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New to cervical herniated disc pain

Insanemomof3IInsanemomof3 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi, my name is Stacy. I'm a 38 yr old married mom of 3. About 6 weeks ago out of no where I started to experience limited range of motion and neck pain. I then abruptly had severe pain in my neck and then pain in my right arm to my elbow. Then numbness from my elbow to my hand. I have no feeling in my thumb. I have decreased strenghth and hand grasp. I have decreased reflexes and when I turn my head to the left, I lose the pulse in my right arm. I started treatment with a chiropractor. I was not getting relief from treatment so I went to the ER. After an MRI, I've been diagnosed with three herniated discs. The first at c 3-4, c 4-5, c 5-6. I'm using heat as ice seemed to make it worse. I'm taking percocet 7.5 every 6hrs. With zanaflex 8mg every 8 hrs. I had a solu medrol injection in the ER with great results, but that lasted 48hrs before the pain came back. I'm now on tapering doses of prednisone. The medications make me feel high and then so tired I fall asleep. When I try to taper off the muscle relaxers I feel anxious, moody, nauseous, mean. I finally just stopped taking them yesterday because I felt I'd rather just have pain then feel so awful. I think they are to strong for me, yet they really don't take the pain away anyway. I feel the pain but it's like it's far away. I can't see the neurosurgeon for two more weeks. I'm trying to find out what to expect from that appt. What might be suggested for cervical herniated discs. I've heard there are "injections" but I don't know how this is done and is the risk of infection great? I won't deny I'd like a quick fix to return to my work as a mom and wife.


  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find others, including myself with the same issues. Some have gone through surgery and some not. Look in the FAQ section at the top of the page and you will find a link preparing to meet with a spine specialist and another 38 questions to ask a surgeon. I would make two list one if you were to have surgery and one if you were not. Of course there isn't any of us here whom can say if you will need surgery or not.

    Some other things you can do is look at the animated film on cervical radiculopathy, the anatomy of the spine and herniated disc. These should give you a better idea as to what is going on.

    As far as quick fixes, now wouldn't that be great. Besides surgery there are conservative type treatments such as epidural injections, nerve blocks, physical therapy, massage therapy, and so on. The nuerosurgeon will devise the best treatment plan for your individual circumstances. Hopefully it won't take to long so you can get back to being a mom.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. If there is anything I can do, don't hesitate to pm me. Take care.
  • Hi Stacy,
    Normally what they do is start with a conservative treatment, to me spinal decompression and acupuncture worked fine. Both help reducing the pressure over the pinched nerve by relaxing the muscles in the neck, and both are very powerful. Also, the acupuncture doctor who is treating me, has a lot of experience treating herniated discs, actually he is in this website. Best wishes.
  • Thank you for the kind welcome. I met with my neurosurgeon who explain there are no quick fixes and this is a permanent condition that basically you just live and treat the symptoms. I was upset at first because it never occurred to me my numb areas might not ever get better.
    I'm feeling well now. I hardly have any pain other then when I sneeze and cough. But my numbness remains. I'm thankful that awful pain has stopped.
    I'm researching yoga tech. And acupuncture as well as starting physical therapy.
    I'm trying to remain posative. I'm thankful it wasn't a tumor or cancer in my spine. Three herniated discs I can live with. Right!?!

    I think the thing that also surprised me was my neuro spent a lot of time discussing the narcs and muscle relaxers I was on and how many I had. I guess he checks with eitherthe ordering dr or pharmacy and he knew the count of what I had, he seemed like I was seeking narcs! I explained to him how much pain i had been in but how sick they made me and i had taken myself off all the Meds. It wasnt me who asked for all those pills. Is that common for the neurologist to freak about the narcs? I'm currently only on aleve for inflammation. It's not like you can fake a MRI the results were in black and white.it's also not like we can order our own Meds, the ER dr picked which one he gave me. Just a strange conversation.

  • I had a very similar problem happen to me 2 months ago. I have a c5 c6 herniation that was moderate and caused spinal stenosis. We are close in age, i am 37.

    I went through 4 Pt sessions and my neck feels a lot better. The past couple of days however have now resulted in lower back pain with numbness and tingling.

    I started to feel a lot better a few weeks after the initial herniation, I hope you do as well.
  • I just joined here i guess a week ago. Nice place with lots of information to look upon and help you out. very nice people in the chatroom. Remember your opinion counts, if your not comfortable with what the doctor wants to do then tell them so, if they make you feel like your a druggie tell them and do not let them bully you into believing you are. Pain is real and those of us who suffer it constantly need care not criticism. No one can say how bad You feel but you it is your body. much luck to you and i hope that you find some help and comfort here with likeminded people who are sufferers as well.
  • I've been doing great. Not sure really what helped. I'm about to start physical therapy. I've been seeing that therapists have the initials PT or. DPT does anyone know the difference?
    Also I'd like to learn some strengthening exercises but stop all therapy. I feel fine.
    But I'm worried that if I stop the pain will return. Does anyone have experience with this? Did the pain return if you stopped therapy?
  • PT is a physical therapist. They usually have a Masters degree I believe. DPT is a doctor of physical therapy. They have a PhD.

    Sorry to hear about your neck pain and herniated discs, unfortunately I know all about the pain! Did the neurosurgeon recommend surgery? You are very new to this to jump right to surgery, I bet they want to do some injections or physical therapy first. Will you be doing any of that?

    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • I'm 39, and had herniations at c4-5 and c5-6. If you're starting to feel better that is great! I never seemed to have that kind of luck. i did therapy for months, and while i did have some better weeks, i also had some pretty horrible ones. it would yo-yo up and down. my big problem was driving. i'd get sharp pain in my neck, then into my right arm. i couldn't be in the car for more than 10 or 15 minutes before the pain got bad. i tried therapy, epidural injections (even though i get bad reactions to steroids, my surgeon wanted to give it a shot) I suffered with migraines for weeks because of them, and they never made any noticable difference.

    after a solid year of dealing with this, i finally caved and had a 2 level ACDF done. i'm now almost 3 months post surgery and i can say i've gotten rid of the pain while driving. still dealing with muscular pain that cropped up post surgery, but its alot more tolerable that what i had before. i just started PT to improve my range of motion and reduce the muscle pain. we'll see how it goes.

    i just wanted to say hi, and i know the fun of a bad back with little kids at home. mine are 4 and almost 9 now.
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • Duplicate Post deleted

    Follow this path instead: http://www.spine-health.com/forum/new-member-introductions/new-here-and-looking-answers

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Administrator 12/15/11
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