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Exercise and PT- herniated disks

NocurveneckNNocurveneck Posts: 2
edited 07/08/2015 - 4:04 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
hello! after experiencing shoulder pain (right shoulder) for months and going to massage therapy and a chiro - i finally went to a pain management place after i started getting numbness down right arm. did and mri and have a budging herniated disk at c5-c6. have been going to pt for last 5 weeks - have good days and bad days. i've noticed my arm numbness and soreness is worse since going to pt. has anyone else noticed that?

i was previously doing boxing classes and strength training. dr's said i could walk and do cycle, and elliptical, but no running, upper body strength, or impact to upper body. i did the elliptical today and right side is very sore. anyone else that has been very active and trying to modify based on herniated disks?

thanks in advance!

welcome to spine-health

one of the most important things that need members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. it is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. this is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

so many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. the more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, the fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

here are some questions that you should answer:
  • - when did this first start? . year, your age, etc
- was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- what doctors have you seen? (orthopedic, neurosurgeon, spine specialist, etc)
  • . which doctor did you start with? ie primary care physician . who are you currently seeing?
- what conservative treatments have you had? which ones?
  • . physical therapy . ultrasound / tens unit . spinal injections . acupuncture . massage therapy
- what diagnostic tests have you had? and their results (mri, ctscan, xray, emg, etc)
  • . summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them . how many different tests have you had over the years? similar results?
- what medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
  • . name of medication . how long have you been using this? . results
- has surgery been discussed as an option? (if so, what kind)
- is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- what is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

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what could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
you should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

it is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). it is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

i’ve had this for years, it hurts, i cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should i get?

diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. in many ways it’s like a game of clue. especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. the doctor is like a detective. they need clues to help them move along. so, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. that is like it is here. without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

specific comments :

personal opinion, not medical advice :

--- ron dilauro, spine-health system moderator : 07/08/15 22:07 est


  • You should not have both a buldge and a herniation. Once it herniates the inner material (purposis) floats out. The disc itself also starts breaking down and will ultimately collapse. There is no bulge left because the disc has popped.

    There is a lot of misunderstanding in the world about cervical herniations and you'll hear things like "it may go away on its own" or "doesn't that happen to everyone as we age". My response is yes but an 80-year-old man isn't running around and jumping and his disc has already dried out and it collapsed over a 50 year timeframe. There are no pieces of it landing on or pinching into spinal nerves. His body has prepared for that to occur.

    The bottom line is if you're one of the unlucky ones in which the herniated hole points toward the spinal column and the inner material or the disc pieces themselves land on or pinch into spinal nerves then you are in for many periods of pain and agony if left untreated. There is no treatment known to man that can remove the pieces only your body over time or a surgeon can do so. God help a person in which a broken piece of the disc finds new blood flow or other nutrients while sitting on a nerve.

    I don't know if you are in the unlucky category but I suspect so. The general rule is two months, anything outside of that and you are probably looking at a nerve injury which would imply that a piece of your disc is hitting a nerve. They have you going through treatments to see if you will get better but there is a second reason also. You have to do them for insurance purposes so don't stop until your doctor tells you to.

    The pieces are too deep in the body to get any lasting relief from things such as massage, ice, heat, creams, or TENs units. And it might be hard to believe but the pain and numbness can get worse. It can become unrelenting and that is extremely tiring. If you think you have a nerve injury then be selective with the activities that you do. The injury isn't going to get better on its own, not for a long time anyway, but you also don't want to make it worse. Stay away from high impact activities.

    Please continue all treatments that your doctor orders and if you find yourself in great pain try to remain calm and keep all of them on your side. They are there to help but they need accurate information from you to do so. That means telling the truth when a medication works and when it doesn't or when a given treatment provides relief or not. Please keep written notes.

    Best of luck

  • Thanks for the feedback. I am fortunate that my symptoms are manageable right now - just frustrating, as many can relate to. I am following doctor's orders and more than willing to try everything before surgery. I don't react well to meds, so hoping the injections will be okay and maybe give some relief.

    Just wondering if PT made it worse for some people. It's been about 5 weeks of PT and prior to that - total of 3 months with numbness in arm.

    I'm going to stick with walking and spin classes for now. :)
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