First of all, I'd like to say that I'm new to Spinal Health, but have been doing a lot of research lately, and was hoping to get some helpful input. I'm a 23 year-old college student, and am really in need of some guidance!
I have always had shoulder pain, as long as I can remember. Always on the inside of my left shoulder blade, and it's always a "knot" about the size of a ping pong ball. I usually attributed it to sleeping wrong, and have received chiropractic care multiple times. I've also had numerous massages both Shiatsu and Deep Tissue.
I recently woke up with the same shoulder pain, and began regular chiropractic visits. The problem seemed to stay the same, and I received a deep tissue massage per my Chiropractor's suggestion. Over the course of two weeks my shoulder began to get worse, with the pain spreading specifically into my deltoid. The pain had changed from a normal dull ache to a sharp spasm that resonated through the top half of my arm. I also found that my thumb and index finger had a tingly/numbness feeling.
I continued seeing the Student Health clinic here on campus, and was prescribed minor pain meds, given and X-ray and told to "ride it out". The pain got worse and worse, to the point I was only sleeping 2-3 hrs/night. I should also mention that I've been using both heat and ice of the areas.
I was finally given an MRI (after many ER visits) and my results were a Herniated C5/C6 Disc. I wasn't surprised by the results, due to the amount of research I had done, but the Doctor hasn't been able to figure my shoulder pain out.
My doctor has started me on a smorgasbord of medications(Vicodin, Valium, Naproxen, and Nortriptyline for the nerve pain). He also has be wearing a Miami J collar 24hrs/day. The plan is to monitor my pain for the next month, and see where what happens. I'm glad that they believe it can be cured without surgery, but after a month of excruciating pain trying to get the diagnosis, another 2 months seems like a long time to wait for relief. I should also mention that before the Naproxen I was eating Ibuprofen like candy.
However, I can deal with the neck pain, but my BIGGEST and most painful concern is my shoulder spasms and overall muscle pain in that area. Even with all of the painkillers/ muscle relaxers I'm on the pain is almost unbearable. I still use heat/ice multiple times daily, and have found most relief from taking long hot showers. It does feel good to lightly massage and stretch the spasming muscles, but my Doctor has discouraged strenuous neck movement (made obvious by the neck brace :/.
So I'm okay with the treatment for the actual Cervical Herniated Disc, but my question really dwells upon my shoulder pain. Has anyone experienced shoulder/arm pain like this associated with a herniated cervical disc? I'm fairly young for this type of condition, especially with no known cause for the issue. What are the best treatment options to relieve the pain in my shoulder? Like I said-I can deal with my neck, but the pain I experience in my shoulder is unlike anything I've encountered (even with the pain killers).
Any of your input is more than welcomed. I'm really just looking for some advice and or reassurance with my condition. I'm scheduled for a consultation with Neurosurgery at the end of the month, but in the meantime, any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.