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Herniated disc at C5, Shoulder, head, back pains, help!



  • Just last Thursday I started taking muscle relaxers for the pain and tightness in the neck/shoulder/arm. On my not so bad days, they really have helped however yesterday and Sunday were both horrible days they didn't touch it. I have herniated discs at c4/5, 5/6 and 6/7 but doc says they're 'minor and nothing to worry about'. I'm beginning to disagree more and more with this statement though. My hope is that physical therapy and massage therapy will help (I start next month with both of those). I got the cervical epidural injection and it did nothing for me but there are some who do get relief from them. Maybe you should ask your doctor about that option. I hope you are able to find something soon to help you. Good luck!! :)))
  • Could anyone tell me what the symptoms are of any of these levels? The doc keeps telling me that it looks good on x-rays, but it sure hurts. Please pm me about this.
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  • Angela:

    I wish you all the luck in Physical Therapy and Massage Therapy. They do help. They couldn't cure my problem but it is what I had tried first in figuring out what was wrong. If your lucky, you can get a man with really strong hands to work some of the pain out for you. I felt much better getting some alleviation of pain from the e-stem (electric shock thingies) and the nice massages. Nice big heat packs too. :X Love that stuff! It just feels so good :D Good Luck in feeling better!!
  • I was on Lexapro for little over 1 year for fatigue. Worked fine for a while, but stopped working. I am now on Cymbalta.
    Ask your doctor to give this a try.
  • It is my understanding that cervical disc/herniated disc problems give you pain in the side and back of neck, arm/arms, and hand/s. The pain can be described as achy dull naggin pain, burning pain. Also can have numbness off and on in the arm or fingers. Depending on what levels it affects certain fingers or muscles in the hand and arm. It can give weakness in the hand or arms depending how bad it is.

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  • Thanks guys for telling me your stories and experiences. It is good to know there are other people I can relate to right now. Being 26 I just never thought you could have problems with your spine. I was a dancer for a number of years, had a difficult birth, and passed out once at a doctors bathroom and ended up on the floor, and was in one car wreck where it spun the car around and I blanked out for a few seconds. So I mean all these things could have lead up to my problems now...
    I'm going to my reg doc for something else in a few days, I'll ask him what he thinks and I see the neuro in two weeks.
  • I have levels C5-T1 fused already and I am having problems again, I was wondering if these symptoms that I am having could be from the levels above the fusion. They keep telling me that the tingling in my arm and hand could only be from C6-C7. PLEASE HELP!!! Could whoever answer this please pm me?
  • In April, I had ACDF surgery on C5-C6 and C6-C7. I had a bulge (herniation) in the disc at C5-C6 that had reduced the width of my spinal cord by more than half. At C6-C7 I had a bony growth pressing on the nerve exiting the column. The surgery was performed due to the severity of the C5-C6 problem, and the other was repaired at the same time. My symptoms were varied, as (in retrospect) time progressed and the damage worsened. I had pain and tightness in my shoulders for several years that I attributed to stress. I had developed a burning pain in one shoulder blade. I never had numbness in the arms or hands, which my doctor found unbelievable. Then during the holidays, I began experiencing a tingling sensation all over my body, literally from head to foot. It would begin at any time and last about 30 seconds, and the frequency of the 'spells' grew rapidly. My doctor sent me to a neurologist, who ran many, many tests. The last was an MRI, which showed the compromised spinal cord. After that, surgery was a foregone conclusion. Before the surgery was performed, my left leg "blew up" on me....it literally felt as if there was a blowtorch on it from the knee to ankle. I've never had pain as horrendous in my life. I was lucky to get the best neurosurgeon in the metroplex, and all has gone well since surgery, with the exception of a few little "shadow" pains that occasionally crop up again, but go away. That's when I learned that pain can occur at any point in your body below the area of your herniation. The cervical spine can literally cause pain anywhere in your whole body. My neurosurgeon gave me a medication that was originally used for seizures, but has been found to work well on nerve pain. Normal pain meds are not designed for nerve pain. It is called Neurotin. The generic name for the med is Gabapentin. It is a godsend.

