Hopefully, someone that is good with PT. I want to go this route before exploring surgery.

    I also have an appointment with an acupuncturist for 1/Sep. I've heard some people have got good results with this doctor.

  • Sorry to hear you're having pain from the herniated disc(s). I have a C6-C7 with nerve impinging and causing me arm pain and numbness but mainly Physiotherapy was able to manage the flare up I had causing severe arm pain with gentle manual traction and ultrasound. Do you have any numbness or pain in your arm at all also? Hopefully your PT can help alleviate your symptoms. When I had the first symptoms 20 years ago I was able to take Valium a muscle relaxer for nine months and that helped until recently when I started having a flare up again. Hopefully you won't require surgery but always get a second opinion if surgery would have to be done. Keep us posted on your treatment. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You've found a great place for information and getting to know others who understand what you're going through.

    I always find it interesting the different journeys each of us spineys take. For me, my cervical problems hit me very suddenly and hard one May in 2008. I tried PT, but it didn't help and once I had the MRI ordered by my PCP, I was on the fast track to surgery, a 3-lvl ACDF. Apparently, my cervical spine started "going" when I was in a bad car accident 30 years ago and I did so many things between then and 2008 that I'm sure I worstened my condition, but how was I to know? I never had a clue, no unusual pain, no signs whatsoever until the sudden onset.

    Anyway, sorry for rambling, but I'm glad you're trying conservative measures before jumping head first into surgery. It's always best to stay away from the knife if necessary and it sounds like you're doing everything you can.

    I also remember what it was like to discover I had spine problems and how freaky it seemed, so I understand how you feel, like many of us here do.

    I think finding a fellowship-trained spine surgeon that specializes in cervical issues is a great idea. I happen to go to a spine center that has one and his specialty is extreme cervical problems and fixing botched ACDFs. He also did my lumbar surgery. This center also has on-site physios, PTs and lumbar specialists.

    I'm hoping that you can keep this at bay with conservative treatments. But please be aware of any changes in symptoms, such as pain radiating down into your arms, numbness, tingling or pins and needles in your arms or hands, or weakness in either arm. If that begins to happen, then it's possible that the herniations are touching your spinal cord and your situation could become emergent.

    Please keep us posted and take care of yourself. Feel free to PM me if you need anything or if I can help you in any way.

  • I have a slight pain in my wrist and in the shoulder. I guess that means that the nerve is being irritated.
  • Humberto - In early 2009 I hurt my shoulder playing basketball. I was a 36 yr male that excercised regularly but wasnt in the best physical shape. I considered myself a basketball player in a football players body. Thought i tore my rotator cuff but the pain kept getting worse. Ater 5-6 months, the pain became unbearble and I went to the Dr. Upon getting an MRI, it turned out my shoulder issue was my C5-6 & C6-7 having ruptured. If I had gone to the Dr. earlier I might have been given PT, therapy, or injections. My only treatment was a 2-Level ACDF perscribed by both specialists I visited. The surgery was not an option as I would lay on my bed and moan in pain daily over the pain and loss of strengh in my arm, shoulder, and back.

    I was very concerned about losing my ability to play sports. I used them as my exercise and my stress outlet.

    I was very upfront with my surgeon about my concerns. He and I discussed them in detail prior to my surgery. He knew my hope was to restart sports and he was willing to work with me (although he made no promises).

    I had my two-level fusion last Sept. Coming up on a year!!! I have had an incredible recovery. My doctor gave me neck stregthening excercises and encouraged rehab. I was back at work two weeks post-op. I was back in spinning classes at 6 weeks. At six months, my doctor gave me permission to resume basketball and/or tennis once per week as long as I feel good. I have been playing ball for the past five months without issue. I feel fantastic.

    I realize not everyone has a good outcome. I thought my life as I knew it was over. It sounds odd, but I feel extremely lucky. I am sure that neck/back issues will rear their head again in my life given my age. However I cant let that control everything I do.

    Like HaglandC said, most with good results no longer post. I happend to see your post on a slow Friday afternoon at work killing time.

    Best luck to you and make sure you have a good open relationship with whichever doctor you choose. Make sure your goals and hopes are spelled out prior to treatment. Best of luck.

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can... thank goodness you are starting treatment at such a time as when it might really do some good.. your doctor know best of course but the knife seems a ways away.. there is lots to be done still so please be patient and try it all till there is nothing else to be thought of.. something will work for you!!!! good luck and i hope you ae feeling better soon. Jenny :)
  • Thanks everybody for their advice and support. I was much more optimistic this weekend after reading your messages.
  • Yesterday, I went to see my doctor.

    There are some good news. Less pain and my reflexes in the left arm are back(but they are still a bit slow).

    He didn't ordered PT. But I have to do some neck exercises every day. No medications. He also ordered a study to see if there is any nerve damage.

    I will be walking and I will be able to do the elliptical every other day. My next appointment is in 30 days. But I will still see the acupuncturist next week.

    What do you think? Is there something else I should be doing or looking into?
  • Your reflexes are improving and you're having an EMG/nerve test? I guess your Dr. will let you know more about the results then and maybe suggest a Physiatrist(Sports Dr) to help with your exercises. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I guess he wants to have the nerve test results as a reference to judge future progress or to see any damage has been caused so far.
  • Yesterday, I had an ozone injection. The surgery is delicate because it means passing a needle thru the neck. I was sedated but I was conscious the hole time. It took about half an hour and I stayed in the hospital about 2 hours. Last night I slept well. Today my neck is a tiny sore in the place the needle was. My hernia is not hurting at all but I have to wait until the end of the day to see how it goes.

    The ozone injection reduces the size of the disc by dehydrating the core. I don't think they do it in the US. They do it mostly in Europe. It is not common here in Mexico but I found a doctor that learned it France and has been doing them for some time. The cost of the whole operation was about $1,500 USD which is minimal if it can help me avoid the ACDF.

    I decided to do it because a friend of my mother did two day before me. He had been in pain for many years and he got instant relief.

    I am supposed to see the full results in four months. So I will keep posting on this. Hopefully, it will work out fine.

  • I'll be anxious to hear how the injection helped you. I hope you will have continued relief! This is a procedure I have not heard of before.
  • I have been ok all day without any pain or discomfort. The neck feels stiff, and I am avoiding movement. I worked most of the day then I felt a sleep on the couch and my arm was numb. As soon as I changed my posture my arm was ok again.
  • I`ll keep you updated. I don´t know if it is for everyone, but it seems a good alternative.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.