About 4 years ago I was diagnosed with a C5-C6 herniated disk and bone spurs ( osteophyte complex). When I had it diagnosed I was in a lot of pain. I was given many medications (I was in the hospital for an unrelated condition) and the pain got better. The attending doctor tried to scare me and push a surgery. I saw him for a while and his solution was always surgery and didn't give me more options.
After a while my life was surprisingly normal and the pain minimal. However, just last year I tripped and fell and I started to have pain again. I also started to have a strange difficulty breathing, condition for which I have seen many doctors. Some say it may be related to the spinal problem and some say it is not, however I have found no improvement. I am not in a lot of pain, but I have this annoying tension at the base of my head that sometimes gets so bad that I get dizzy and my hearing gets affected. It gets aggravated with certain positions in which I have to tilt backwards my head (for example, if I use a recumbent bike).
I went to another doctor who told me that the tension was not caused directly by the disk but that it was caused by spasm. He prescribed muscle relaxants and an over the door cervical traction.
The traction can be done in two ways, facing towards the door and away from the door. After several attempts at speaking with the doctor on the phone, I was able to get him a message through his receptionist. I don't know how she conveyed the message but she called me back with a mildy sarcastic tone saying "extension, of course" (that is looking away from the door).
He prescribed 3 lbs which barely lifts my head. It didn't lift it but somewhat forced it into the position that provokes the spasm. I attempted for a few moments the other position (facing the door) and I felt immediate relief.
I have not been able to speak directly with my doctor and the receptionist keeps repeating the same thing. The away from the door position brings more discomfort but I am afraid to use the other position in case it results in more damage.
Any thoughts or ideas?