I had 2 levels fused in Sept '10, almost 7mos post-op. Started out fairly well after surgery, fusion looked really good (still does as of my last visit), was released from wearing the Miami J in Nov.& immediately started having severe pain coming out of the collar. If I don't use the pain meds, my neck muscles start to knot up. Had trigger point injections--did not help relax the muscles. Go back to the neurosurg office tomorrow. They said if the pain wasn't getting better--start PT. Still use the Miami J collar, especially for sleep or wake up in awful condition. Wear it off and on during the day, trying to wean myself. Anyone else had this experience with pain. What helped? Is this somewhat normal to experience pain this far out? Thinking it's weak muscles need to strengthen concerned because my ability to function is so limited and is this going to be permanent. Starting to take a more proactive approach, reopening gym membership to walk regularly. Of course, life doesn't cut any of us any slack. We have a young child, something is always popping up derailing my energies. Been fairly depressed with the whole thing, trying to be optimistic & patient. One good thing about hitting rock bottom, no where to go but up. Any input/insight is greatly appreciated.