Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Cervical Neck Disc Herniation

Ok, I am new to this, just got diagnosed with this last Friday. I have been having stiff necks that last for days to weeks for a few years now, but back in August I got one that also included pain in my lower neck, shoulder, my left tricep and forearm and my fingers all but my pinky tingle. I fought it for a long time (6 weeks) and couldn't stand it anymore and decided it wasn't going to go away on its own. I made a doctors appt and went to see a sports doctor. He pushed down on my head to see what made it hurt and checked to make sure it wasn't carpel tunnel in my arm. He said I had a cervical herniated disc more than likely and prescribed 5 days of 50 Mg prednisone and some flexeril 5mg for 5 days and said I should feel much better in 3 days but to keep taking it for 5 days anyway. I called him after 3 days and told him it wasn't any better what so ever. Still pain radiating down my arm still pain in my neck and fingers still tingle. He did x-rays and said that he wants to start physical therapy, and that is all. I asked him for something to help with the pain and he told me no, to take some tylenol and no advil as long as I was on the prednisone. I finished my last dose of prednisone last night and I can feel the pain returning back to its original state only now my tricep is twitching also. I was hoping that he could atleast give me something for my pain besides tylenol (hich doesn't help at all). I can't get into therapy for another week and I worry that he isn't going to help me out, what can I do or what should I do? Any help or advise here would be nice. I can't even sleep, the pain wakes me up because I can't sleep on my back or sides for very long at all or the pain is unbearable. Thanks


  • The Dr should order more test if he suspects a herniation, to confirm his suspicions. Did he expalin your xrays to you at all? If you are off predisone, try the other over the counter meds that reduce inflammation.
    I hate when they press down on your head, and request they do not do that to me.
  • No, the doc didn't order any more tests, and I don't even have an appt. set up to see him. He ordered the x-rays, his nurse called and said the x-rays look normal (which is what they were hoping for) and to start physical therapy. He told me that if pt doesn't work then they will look at putting me in traction. Then injections, then an mri if that doesn't help. Honestly, I can't afford to be off of work for surgery so I am okay with all the run around and have faith that it will work but can't hardly stand the pain sometimes. I think being a sports doctor that he would be more willing to help me deal with the pain.

    Sometimes I feel like maybe I need to seek out another doctor. I am not a doctor person, I haven't been to the doctor in 12 years and now that I need one I understand why I haven't been, its like they don't care.

    Before the prednisone I had tingling in my fingers and pain in my back and shoulder and arm, now after being off of the prednisone for 24 hours my finger tips are numby if thats a word, they aren't completely numb but are kinda. Still have the pain in my back and shoulder and my arm. I am going to start back on advil since I have been off the prednisone for a day now, just didn't want to do anything to compromise the drug.

    Does anyone else think I need a new doctor or am I just not being patient enough? Should I just live with the pain and do the therapy and see if that helps? I feel like a cry baby!
  • I am not sure what a 'sports Dr" is but if it an ortho, they could be a specialist in knees and not know much about the spine neck. Try and find a spine Dr or Neurosurgeon. They will still do the test and be conservative with PT if they think that will help. If you have a teaching hospital anywhere near you start there, student MDs like to be complete and try and find answers.
    The statistics are in your favor, most are helped with PT, proper meds,and personal health care decisions- no smoking, proper diet. spine pain makes a lot of us want to cry, it is no picnic. Good luck and I would not see a chiro with a possible herniation.
  • I figured he specialized in sports injuries which I would assume include neck, shoulder, arm, legs. I don't know. I guess I will wait until I have my pt appt. and go from there. I can't believe any doctor would just let you sit for a week in pain for a week just because he doesn't want to mask the pain. His nurse told me that neck and back pain isn't something you should take pain pills for because that is something you want to be aware of. I am completely aware of the pain I am in and I can guarantee that there isn't any pill that will take it completely away just want some comfort for a few days. I want to be able to watch a tv show without my arm feeling like it is falling off or to get a good nights sleep. I have thought about making an appointment to see a pain management doctor, my sister in law said she goes to and she told me that she would help me out. I am on a proper diet, and I do smoke but minimally (I know none is better), and gonna have to live with this pain that is worse now than when it began for another week. I still have muscle relaxers left and I am still taking them but they aren't really helping. Thanks!
  • I had to get a referral to Pain Management but I am not sure how that works for you. My husband had a MD that was sports medicine, specialized in shoulders only, even though I have pain around my shoulder and down my arm. I would not go to him for my neck. I made a lot of phone calls trying to get information from different Dr offices, what they specialized in, what kind of insurance they took, etc. some office staff can be very helpful in pointing you in a good direction in your area. If you get the # from your SIL for PM, call and talk and ask lots of questions. Information will help you make the right decisions for you. Feel better soon.
  • I will get that number from her and I will see what they will reccommend
  • a walk in patient, they have to be referred either by primary or ortho.
    Be careful when doing PT since you don't know what is causing your symptoms. If they ask you to do something and it makes your symptoms worse make a note of it and let the therapist know.
    If PT doesn't help clear up your symptoms, especially the tingling and numbness it may be time to get an MRI or see board certified spine Dr either ortho or nuero.
    Most Drs take a conservative approach to back pain unless you were in an accident. Most back pain will go away on it's own after a few weeks with rest, ice, heat, gentle stretching.
    Let us know how things go for you.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • I made an appointment with a pain management doctor but can't get in till the end of the month. I called my doctor back and he prescribed me another anti-inflammatory, it still doesn't work. I made an appointment with a spine doctor, they see me Friday, and pt is tomorrow morning! Hopefully I will feel better after therapy but the spine doctor should help! It's been almost 2 months and feel like a invalid! I can't stand this pain anymore! Fingers crossed!!!
  • Gee i dont like the symptoms you are having

