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Not getting better after six months

locksmithllocksmith Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi, I'm a 47 year old teacher from the U.K. I was assaulted by a special needs student in June 2011 and was punched 16-18 times in head. Have had a weak neck since and very painful shoulder. I can get referred head pain that can leave me sobbing. Also have weak right arm. After physio at a local hospital pain increased,became fain and a muscle bulged out at the side of my neck (it is still raised 4 months on) and fainted on two occasions . I had an MRI scan privately that revealed two bulging discs, one which appears to be touching the spinal cord. I saw a rheumatologist yesterday who was dismissive and said that disc bulges don't cause pain, that the bulge was undoubtedly not due to the assault but a mild degenerative condition and that my arm wasn't weak. Help, don't know who to turn to next and things aren't getting any better as I now have constant aching in my right leg too. Any advice from anyone would be much appreciated. Oh, this rheumatologist suggested more phyio but I feel very nervous about this.


  • Have never had any health problems whatsoever prior to this current issue.
  • HI Locksmith,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find others whom took some time to get diagnosed. As far as wether a disc bulge causes pain, I am sure there are plenty here to disagree with your doctor. My best suggestion is to go see a spine specialist? While your issues might not have come from the incident, you need to find what is going on? There are other test that can be done to test to see if your arm issues and such are related to your spinal disc bulges. If you have the report from the MRI, you can look at a dermatone map and see if the location of the disc bulge correlates with any of your pain.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. If I can be of any assistance don't hesitate to pm me. Take care and keep us posted.
  • Thanks. Am going to talk to my G.P. tomorrow morning to discuss further referrals.
  • Hi Locksmith,With regards to your muscles in your neck,I had whiplash nearly 15 years ago the muscles tightened up so tight I found my head was leaning to one side and forwards,with massive spasms in neck and shoulder with headaches at the back of my head,and dizziness, It sounds much like yours as you were hit in the head and would have been thrown backwards,I was 34 at the time, later MRI showed discs bulging into spinal chord also degenerative changes they put down to wear and tear,absolute rubbish as I had no pain before this,I also had pain in my shoulder and pain down right arm and into my fingers.I was originally told it would take 6 weeks to recover well I'm 48 now and still in pain,Many treatments include electric pulse currents at the Physio to stimulate healing,cortizone injections,acupuncture,nerve conduction studies, Botox,2 nerve blocks at pain clinic followed by nerve denervation on 2 occasions ie cutting nerves at the nerve root.The 1st denervation helped with the right arm pain the second denervation did not help.I asked my doctor for another opinion after waiting 3 years for another denervation,I was sent to a spinal unit and further MRI was done I was told my disc bulge on the spinal chord needed to be removed and not to have any more nerves cut,he was not happy me having any nerves cut and ordered me to cancel my next operation for this.I am at a stage now waiting for anterior cervical decompression at C5/6 the degeneration showed bone spurs which could also be causing pain.Muscle spasm can cause pressure on nerves also and is severely painful and takes a long time to heal.
    Going back to the botox I was given this to relax the muscle and give it time to settle and repair,,well it certainly relaxed my neck muscles,I was unable to hold my head up for several months,I had terrible heads/headaches and severe depression,,,never again.and it did not work for me,other people may be different.

    I have also undergone another op for L5/S1 decompression 6 weeks ago not related to my neck problems.

    My message to you is if you are unhappy with your diagnosis get to a specialist spinal surgeon or similar to look at you,I wish I had the opportunity to be treated years ago,my previous hospital did not have a spinal unit so could not treat me, I was unaware of this for several years until I asked to see someone else.I do hope you recover as soon as possible,bear in mind surgeons will not operate if it is not needed but you would not be there if it didn't hurt and they see this every day.

    Good luck Des
  • Thank you so much, your reply has given me the motivation and confidence to pursue this further. Doc is just about to phone me for a telephone consultation so will be firm about a further referral.I hope your further treatment is successful.
  • Locksmith,
    Good luck hope you get your referral to a specialist.keep the pressure on them they will take you seriously then.

    All the best Des.
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