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Budging disc help!

Dear all,

I have been diagnosed with bulging discs (C5 and C 6) 3 years back due to some sharp pain at the left hand side of my chest. I can't remember any incident or accident that could have caused it.

I have seen several doctors and physio therapists ever since but I can't help but notice I feel constant pain in my neck and shoulders.

Physio therapy sessions including dry needling helps me to cure the acute pain but I never really feel an absence of pain and I can feel an ongoing discomfort in my upper back. I usually struggle with muscle spasms in my upper back and at times I have pain in my left arm, neck and chest.

I am generally a very active person but any work out that is too strenuous results in me feeling severe pain afterwards and so do massage therapies so that I usually end up having to see the physio to get rid of the pain caused by the massage. I try and stick to the my prescribed exercises and I take muscle relaxants and anti inflammatory medication irregularly.

Overall the pain I am feeling is bearable however, I would like to find out if there are ways to get rid of it completely without having to have surgery. Also what would be the prognosis for the future as this is starting to worry me. The physicians I have been seeing haven't really given me a tangible answer and opinions on the internet seem to vary when it comes to this condition.

I would highly appreciate your advises and I am looking forward to reading your suggestions.

Many thanks!


  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 605
    Have you tried any injections? They tend to help a lot of people.
    What is your doctors plan of care with you?
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,509

    welcome to the spine-health forums.

    i am not the best at non-surgical advice, i went for surgery and am happy with the results - but, we have several members report that yoga has helped.

    please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started with the forums: welcome to spine-health


    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.

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  • sherrygirlssherrygirl ontario canadaPosts: 162
    I feel same as you looking for success storys with non surgery treatments I am fairly new to forums when people start feeling better don't hear success stories. 
  • sherrygirlssherrygirl ontario canadaPosts: 162
    Forgot add this. My PT said that be daily excerise and make it be fine. With where live they say 80% affective with non surgery stuff as about same percentage as surgery. I agree lots mix reviews 
  • Thank you so much for all the useful advises.

    @Motor1 , I have not tried any injections but I would be willing to try if it is safe. So far I haven't been advised to do it by any doctor.

    I have seen several doctors and the most recent one has advised me to do physiotherapy, prescribed exercises at home and take anti inflammatory medication. The physiotherapist has done dry needling on many occasions to get rid of muscle spasms but even if it usually ease the pain, this time it hasn't really helped.
    I must add that this is the very first time I have been doing consecutive sessions.

    Usually 1-2 sessions help to relieve the pain but this time I have followed the doctors advise and tried it once weekly for a month which worsened my condition.

    @Bruce , the doctor has also advised to do Pilates, but I am worried as whenever I work out light to moderately the pain seems to worsen but I suppose it is worth giving it or Yoga a go to see if it helps in any way.

    @sherrygirl I promise to share my experience if I find any treatment that helps.
    Currently I feel really helpless as nothing seems to improve my condition.

    Also I must admit that I am confused on the fact if I should rest when I have an episode of pain or exercise and keep moving. There seem to be mixed opinions on this as well.

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  • sherrygirlssherrygirl ontario canadaPosts: 162
    I agree about mix reviews I plan on posting of progress with non surgery treatments to help others too.
    I understand feeling hopeless an the emotions 
  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 320
    I have similar symptoms-herniations at C5-C6, with constant headaches and pain from the base of my skull, down into my upper back, across my shoulder/shoulder blades and down into my upper arms with lots of muscle spasms. I never have a day without pain.

    I have been doing physical therapy for almost 3 months but have had to take it slow and had 1 epidural steroid injection without much relief. I did see a Neurosurgeon who said that 80% of these type of cases will resolve with time and conservative treatments like PT and injections. She did not recommend surgery for me.

    I take pain meds and muscle relaxers which provide a small amount of relief but I am being told by multiple doctors that I am doing all the right things so I guess we just have to be patient, which can be hard sometimes.

    Hang in there!
  • ZuhairahZZuhairah DubaiPosts: 12
    edited 11/06/2016 - 3:04 AM
    Hi Mae,

    Thank you very much for sharing your experience and your kind wishes.
    I am also hopeful that we will get better one day!

    As for me, I have purchased a new pillow and it made a difference I must say. I am still in pain but nowhere near where it was before.

    I have been recommended a massage therapist which I was contemplating in using however, now that I am a bit better I am scared to do so, as at times my pain gets worse after massage therapy.
    What do you guys think about this?

    @Sherylgirl, please share if you make any progress. It would be interesting to find alternative ways to treat this issue of ours.
  • sherrygirlssherrygirl ontario canadaPosts: 162
    @Zuhairah I been making progress. Don't have chronic pain at this point. But I have degenerative disc disease on the C5 an C6. With forminal stenosis biltral in ontario they are strict about surgeries. I always have bad posture an have forward head issues. I have lower back problems too an seem to mange it I have MRI of the spine Nov 18th I hope you make progress. Think with bulge or herniated I read it takes up to 12 weeks well by ontario standards from Dr Hamilton Hall that runs the rules in ontario so don't know 
  • sherrygirlssherrygirl ontario canadaPosts: 162
    I was reading about Myofascial release  therapist. I am like you get scares of doing a treatment and be more pain. I did get a pillow called contour it been helpful. As my PT has mentioned about sleeping and pillow.
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