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2 herniated disks in cervical spine, bulging disk and mild arthritis

I got the diagnosis for the bulging disk and the 2 herniated disks in my cervical spine, through an MRI.
The mild arthritis in my cervical spine, with facet joint inflammation and trigger points were discovered at a pain clinic later on. I also have significant numbness in both arms. Muscle spasms are also present.
My pain is generally chronic. Sometimes the pain will stop for a few days but it is generally most of the day.
As far as I know, herniated disks are supposed to heal on their own for most people but its been over 6 months regarding the level of intense pain. For five days, I had most of my pain gone, but it always comes back intense.

I mean I'm at the end of my rope. I just had to leave my primary physician because he wouldn't script my percocets anymore but fortunately I have an alternate doc that will.
I also got corticosertoid injections but they only stopped the pain for about 4 days, then it came back just as bad.

Another issue regarding opiod therapy is how difficult it is to maintain with doctors. My last primary physician was "anti"opiate prescribing and my alternate doctor seems to be liberal abut it(and that's the way it should be if you have ACUTE chronic pain). I might even get this alternate doc to write a note for my future primary physician(which I am currently looking for) regarding how beneficial opiods are for my pain and that I DID NOT abuse them and use them responsibility(if we would do that for me). Opiods are the only thing that stop my pain because my pain is truly debilitating.
My pain gets so intense, so frequent, that without the oxycodone, in the percosets, I will not be able to walk.

Is it possible I have additional pain diagnosis to be discovered, like neuropathy?Is pain this intense supposed to last this long? Do bulging disks heal on their own? What other options for pain are available for chronic severe pain, other than opiods and injections for chronic pain?
(BTW, the central herniated disks are at the c5-c6 and its in minimal contact with the cervical spine. The herniated disks are small but that doesn't mean they HURT LIKE HELL!)
Thank you for the support guys!
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    You spoke of an "alternate" doctor. I'm not familiar with that.

    With my chronic pain, my primary tried to work with it about two years before referring me to pain management.
    She was not comfortable with the long term opiate use and required monitoring, etc...
    And also, not comfortable with not having found a good diagnosis to explain all my pain and other symptoms.

    The PM doctor immediately did variety of additional testing and did find other areas of my spine effected and contributing to my pain.
    PM then had more information to be able to better treat me and keep me out of the ER.

    And PM also speaks of possible plans B, C, etc...for possible future care.
    I keep all my doctors in the loop re my care, med changes, new meds ordered by any of my doctors I relay to the others, etc..

    So, pain management specialist best thing for me!
    I wish you the best in your search for new primary doctor...and in your pain control.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I was referred to one pain clinic but they don't seem to want to prescribe opiots to patients. So they aren't really a "real pain clinic". So my family doc referred me to them but they were essentially useless, so he referred me to another pain specialist that seems more appropriate, but he should have just referred me to him in the first place!
    Also, other pain clinics take forever to get referral to ! I just want to cry about it all. Its been so difficult.
    apparently significant for the use of posting on a thread
  • My herniations didn't look " that bad" on MRI either. They looked like they were just barely kissing my spinal cord. After 19 months of conservative treatment and debilitating pain including debilitating headaches I finally found a neurosurgeon willing to help me. And I ended up having surgery and when he went in, my herniation turned out to be a disc that was completely obliterated and disc matter was sitting on top of my spinal cord. There is always a possibility that something else Is going on that the MRI is not showing. So I would recommend going to a specialist like a neurosurgeon. And I have been very fortunate as I'm still needing opiates and my neurosurgeon prescribes them accordingly.
  • I'll try to find a specialist.
    apparently significant for the use of posting on a thread
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