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2 Bulging disc in my neck - and so much pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:37 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
My long story short is that I had lower back and right leg pain. I have a annular tear at L-5 casuing nerve damage in my right leg. I am 30yrs old.
Couple months ago I started having numbness in both hands when I raise my arm and when I lay down. I have headaches in the back of my head near my neck and chronic pain going up and down my neck. I also have sever shoulder pain in both shoulders that brings me to tears every night when it wakes me up.
I am current;y taking 2 15mg oxycodone and I am having a microdyscetomy on lower back on Friday. My surgeon seems to be brushing off my new pain with my upper extremities. I am not sure what to do with my new pain. I don't know if I can go another year of test, PT, Drug changes and pain due to my neck issues.

Anyone else have the same problem? I am so young and never been in a accident. I feel like I am falling apart and no one understands. My husband has been great and my 1 year old makes things a little tougher. I also work fulltime. I need pain relief and just don't know what to do anymore.


  • Welcome to Spine Health. And I am sorry to hear about your pains.

    How do you know you have 2 bulging discs in your neck? SOunds like you have had at least an MRI. Maybe you could share some more info on that part of your story. Alot of times people recognize a piece of a story.

    In general it sounds like the discs in your neck might be acting up. Neuro should be doing an EMG and conductivity tests.

    I have alot of the same pains and 3 bulging discs in my neck. The surgeon didn't feel the discs were the source of my problems so now I am working with a neurologist. I noticed that you are only taking a pain killer and not other meds that might stop the source of the pain instead of masking it. Again any info you can share might help others recognize themselves in your story.
  • Sorry about the details. I am so used to describing all my lower back issues I forgot the rest.
    I have had a MRI and xrays of my neck and shoulders. The xrays are clear and the MRI shows the bulging. I am on only pain med for my lower back, surgery is this Friday. I was on Lyrica but had some serious sides effects. I normally take 600mg of Ibprophren but can't this week do to surgery. For my lower back I did multiple shots and PT and nothing worked.

    My new pain is so intense I don't sleep much. It was frustrating to start having this new pain when relief for my lower back and leg was finally in sight. I hate to have more nerve damage. My hands and shoulders are important and this new problem makes taking care of daughter difficult.
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  • Hi and welcome to Spine-Health.

    You might be having muscle spasms in your back and shoulders due to your cervical disc bulges. Do you have any muscle relaxers? Before my surgery, the muscle spasms were so intense, just awful. If you don't have some already, ask your doctor if he could prescribe some for you.

    Go to the topic Pain Medications and the sticky at the top of the page is Medications 101 where you can see the different kind of muscle relaxers that are available.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Is it possible that you are stressing over your surgery coming up which has resulted in the issues you feel recently with your neck and shoulders? One thing that doctors do, is focus on the "chief complaint" and deal with that before attacking other issues. I'm just wondering if your doc is merely focusing on your lower back at the moment and waiting to see how your other issues stand post op. The anesthesia for your Friday surgery may do well towards helping to relax the muscles in your neck and shoulders.

    Just some thoughts.

  • Good thoughts. I defiantly think stress is a factor. I also do not have any muscle relaxers. I have got to the point were I hate to take pills now. I think I might just wait it out, focus on my lower back recovery and then see how my neck feels.

    Maybe you guys are right in that my stress has caused additional tension in my neck which is causing spasms. I hope you all feel better also.

    I am so happy to have found some people to share my feelings with that can actualy understand.

    Is there a difference between a bulge and herniation?
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  • You can find the information regarding herniated discs, pinched nerve and disc bulges here.


    Basically, discs are like jelly filled donuts.

    With a bulge, the jelly is spreading into the donut space but still contained within the donut itself.

    With a herniation, the jelly has broken through the donut and is no longer contained within the donut itself.

    Very simplistic, I know, but that example is very
    appropriate and widely used.
  • Hello,

    I am fairly new to this forum and also still seeking answers myselfe but I have many of the same problem's.I have very intense pain in my neck and back of my head. My neck muscles get very tense and that is when my headaches come.I have every kind of equitment that a physical theropst office would have in my house so I can do self treatment whenever I need.Still some headaches last for days and the meds and treatment won't stop the pain. I am also to young to have all these problems 34 and also never bin in any kind of car accident.My headaches started about 2 years ago and after going to my primary care Doctor for several months and taking different medications with no relief I finally got him to ok a MRI and it found Bulging Disk and some Disc degeneration and was labeled to have Degenerative Disc Disease. I spent the last year and a half trying to get treatment with more med's and physical therapy.It helps some what but it is not a cure.I went to a Neurosurgeon and he wanst to do fusion surgery. I am scared of surgery beacuse I never had any type of surgery in my life and also have a 2 year old son witch I stay home with at the time and I cant think of how I would deal with the recovery time.My main thing is that if I need surgery I want to make sure it is going to fix the problem.I don't trust the doctors they all have different opinions on where my pain is coming from. I am starting to think my pain is not even related to my Disc Bulging.Some of my doctors think my problem is stress related causing bad tension headaches.I am starting to think this may be the case.One of my doctors told me to avoid stress and I was like how do you avoid stress with a 2 year old and the pain its self is stressful.But I went on a vacation a few weeks ago and I didn't have nearly the pain as a usual week so maybe there is something to it.Hopefully your new pain is also stress related and after you back pain is fixed your neck pain will go away with it. Good luck.
  • It sounds like you need to see another neurosurgeon. If one surgeon told me surgery I would want to get another opinion. Some conditions do require surgery to prevent further damage. In these cases time if important.

    Stress is a big factor in pain. YOu might want to try a few things like a meditation class, yoga or just some changes to your daily routine to give you some time out. Walks with a two year old can give you some calm time. See if your library or local church has a story time or mommy and me class. I know when my kids were that age I was frustrated and overwhelmed. Look for things to give you structure in your day and occupy your child.
  • Good mornin to you Rudejude,
    I hope your surgery went well and you get the relief you're looking for. As for your neck issues,I have had 2 ACDF's,and currently have 2 bulging disks.I have DDD,retrolithesis,and spondylosis. My Dr had me do cervical injections,that may help you.Do you take any type of muscle relaxant? That too may give you some relief. By the way,I was 32 when I started having problems with my neck. Not to suggest you need surgery,but in the event you do,my neck surgeries were very successful,and relatively easy to recover from.Have a nice weekend,and don't be lifting that baby!!!!! Take care Sagehen
  • I noticed you mentioned shoulder surgery. Did this have anything to do with either of your acdf surgeries? I ask because I had acdf c5-c7 on 7-27-09. My pain was never in my shoulder. The tingleing was in my arm that stopped after the acdf but 6 weeks post surgery I started having shoulder pain. My last mri was ok the ns has now sent me to a shoulder specialist.

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