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Cervical Neck Disc Herniation

Ok, I am new to this, just got diagnosed with this last Friday. I have been having stiff necks that last for days to weeks for a few years now, but back in August I got one that also included pain in my lower neck, shoulder, my left tricep and forearm and my fingers all but my pinky tingle. I fought it for a long time (6 weeks) and couldn't stand it anymore and decided it wasn't going to go away on its own. I made a doctors appt and went to see a sports doctor. He pushed down on my head to see what made it hurt and checked to make sure it wasn't carpel tunnel in my arm. He said I had a cervical herniated disc more than likely and prescribed 5 days of 50 Mg prednisone and some flexeril 5mg for 5 days and said I should feel much better in 3 days but to keep taking it for 5 days anyway. I called him after 3 days and told him it wasn't any better what so ever. Still pain radiating down my arm still pain in my neck and fingers still tingle. He did x-rays and said that he wants to start physical therapy, and that is all. I asked him for something to help with the pain and he told me no, to take some tylenol and no advil as long as I was on the prednisone. I finished my last dose of prednisone last night and I can feel the pain returning back to its original state only now my tricep is twitching also. I was hoping that he could atleast give me something for my pain besides tylenol (hich doesn't help at all). I can't get into therapy for another week and I worry that he isn't going to help me out, what can I do or what should I do? Any help or advise here would be nice. I can't even sleep, the pain wakes me up because I can't sleep on my back or sides for very long at all or the pain is unbearable. Thanks


  • The Dr should order more test if he suspects a herniation, to confirm his suspicions. Did he expalin your xrays to you at all? If you are off predisone, try the other over the counter meds that reduce inflammation.
    I hate when they press down on your head, and request they do not do that to me.
  • No, the doc didn't order any more tests, and I don't even have an appt. set up to see him. He ordered the x-rays, his nurse called and said the x-rays look normal (which is what they were hoping for) and to start physical therapy. He told me that if pt doesn't work then they will look at putting me in traction. Then injections, then an mri if that doesn't help. Honestly, I can't afford to be off of work for surgery so I am okay with all the run around and have faith that it will work but can't hardly stand the pain sometimes. I think being a sports doctor that he would be more willing to help me deal with the pain.

    Sometimes I feel like maybe I need to seek out another doctor. I am not a doctor person, I haven't been to the doctor in 12 years and now that I need one I understand why I haven't been, its like they don't care.

    Before the prednisone I had tingling in my fingers and pain in my back and shoulder and arm, now after being off of the prednisone for 24 hours my finger tips are numby if thats a word, they aren't completely numb but are kinda. Still have the pain in my back and shoulder and my arm. I am going to start back on advil since I have been off the prednisone for a day now, just didn't want to do anything to compromise the drug.

    Does anyone else think I need a new doctor or am I just not being patient enough? Should I just live with the pain and do the therapy and see if that helps? I feel like a cry baby!
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  • I am not sure what a 'sports Dr" is but if it an ortho, they could be a specialist in knees and not know much about the spine neck. Try and find a spine Dr or Neurosurgeon. They will still do the test and be conservative with PT if they think that will help. If you have a teaching hospital anywhere near you start there, student MDs like to be complete and try and find answers.
    The statistics are in your favor, most are helped with PT, proper meds,and personal health care decisions- no smoking, proper diet. spine pain makes a lot of us want to cry, it is no picnic. Good luck and I would not see a chiro with a possible herniation.
  • I figured he specialized in sports injuries which I would assume include neck, shoulder, arm, legs. I don't know. I guess I will wait until I have my pt appt. and go from there. I can't believe any doctor would just let you sit for a week in pain for a week just because he doesn't want to mask the pain. His nurse told me that neck and back pain isn't something you should take pain pills for because that is something you want to be aware of. I am completely aware of the pain I am in and I can guarantee that there isn't any pill that will take it completely away just want some comfort for a few days. I want to be able to watch a tv show without my arm feeling like it is falling off or to get a good nights sleep. I have thought about making an appointment to see a pain management doctor, my sister in law said she goes to and she told me that she would help me out. I am on a proper diet, and I do smoke but minimally (I know none is better), and gonna have to live with this pain that is worse now than when it began for another week. I still have muscle relaxers left and I am still taking them but they aren't really helping. Thanks!
  • I had to get a referral to Pain Management but I am not sure how that works for you. My husband had a MD that was sports medicine, specialized in shoulders only, even though I have pain around my shoulder and down my arm. I would not go to him for my neck. I made a lot of phone calls trying to get information from different Dr offices, what they specialized in, what kind of insurance they took, etc. some office staff can be very helpful in pointing you in a good direction in your area. If you get the # from your SIL for PM, call and talk and ask lots of questions. Information will help you make the right decisions for you. Feel better soon.
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  • I will get that number from her and I will see what they will reccommend
  • a walk in patient, they have to be referred either by primary or ortho.
    Be careful when doing PT since you don't know what is causing your symptoms. If they ask you to do something and it makes your symptoms worse make a note of it and let the therapist know.
    If PT doesn't help clear up your symptoms, especially the tingling and numbness it may be time to get an MRI or see board certified spine Dr either ortho or nuero.
    Most Drs take a conservative approach to back pain unless you were in an accident. Most back pain will go away on it's own after a few weeks with rest, ice, heat, gentle stretching.
    Let us know how things go for you.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • I made an appointment with a pain management doctor but can't get in till the end of the month. I called my doctor back and he prescribed me another anti-inflammatory, it still doesn't work. I made an appointment with a spine doctor, they see me Friday, and pt is tomorrow morning! Hopefully I will feel better after therapy but the spine doctor should help! It's been almost 2 months and feel like a invalid! I can't stand this pain anymore! Fingers crossed!!!
  • Gee i dont like the symptoms you are having

    I had the same ones, had an MRI and had spinal cor compression and had surgery to prevent paralyzation

    We all dont like going to doctors, but you really should see neurosurgeon or spine doctor.

    Hope you feel better soon


  • I have an appointment in 2 days with a spine doctor, I am really hoping I can get some relief with him! Does anybody know if headaches are a part of this too cause I've been getting headaches too! They aren't debilitating but come and go pretty quick! Kinda like a nerve shock but up instead of down!
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