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New and need advice

I have a herniated disc at either C4 or C5 and I also have slight disc degeneration below that. I got the MRI of my neck 2 years ago and I have had lots of neurological problems with my condition. At my worst I have trouble standing and I get spells of dizziness. For a while I thought I had a neurological disease, but I am starting to realize it has to do with my spine. I like to lift weights for exercise, but I often injure/tighten my neck when lifting weights which seems to defeat the purpose. I have lost a lot of weight and my neck looks very skinny now, I hate it and its depressing. I am currently doing physical therapy. I am a 25 year old guy, turning 26 soon.

I noticed that I get weakness on one side of my body when I get neck pain and the tightness/sharp pain travels up the side of my head. The injury and tightness is on the left side of my neck. I tried to find the report for my last MRI to give more details but it seems to be not available because it was too long ago.

One thing that is strange that I get and I am wondering if others have this is I wake up most mornings being unable to open my eye. My left eye is shut and feels like it is too tired to wake up and open. Eventually after 10-15 minutes it is fine. Has anyone ever heard of this before? My doctors have no idea.

My main question is this: when is it a good idea to do another MRI to look for worsening of disc problems? Is surgery the last thing I would ever want to do? I feel very lost in all this, any advice is very appreciated.

Thank you,



  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Welcome to Spine-Health

    Please click on the above Welcome. It will lead you to information to best navigate the SH site and information to best benefit you.
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • If you have a herniation it will never heal. It will continue degrading until it ultimately collapses. The question on surgery depends on whether or not you have symptoms that are affecting your life. If you have symptoms then the assumption is that the broken disc fragments are touching on or pinching into cervical nerves.

    There is no treatment known to man, other than a surgical one that can remove the disc fragments. Your own body can do so over time but it's a very long process with multiple healing and pain stages along the way.

    Left untreated your disc will hang around for years as it falls apart. At the end you'll be left with an arhtitic type of neck pain due to the two veterbrae rubbing against one another. Whether or not the pain level is sufficient to drive a surgical intervention is a personal choice that is influenced by your own unique symptoms.

    Best wishes
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