    I had the same ones, had an MRI and had spinal cor compression and had surgery to prevent paralyzation

    We all dont like going to doctors, but you really should see neurosurgeon or spine doctor.

    Hope you feel better soon


  • I have an appointment in 2 days with a spine doctor, I am really hoping I can get some relief with him! Does anybody know if headaches are a part of this too cause I've been getting headaches too! They aren't debilitating but come and go pretty quick! Kinda like a nerve shock but up instead of down!
  • up the back of you head, yes thye can be part of your neck issue, even along the side of your face and behind your ear almost like TMJ. I do clench my teeth while I am in pain though.
  • stenosisRosesstenosisRose Posts: 489
    edited 10/16/2013 - 1:01 PM
    From your shoulders or neck traveling up the back of your head and sometimes even furtger up to the top of your head.
    I try to message the muscles on the back of my head and it does give me some relief

    Headaches like you described are part of neck problems

    Did you try ice or heat?

  • Yes, constantly using a heating pad!
  • Therapy was not helpful atleast not the first visit...I didn't expect much though. She poked and prodded and does this hurt does this hurt, how about this... She tried to put me in traction and it caused to much pain and she took me out of it. She told me that I am a mess but that with 2 to 3 visits every week for a month that she could get me feeling better. She ended up just putting big suction cups all over my back and lower neck to help loosen up the muscles. I told her I was on muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory meds but if the nerve keeps firing then the muscles won't loosen up. I go to the spine doc tomorrow, I have faith that he is atleast going to get me some kind of releif! Thanks everybody you have been a real help.
  • davrunnerddavrunner Posts: 478
    edited 10/17/2013 - 8:10 AM
    Don't expect too much until they get some sort of diagnosis. Usually start with another set of x-rays and if the physical exam (nuero/reflexes/trigger points) support they may order an MRI which in my non-medical opinion you really need.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • jbnms99jjbnms99 Posts: 182
    edited 10/21/2013 - 1:34 AM
    I went to my new dr. on friday, he did all the usual tests on me, even the one where he pushes down on my head...ouch...
    He tested my reflexes but didn't say anything about them. He gave me a script for tramadol, its just a glorified tylenol. It isn't really doing much but it might help a little. He ordered an mri for this wednesday and then I see him again on friday to go over my mri. He said the mri will tell him if I need surgery or if he can do a pain block. Hopefully I can just get a shot...
  • Just wanted to tell u I am thinking of u. The process of finding out what's the matter...finding the right doc, dealing with PT sometimes helping and other times makes things worse...tests, .yikes. It's so difficult doing all the above especially while being in pain. Good luck at ur MRI , if it is ur first, beware of how very loud it is. I will be waiting to read how u make out and what the doc tells u. Alsmom
  • I am glad to hear you got the Dr. to order an MRI. Your symptoms are much more elevated than simple pain killers can fix. It drove me crazy when my Dr. said "PT will fix you up in no time. I am very confident PT will be enough."

