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Herniated cervical discs

I have been struggling with 2 herniated discs in my neck now for almost 2 years. I am waiting g to get a 2nd opinion with a new specialist since my last one basically told me I needed to change my lifestyle. It can flare up from sleeping wrong so what the heck am I to do? I tried epidural injections that didn't work and put me in more pain for about 4 hours after. Do they ever heal or is surgery necessary? I am tired of the nerve pain
Carie McCullough
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Comments

  • I can't answer your question but I can offer support. I started getting tremendous nerve pain in December of this year and am still having it. It's MUCH better but I still feel it pretty much every day here or there. I've had an epidural too--made it worse because I couldn't sleep for two weeks, and I, like you, am affected by sleeping wrong or not sleeping well. It did nothing to affect the pain at all. I worried myself into a flatspin thinking I had a pan coast tumor and finally got a ct scan, which came back clear, so at that point I just decided, screw it, I can just deal with this as long as it isn't something horrible. I had an MRI of my neck which showed a "slight herniation" at C-6 and C-7 and the PCP i was seeing at that time said that sometimes people have that and have no symptoms at all so he couldn't even say conclusively that that was the cause of my pain. Since the ct scan came back clear and I have improved and have developed no further symptoms I believe that it is the herniation, and I think I know the event that caused it as well. 

    The things I did that seemed to make a difference were to always try to sleep flat on my back with no pillow; to lay on a Pilates ball on my back and stretch my back and neck around the ball by extending my legs; walk on the treadmill every day for half an hour at a speed of 4mph. I NEVER sleep the way I used to,w which is on my stomach or right side with my arm stretched up under the pillow. I also try not to lift anything heavy but that doesn't usually work. I did stop using the weight machines at my gym because I'm pretty sure that's what caused it. What are the lifestyle changes you were recommended? 
  • Hello, Carieannjason!

    It's so hard when even sleeping wrong (how on earth can you help THAT???) can put you in a world of hurt!!  Could you elaborate on what the first doctor said about changing your lifestyle?  Do you have an occupation that puts extra stress on this part of your body?

    I didn't have any luck with the epidurals for my lumbar spine...they are hit or miss for some of us! 

    Conservative methods aren't just limited to injections, and different things work for different people!  There's an article in here called The Blend (you can do a search for it in the upper right hand corner of this page) about we all find our own "blends" in terms of treatments.

    I'd like to welcome you to Spine-Health!  Please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started!

    Welcome to Spine-Health  

     
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510

    Carieannjason

    Can you tell us more?  Where is you pain? does it come and go, or are there better says than others?  What more can you tell us about your symptoms?

    Do the discs heal?  Well, I don't really know, but I have read members report that their symptoms have gone away.  So I think that it is possible. 

    But, the question then becomes can you wait for it to heal?  For me, I give it my best shot to avoid surgery, but needed to get on with my life and my job, so after 6 months I gave in and had surgery.


    Bruce

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • Thanks for the reply. The problem I am dealing with is work. I work in a factory and drive a tug and forklift as well as lift parts all day long. I just want some relief. It is not only affecting work but my intimate life with my husband. 2 years has been long enough. I hope yours gets better soon
    Carie McCullough
  • Yes, I work in a factory. I drive a tug as well as forklift and lift parts all day. Believe me if I could quit I would. 
    Carie McCullough
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  • I have been dealing with this off and on for almost 2 years. It is mainly my left side, when they act up it causes my left arm to go numb, and I have weakness in both arms. My shoulder feels lilenits on fire, and I have limited range of movement in my neck without pain. 
    Carie McCullough
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510
    Carie

    How often does it act up?

    Bruce

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • I guess the lifestyle change the doctor suggested was a different job, am I right? I'm so sorry. I hope you are able to find relief soon. I know how awful it is. I am afraid that the lifting is probably going to prevent you from ever healing. This is how I hurt myself in the first place. You're going to have to change something if you want to get better. 
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