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help with dealing with pain from bulging/herniated disc c5-6

I posted on here once before when i first had neck pain but with no response so i'm hoping i have better luck this time.

After a silly accident at xmas falling through the loft/attic hatch and catching myself with my underarms on the edges of the hatch, i jolted my neck quite badly, at the time i didnt feel much pain other than being a bit battered and bruised but after a few weeks i began to develop a really stiff neck and one morning whilst getting out of bed something went out with a crack in my neck, that night i was at an xmas concert and leant forward to pick up my bottle of coke, i laughed whilst doing this and i felt a very painful twinge in my neck which sent pain and tingling down my left arm, for the next two weeks after i could barely lift my arm above my head and if i held it out straight in front of me and tried to move it to the centre of my chest the pain in my shoulder joint was bad enough that i would almost pass out.

i finally got an MRI scan done and it was found that i had a bulging disc at c5-6 level with slight nerve root compression, my consultant assured me that this was the cause of the pain in my neck across my shoulder and down my arm. I was offered surgery when i was first diagnosed but now the pain levels in my arm have reduced they wont operate.

I was booked in for an epidural injection into the area of the bulge and the pain did decrease to what i would class as a bearable level. but would flare up on occasions and the pain never really goes away.

7 months later and i've recently had 3 injections into the facet joints as my pain specialist reckons this may also be a factor that is causing the pain. i havent noticed much difference at all this time

My neck is constantly sore but my shoulder and shoulder joint gets really really sore at times without no real reason why. i could be feeling ok sitting watching tv then BANG my shoulder feels as if someone is sticking a knife into it. i dont get much arm pain anymore but my neck constantly pops clicks grinds and the shoulder pain comes and goes as it pleases. I'm really struggling to cope with this pain both mentally and physically and its really beginning to grind me down. i have been using an air traction collar and also a tens machine with mixed results. i find i worry about almost everything nowadays, particularly my health, i'm scared incase if i overdo it and do more damage, i'm scared to exercise to much incase it flares up and hurts for weeks on end, i honestly feel completely beaten by this whole thing and dont know what to do now.

The main reason i am posting is to find out if anyone is suffering from this same constant pain and what they do to help manage it, as the only thing that seems to numb the pain is alcohol and i dont want to end up down that road! i'm also interested in any exercise techniques/workouts that may help strengthen my neck again.

if i could just find a way of dealing/coping with the constant pain i would feel so much better and could learn to live with this condition

Any help you guys can provide would be great.

I look forward to hearing from you




  • Kelman70KKelman70 Posts: 6
    edited 07/18/2013 - 11:56 AM
    I should mention that I'm a 31 year old male, on no current medication, I was taking diclofenic tablets but they didnt seem to make any difference. I've tried various pain meds from codeine to tramadol none seem to work at all
  • Welcome to the site! Like you I have the c5-c6 disc herniated, it is pushing up against my spinal cord causing damage and other symptoms. I also have 2 other levels herniated above that disc. The pain you are describing is very familiar. My shoulder hurts almost constantly. I am also not on any pain medication but am in pain every day, mostly around a 7 or an 8. When everything first started I was able to mitigate the pain with nsaids, but they don't work at all anymore. Pain injections don't do a lot for me either. I have found that icing it does seem to help the swelling go down and I will hurt less. Sometimes heat helps. Also, I have a friend that is a physical therapist, some of the exercises he has given me have helped reduce the pain level to be a bit more manageable. I found that if you aren't afraid of needles, a GOOD acupuncture really has helped me. I wish I could give you more help. Feel free to PM with any questions. Sorry I cannot help more.
    C3-C6 herniated causing severe foraminal stenosis pressing against the left ventral aspect of the spinal cord.
  • Kelman70KKelman70 Posts: 6
    edited 07/23/2013 - 10:02 PM
    Thanks for the reply, i have sent you a pm with some questions

    Anyone else dealing with this same problem?
  • I have a very similar problem although my bulge into my spinal cord is on my left side yet I am getting severe pain and tingling fingers in my right shoulder. My main problem is the pain I get in my neck right at the base of my skull. I would say this is a level 8 or 9 pain and floors me. The surgeon doesn't think this bulge is connected and has referred me for manipulation. First appointment is tonight. I am only 35 and have been off my work over 3 months now with this pain. It's put my life on hold.
  • Thank you for your post, i too feel that certain symptoms/pain is not connected to the diagnosis of the bulging disc i have, mine is to the left but all pain is on my left also, my shoulders click on rotation and i often get trapped nerves in my back just below my shoulder blades. I always wonder if there is an issue further down my back or problms with my shoulders as all mri scans/xrays have been done from the shoulders up. I hope you get some resolution to your problem and the pain. I'm going to try some accupuncture and remedial massage when I get back from offshore in two weeks.
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