    Headaches are certainly part of possible symptoms, as I experienced them as well.
  • jbnms99jjbnms99 Posts: 182
    edited 10/23/2013 - 11:34 PM
    I had another PT session yesterday and then my MRI. Physical therapy tried again to put me in traction and I couldn't stand it, my arm started cramping from the muscle spasms and the nerve shooting. Then they hooked me up to an estim machine and put a heating pad on me. The estim felt ok and the heat felt ok but as soon as they took it off I was worse than I was before I went because they had ticked that nerve off. PT told me that there wasn't much they could do for me if I couldn't do traction and massages were only helping temporary. I had my MRI immediately after that (boy that was fun) ha ha . It really wasn't that bad, I am claustrophobic but I just kept my eyes closed and my mind somewhere else and I sucked it up. I got my disc and I see my spine dr. tomorrow but I looked at my disc and I see 2 herniated discs, one isn't to bad and the other looks like a deep V going into my spinal cord. I can't wait until this crap is over with, its driving me crazy and is wearing me out.

    Thanks guys for letting me whine on here, I am trying to give some people some information about the process I am going through and all the hassle I am having to go through just to even get a real diagnosis. Because of all the junkies out there I can't even get any real pain medicine. I'm going to ask for something stronger tomorrow and maybe a different muscle relaxer that I can take more often than at bed time. Something that won't put me to sleep if that exists.
  • Wow, what a trip that was. I went back to my spine doctor, he looked at my mri and told me I have multiple disc bulges, there is like 7 of them in my neck, all of my discs are dehydrated, I have 2 discs that are herniated. He said that the 2 discs that are herniated there is only one that is pushing on my spinal canal but it isn't hitting my spinal cord. He gave me a different muscle relaxer to go along with the muscle relaxer I am taking but wouldn't give me anything for pain. He told me that if the pain medicine he already gave me wasn't helping then to quit taking it but he can't give me anything else. He wants me to do shots in my neck, he said I was a candidate for surgery but would just recommend the shots for now. He told me I could discontinue my PT because it wasn't helping. I agreed and asked when I could start the shots, he said tuesday but he only does them in his other office which is 50 miles away from my house and I need a driver and can't work that day. I know there is another doctor that does the shots that is only 10 or less miles away from my house and she is a pain management doctor so she would be able to help me out with the pain too. I really like the spine doctor but he just isn't helping the way I think he should. Any suggestions on what to do?
  • I have a very painful cervical spine herniation of my disc. My orthor wants to use epidural injections to alleviate the pain and my insurance company won't approve it because they said it isn't "medically necessary"! Whether anyone agrees with the insurance company or not where can I get information or evidence that says it is medically necessary? I am going to appeal their decision but I need some information to present my side of the case. Thank anyone who can help.
  • I have had to appeal a lot of things with my medical insurance. I think all you need to do is have your doctor fill out a form saying that it is medically necessary and send it to them. My wife's doctor had to do that for a few things. They are just trying to save themselves money. They are greedy!
  • You have been following all the right steps, and the Dr. is prescribing conservative treatment. You could be in pain for the next few years unless you and your Dr decide it's time for surgery. I had a dr tell me to take tylenol- I found another Dr to give me painkillers. Start calling friends, look on websites for Orthopedic Surgeons that are top rated in your state. It's worth an office visit and a copay to find a dr. that will give you meds. That's ridiculous! The shots hurt too! You are gonna need pain meds to get thru the shots- especially epidurals. There are natural Drs who believe in therapy and advil. Those are not for me either.

    I had cervical spine surgery in May 2 herniations. 2 weeks later for my post op visit he wouldn't give me pain meds. I went to my primary Dr and a Pain Management specialist. You have to be in control of your own healthcare.