    I'm now back to working out, riding bikes, doing yoga, and using my inversion table. I really think that stretching and staying limber helps a great deal, as does strenthening the muscles around weak areas in your spine. The inversion table is very relaxing...try it with soft lights and music. Best of luck to everyone with back pain.......it's just not how I pictured myself at this age.
  • I had mine out of the blue.
    The burning pain on te right arm and sharp pain on the right back shoulder blade. The numbness on the right fingers (thumb, index, middle and ring)came over the weekend while in the hospital. They turn cold feeling.

    Surgery is an option for me else I will be paralyse for my right arm and hand.

    MRI will be a good option to see the details. I was x-ray by the A&E doctor and she said nothing wrong with me and send me home. The pain persisted and I persisted with her and finally I was place in observation ward for 3/4 day and they did a fast track to admit me. While in the observation ward, I received 5 painkiller injections and they didn't help at all the relieve the pain.

    The A&E dortor was very wrong to tell me that mine was a muscle spasm.

    Finally admitted and in the hospital room, the right doctor came to see me and after assessing me, he knew what was already wrong and causing the pain. Next scheduled me for MRI and the rest is history. YOu can read more of my happenings in my thread in this forum.


    1. We have this forum with so much information to share and find out
    2. Seek 2nd opinion
    3. The doctor is not always right
    4. Google more
    5. Insist on options to be open to you

    I only find out this forum after I am back home from hospital after my surgery. I am glad I made the right decision for the surgery.

    As a avid runner, I listen to my body and I knew the pain is no ordinary pain and nor muscle spasm.

    I looked straight into the A&E doctor's eyes and said "Are you sure....Are you really sure?". She was in fear and thus decided to put me to the observation ward. If I have taken her words and went home that morning 9th July, I would have to come back many times seeing different A&E doctor on duty and it could be worse.

    Cheers !
  • Hi, I have herniated c5 & c6. Dealing with it since 1989 & I'm 38 now, but no surgeries... yet! I love heat & traction. I have 2 traction devices at home (1 is the Posture Pump & the other is Pronex), oh & I also have a cervical massager by Inter Health (interhealth.com). I purchased all of these off of ebay for much less. I don't really like the pronex traction because I pump the air to the max & it crushes my ears... ouch. I'm planning on getting the Saunders Home Traction Delux (around $200 on ebay). It looks & sounds much more efficient than the one I have. I would prob. do that with heat + ice after. I do really like my cervical massager, its very strong + I can lay my neck in different direction, so that it massages directly on my cervical spine area + it's awesome on my shoulder! It really gets my circulation & blood flow going to those "dead areas".

    I do go to my chiropractor every so often when... could you believe... my neck is even more out of place than norm & I just want to chop my head off!!! I also have her do ultrasound on the area (this repairs + goes much deeper than the tens machine, but tens feels really good too).

    For meds I use to take a bunch of different things, but now it's just 10 or 20mg of Flexeril & either 2 Advil or 2 Aleve at bed time. If I'm in a lot of pain during the day then I'll take some of the above. Oh, and you can also try Medical Marijuana. I have used it before and it really relaxes my muscles, but I could only use when I was home + didn't have to go anywhere. I also take vitamins.. a daily multi, B complex, Glucosamine and Chondroitin (helps to repair damage)& a Flaxseed with omega 3 (i get a nice organic one at costco for a great price).

    I find that stretching helps a lot & a good nights sleep is PRICELESS! I sleep with a Temper Pedic pillow & recently just purchased a latex mattress (had it for 3 weeks now & I've been sleeping really well on it). A really long, hot bath with epsom salts & lavender oils really relax & sooth my muscles.

    I've tried Prolotherapy, acupuncture, cupping & cortisone injections directly into the c5 & c6 + surrounding areas. Unfortunately none of these helped me.

    Hope some of this info. is useful :).
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