I had cervical discectomy & fusion surgery (levels 4-5, 5-6, 6-7 with hardware) 3 1/2 weeks ago and my surgeon says that a lot of the pain that I am experiencing is caused by the hard collar. I have excruciating muscle tension headaches that do not respond whatsoever to narcotic pain meds. I have experienced some relief from taking migraine medicine though the relief is very short lived and my health insurance will only allow me to fill a one month's prescription once a year. I'm also having a great deal of muscle pain in my shoulders and back - which he also says is the result of the collar.
I went back to work 2 weeks post op, which was probably a mistake but since my Dr said that was all the recovery time I needed it was all I was allowed to take. Right now I'm in a great deal more pain than I was before I had the surgery and more than a little bit discouraged because none of my symptoms have improved.
I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and if their symptoms and headaches did go away after taking off the collar? Any ideas on how to handle the pain until then?