    And lastly follow Drs orders (but use your brain too), get 2nd opinions, and only have surgery as last resort. It hurts.
    Good Luck
  • Thanks Kathy,
    I feel like they are gonna think im jumping from dr. to dr. but I can't get any of them to get me any relief. I go see a pain management dr. today and I am praying that she can help me out. I am on the verge of giving up on it and just living with the pain until I can't handle it any more and then going for surgery. I don't want to have surgery if I can avoid it, which was fine with my last dr. but he gave me non narcotic pain relievers and muscle relaxers and said that would fix me up. I gave it a try for 2 weeks, I took his pills just as prescribed and it gave me absolutely no pain relief, it made me feel all tense and felt like I was on an anti depressant but no relief. I looked up the drug, tramadol, and alot of people have luck with that but not me. I told him it made me feel funny and it didn't help and he said then don't take it anymore just take advil and muscle relaxers. It gets so aggravating. He was willing to do the shots but no pain killers. I don't understand why though. I am so trying to stay positive about this and I am following the doctors orders exactly as prescribed. I am praying that this dr. today is really going to help.
  • I went to my pain management doctor yesterday, funny thing is is that she did a more through work up of me than both of my other doctrors put together. She did the pin going down my arm to check for lowered sensations in my arm and fingers, she felt my neck and really worked me over. Thank god she didn't push down on my neck again, that was what I was dreading. She prescribed me some pain meds (FINALLY), and she also told me to keep taking my flexeril, but gave me a new kind of flexeril, a 24 hr capsul. It contains the same ingredients as flexeril just in a 24 hr capsule instead of the pill so it can dissolve slower and work longer. I go in a week to get an epidural in my neck, I really hope that helps some. She seemed like she really cared and was wanting to help me out. You can tell a doctor that feels your pain and a doctor that has never had that kind of pain before. I think I am seeing some relief in sight!!!
  • I went yesterday for my injection, and I go again next Tuesday for my second one. I wasn't really that bad, I felt alot of pressure, lots and lots of pressure but it only lasted about 5 minutes and I was done. It has been almost 24 hours since I had the injections and the numbness and tingling down my arm has reduced almost to 0. I had a few episodes where my fingers were tingling but that was it. I am still getting the muscle spasms and the cramps in my arm but I am hoping that will go away as well. I asked her if this injection was going to help me and she said it was supposed to, she said it will not take care of the herniated disc but it is supposed to take the pain away and she will help me with the disc problem after she helps relieve my pain. I am noticing as I am writing this that my left fingers aren't working very well, I am having to strain to get them to type this out. Atleast the tingling is gone for now, they said it might only help for a little while is why they have me scheduled for a second injection. I am also scheduled for a nerve test to see what nerve is firing and they can treat that too then. I still want to avoid surgery like the plague, I really don't want to have it unless I have exhaused all other options. I want it to go away and I want to feel like I did before all this happened and be completely 100 percent. My fingers are crossed.
  • grammaof9ggrammaof9 Posts: 263
    edited 11/12/2013 - 3:53 PM
    Need to see one. They Primary fooled around with me for awhile like a couple of years. Finally MRI. Gave me a tens unit physical therapy and finally needed 2nd opinion for L5/S1 surgery from ortho and when I went to see Neuro said 2more shots in back but had to have cervical surgery since spinal cord was inpinged so in June had a 4 level. Who knows maybe if done earlier not so many levels. Doing okay except physical therapist is brutal but I guess he has to be. My ROM is way better then I thought.
  • Are you getting any help from P.T.? If you aren't seeing any good come from it then I doubt they are really helping. I know my Physical Therapy was extremely expensive, thank goodness for insurance. I went 2 times and they billed my insurace over $800.00. I still have to pay for $150 of it but atleast I don't have to pay all of it. Even for that price though they didn't do anything for me that I wasn't already trying to do myself at home. I was trying everything I could to. My pain doctor does some alternative treatment too, you might try looking around for a doctor that does some of that if you are not seeing relief, I haven't had any of it done yet but I am sure it is on her list of things she is going to do to me, she offers DRS Protocol, Prolotherapy, and Platelet Rich Plasma therapy. I am willing to try anything and everything in order to avoid surgery.
  • Please keep us informed on the results of your shot. Could be the numbing agent is making the pain go away and once that wears off, you might experience same pain.
    60 year old male: See my Medical History tor full report on my condition, now diagnosed as Cervical Stenosis C5/C6 and C6/C7 moderate to severe.
  • That is whats going on, I was able to look up and actually look people in the eye on Monday night and Tuesday. I noticed last night that I was holding my head down again, It hurts to lift it up, sends shocks down my arm. On Tuesday I was feeling the shocks down my arm, better than before the shots but still feeling them occasionally. On Wednesday the shocks were increasing and I wasn't able to raise my head again. Today so far I am getting the shocks, and can't hold my head up even as much as I was last night. I am having a hard time controlling that arm, I can do it, it just takes more time for it to respond I guess. I go next week for more shots, I am scared that I am doing more harm than good. I don't want it to get worse than it was.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.