Potential cervical degenerative disc disease

First time poster.

Been having some very moderate stiffness in neck for quite a while now. I had a shoulder operation 10 year ago which has never been same and always put it down to effects of that.

I do a lot of weight training however and on Friday gone this very moderate discomfort has become an unbearable pain after gym sesssion from bottom of my neck travelling across back of shoulder and some discomfort in right arm also.

I have been given naproxen and codeine which isn’t really touching the pain. 

On Monday I went to see an osteopath who was reluctant to do much after some initial prodding as he wanted to wait until MRI results. I get an MRI scan on 22nd February. He did however given pain I’m in, the area it’s coming from and fact I’ve been put in for an urgent referral suggested it could be disc trouble.

I’ll be honest I’m actually very frightened as the pain is very intense and the thought of something so serious happening to me at only 39 is really scaring me.

Has anyone else had similar issues?

Thanks in advance




  • Welcome mrjardine we’re glad you’re here!

    Your feelings are understandable, there are a lot of us here that have had very similar experiences, I am one of those, around 2 years ago, I woke up with my neck and arm hurting with numbness in my hand, just thought I slept wrong, long story short, I had an MRI which showed 3 ruptured disc which resulted in surgery. Surgery and recovery went well and everything is fine now. I didn't tell you that story to scare you, what I want you to take from it is this, even if your situation requires surgery, it's usually not as bad as we fear.

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you visited the Neck Pain Health Center on Spine-health? It has a comprehensive list of neck pain articles you might find helpful, including Common Causes of Neck PainHome Remedies for Neck Pain and Dizziness, and How to Treat a Stiff Neck.  

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Back in October/November I stretched while sitting in a chair and felt a pop kind of sensation in my back and the next day there was a lot of pain in my shoulder, arm and hand.  I was in a LOT of pain, bad enough they gave me a nerve pain medication, gabapentin.  I have two bulging discs in my neck, C5-C6 and C6-C7.

    Aside from the occasional ache in my arm the pain is gone today.  I was on gabapentin for pain, meloxicam to reduce inflammation, and in physical therapy.  I was a physical therapy dropout but continued most of the exercises on a mostly regular basis.  Yesterday I was given the green light to stop the medication and I go back to the orthopedic surgeon IF the pain comes back, because at this point nothing more is needed.

    Go to the doctor.  Try for physical therapy, and do what they tell you to do, don't supplement with your own weight training unless your PT says okay to specific exercises.  See if they will transition you from a narcotic to a nerve pain medication.  See if they think that an anti-inflammatory stronger than naproxen would be of help.

    Good luck!

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