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Recovery time for bulging disc C5-C6?

raquerraque Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi there,

I have a bulging disc C5-C6, with nerve impingement. My question to anyone with similar injuries is what has been your recovery time? Appreciate it differs from person to person, however, I injured my neck one year ago and whilst I have come a long way since the initial injury, I am in some level of pain 24/7 and trying to limit medication(Codeine).

I was initially given the run around from various doctors for 3 months when I injured myself. Then moved to a Chiro but finally settled on an Osteopath, who I've been seeing for the last 8 months.

I'm concerned it's been one year and I'm still struggling. Can anyone shed any light, how long has it taken you to recover?



  • Like you said... it is completely different for each individual. Some people do fully recover from a bulging/herniated disc, and some don't and require surgery. I was one of those that required surgery. I had flare ups of pain for 4-5 years, and throughout that time the flare ups became more and more frequent and lasted longer and longer until finally in early January of this year a flare up came and never went away.

    There are other things you can do like physical therapy and injections. Hopefully you are able to do those, and hopefully they give you relief. If not I hope you find a surgeon you can trust and get the courage to have surgery.

    Also, MRI's don't always show everything. I know quite a few people (myself included) that had surgery and they were a lot worse off than the mri showed.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Do not continue in pain,if you have pain 24-7 the disc is probably ruptured and will begin pressing on nerve root.Degenerative disc don't get better see a neurosurgeon I just had acdf surgery after dealing with pain and pills for years.
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  • Welcome to Spine Health :)

    A year is plenty of time for a disc to heal. I think most doctors say if it hasn't gotten better in 3-4 months it probably isn't going to.

    When was the last time you had an MRI? Have you had a surgical consult?

    I encourage you to do both if you can.

    Also keep your eyes open for any nerve compression etc. Pain or numbness/tingling in your arms/hands/fingers- the feeling of tennis elbow. Scapular pain, shoulder pain etc.

    Feel Better,

  • hi everybody I also have a bulging disc which is a complication of a disc degenerative disease c5 c6. i already had an MRI and it clearly sees thatmy disc has bulged and it touches my nerves and it hurts and scares the hell out of me. am I going to die with this?
  • You might want to start your own thread for best responses...but... "Are you going to die" due to disk issues? Most likely NOT....

    Some disk issues shrink back, some can be resolved with a "microdisectomy" (nibbling out the bad section of disk - eg, pressing on a nerve). Others with conservative treatment (PT, chiro, shots etc) My first two fusions I didn't know about sites like this, and too I thought the world was ending for me. Totally normal!! :)

    You have come to the right place for understanding and support!! My first fusion was my C5/6 (on the cord)....

    Sniff around here a bit, and use the search box at the top of the web page for some of your questions. You have found yourself in a great place!!! Welcome aboard!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • I'm a classic example for this question. My accident was back in 1990. Hit from behind so hard by a monster truck with big wheels way off the ground - hit me so hard his front bumper was pushing in my backseat and my trunk was on the ground. That was over 20 years ago. I did the chiro for a few years and meds until I got my neck to the point I could deal with it. Forward to 2011, and I suddenly wake up feeling like I have a knife in my back and completely numb arm. Lots of docs, meds, therapy, epidurals. But in the ends complete herniation on 3 levels, complete nerve compression on 3 levels from huge bone spurs growing silently over all these years. Crazy!

    But if I didnt' have that horrible pain in my back just recently, I would never have known how much damage was still there. I'm almost 5 weeks post op - 3 level fusion ACDF. Super thankful I had it done. Still have muscle spasms some, and some arm pins and needles - but heck, it took 20 years to do all this damage, I can't expect it to be all better in 5 weeks. But for all the pain I was in, I'm easily 75% better even now.

    Yes everyone is different - make sure you see several docs - I had 4 different opinions. Ask lots of questions and do research. Only you know your body and how you feel.. I hope soon you will be feeling better.

  • edited 08/23/2014 - 12:04 PM
    wondering the same thing....following.
  • RobiulRRobiul Posts: 1
    edited 06/24/2015 - 12:26 AM
    On January i felt pain in my neck & i had taken pain killer for 7 days. Then i felt good.
    After that my neck, shoulder and right hand ( arm to elbow ) pain seriously started on 21/03/2015. And the pain was changing their place and i could not sleep whole night. i took pain killer from medicine Dr for 1 month. If u took, then i felt little bit good.
    So i did MRI on 15/04/2015.
    Since 14 days my physiotherapist suggested me to take----
    1. Microwave diathermy ( MWD ) for 15 minutes 2. Cervical Traction for 10 minutes 3. one type cervical exercise
    So, i regularly followed his instruction for 14 days.
    From first day i started feeling better than yesterday gradually.
    I m feeling so good now. Yet May month to still now i am feeling pain, when i pressure those area using my right hand---
    1. Tennis elbow inner muscle 2. Behind the arm inner muscle. And also Right hand strength little bit less than left hand because of that pain. i can feel it.
    I took weight for measuring my hands strength doing bicep exercise. In right and left hand i can up-down max 5 times & 9 times gradually.
    So please suggest what can i do in this situation to relief my pain and return back my right hand strength.
    Thank you.

    Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
    Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
    As such, no member is permitted to provide
    - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
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    Liz ...Spine-health moderator
  • I am in the same boat , this has been going on for seven months and I feel worse the more time that goes by.You can read
    my poast " seven months and still in pain " I have lost most of my strength in my right arm . I am waiting on a surgery consult
    now and pain mng. This has truly changed my life .
  • maheshmmahesh Posts: 1
    edited 09/01/2015 - 12:22 PM
    i am 28 year old male.
    i am suffering from c5-c6 slip disk from last three months. i have consulted from neurologist and a neurosurgeon and am under continuous medication since. i also take regular physiotherapy but there is no significant reduction in pain. kindly suggest alternative treatment. is surgery required?

    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
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