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C5 C6 bulged disc

I've been suffering from chronic pain for the last 3 years now,the doctor and specialists i have attended have diagnosed a C5,C6 bulged discs,i can trace this back to over 3 years ago when i was on holiday in eastern europe and had a massage from one of the local therapists,this was not sore at the time but later the same evening i awoke with terrible pain in my right shoulder.

Over the last 12 months this pain has carried from this shoulder right down into my right forearm,my right thumb tip since it happened has always had a pins and needles feel about it,i have also experienced a burning sensation on my right forearm.

The main source of pain though is in my shoulder,i have had an MRI scan and it confirmed a bulged disc in the C5 C6 areas.

Surgery could correct this however i have been informed that it could also make this worse.

If anyone can advise on any other courses of treatment or anyone who has indeed had a surgical procedure of this kind i would be gratefull to hear from you, I am a 51 year old male from Scotland


  • I have the same thing. Well, something similar. I have bulging discs at C5-C6-C7 with osteophytes. I'm 28 years old. I've never had a neck injury, just bad genetics. I saw my mom's spine surgeon because he's a really great doctor and he told me that I didn't need surgery yet. I had a cortisone injection, and that really got rid of the radiating nerve pain in my arm. The problem with neck surgery is that once you have a fusion it places more stress on the adjacent discs. Since I'm so young I'm scared to do that :/ When the pain gets to a point that the cortisone shots don't help and neither does physical therapy, I think I'll turn to surgery. My mom lived her life thinking her neck pain was normal because she broke her back when she was young. She didn't even realize that the herniated disc in her neck was compressing her cord to the point that she was in danger of paralysis if she didn't have surgery.

    I've done lots of different things for the pain. I sleep on a rolled up towel, do neck streches, use traction, pain medicine, apply ice, topical NSAIDs, and cortisone shots. I'm doing okay. I've had two hip surgeries in the past 4 years, so I'm really apprehensive about more surgery. My last cortisone shot was 1.5 years ago, so I think it's time for another one :)
  • Is it pressing on the spinal cord? If it is it's best to do surgery than to risk paralysis. That's what I did and I'm 33. Wasn't going to live with the fear of falling or another car accident making me paralyzed.
    C-6 C-7 Cervical Spinal Fusion October 15, 2012
  • I was offered a cortizone injection for pain relief but thought this would only last a couple of months,how often do you get these and is it worth trying.At the moment nothing seems to work and i would only see surgery as a last resort
  • Conservative therapy is always the best course of action, as sometimes they do heal. surgery should be used as a means of last resorts. Sometimes the injections can take up to 3 to really work. The only time conservative therapy is not used is in cases of myelopathy and then surgery is done to stop the progression but not used to cure the condition.

    Keep a journal of how your feeling and what makes it better and what makes it worse this will help you as well as help the surgeons. Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to the forums. Whichever way you decide to go, good luck, and keep us posted.
  • Cathy PCCathy P Posts: 1
    edited 12/12/2012 - 1:02 AM
    Has anyone heard of Dr EDIT he wants to operation for bulging disk and pressing on the nerve I have two bulging disks with neck pain and numbness down my right arm all the time. I was just wondering how this Dr is?? Any info would help Thanks

    Post edited. Forum rules prohibit the naming of specific doctors.
  • kjnts0kkjnts0 Posts: 2
    edited 12/27/2012 - 3:26 PM
    I began experiencing severe headaches in the back left side of my head about 2 inches behind the left ear, center around January 2000. Every day I would wake up with the really bad throbbing headache and it would stay with me until I went to sleep. It really began wearing me down mentally. I began seeing doctors and explaining to them my symptoms and I was diagnosed with sever different diagnoses that all came to a dead end. I was diagnosed with Chronic Sinusitis most of the time. The doc gave me meds and told me this should alleviate the problem. I began to get depressed due to the headaches that greeted me in the morning until I went to bed. In 2006 my doctor prescribed me Zoloft. He then sent me for an MRI of my head and it came back normal. I was taking around 10 to 12 Advils a day. In 2007 I moved from Charlotte, NC to Henderson, NV. and I then found a new primary physician. I told her about my pain and she said I am going to send you for an MRI of the head and your spine. Bingo, the source of the problem found. The C5-C6-C-7 was bulging. My doc referred me to a Pain Management Specialist. He immediately wrote a prescription for Lortab and scheduled Nerve Block Facet. The Nerve Block Facet did not work. He then in 2010 performed a second Nerve Block Facet, it did not work. In October 2010 I was given a Spinal Epidural Injection and unfortunately it did not work. In January 2011 my wife and I were rear-ended in our Tahoe by a Ford Explorer at 45 mph. We began receiving chiropractic care for about 2 months. The chiropractor insisted on a Neck adjustment and I was extremely hesitant knowing I had bulging discs. I informed the chiropractor that I had bulging discs and was told that a neck adjustment could assist in healing the bulge. I said okay, and what do you know, I get up from adjustment, go straight to my pain doctor and he has to give me cortisone injections. I was in extreme pain. Never again! On or around the last week of November of this year just after Thanksgiving I began experiencing excruciating pain in my neck, shoulder and left arm. I have been in pain for nearly one month now (December 27, 2012). I cannot sleep; I am experiencing gnawing, stabbing, burning pain in my left trapezius, left shoulder, arm and hand with numbing and tingling in my forearm and hand. I cannot sleep without ice, cannot concentrate and the pain intensifies at work. I am miserable. It feels like someone punched me several times in my left shoulder cap and my trap is so kinked. My neck always wants to pull left. It is making me crazy mentally and physically. On December 5, 2012 I could not bear the pain so I went in to see my pain management specialists and he gave me approximately 12 Serrapin Shots to include the occipital nerve. The shots gave me no relief what so ever. During this visit, my resting blood pressure was sitting at about 153 over 113 with a pulse rate of 98. It would not go down. I went immediately from there to see my primary care physician and she was unable to assist with the high blood pressure, so she put me on Lisinopril 10mg. I am scheduled for a second MRI tomorrow 12/28/2012 at 0800. I am tired! I don’t know how else to deal with this. Any help or advice would be so appreciated.
    James Gibson

  • Firstly, let me welcome you to spine Health.
    You have found a wonderful place to get information, and support from people who understand what it feels like to have spinal problems.

    I see that you have an MRI scheduled for today. I wanted to wish you luck and hope that they will see what could be causing your pain and make a plan for treatment that will help you.
    Sometimes it can take a very long time before that happens and in the meantime, while we are in pain, we can feel very alone. This is a great place to come and talk to others who understand.

    I am recovering from a 2 level ACDF 7 weeks ago, and had a long road that led to that surgery.

    Pain can cause high blood pressure, which has been my experience too.

    Do let us know how you get on.

    Take care

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