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C 5/6 5mm protruding disc

CarolP88CCarolP88 Western AustraliaPosts: 12
Hi friends,

I'm new here but have been reading quite a bit on the forums since my journey began on the 7th of October.

A quick run down, I am 28 and woke up in terrible pain on the 7th of October. I haven't slept a full night in my bed since this pain started and the pain has rarely ceased. After getting the usual run around from Doctors, including 6 initial GP visits with nothing but pills thrown at the problem, one ER visit, two physio appointments, an X-ray, an ultrasound, a CT scan and an MRI, I have been referred to a neurosurgeon for a 5mm protruding disc between C5/6 which is compressing the nerve and causing spinal stenosis (it's pushing my spinal cord to the left). While I am waiting for the specialist appointment I am seeing a chiropractor twice a week. He seems great and has been working on my whole back, not really using any traction methods on my neck so far and no real change in my pain levels.

I am in some level of pain (and numbness) all the time even though I am on 300mg of lyrica and almost 4000mg of panadol osteo each day. It is far worse at night and I rarely sleep for more than 2 hours at a time, some nights I only sleep 4 broken hours.

Has anyone had success seeing a chiropractor or am I just paying a charlatans mortgage?

Is this amount of protruding disc alot? I haven't been told if it is bad or mild?

It has been a terrible experience for me and has shaken up our whole lives (my husband and I) I was studying remedial massage full-time and now I can only do the theory side of my course and if I can't get this sorted by the end of January 2017 I can't go back to finish. I haven't been able to massage since it happened and I can see myself falling behind.

Is it unrealistic to think I will be able to get back to my course and massaging by the end of January?

Thank-you lovely people for reading, I have had so many people telling me what I 'should' do and try but I want some advice from people who have been through it.




  • Hi Carol,

    I have a disc bulge in both the same discs (C5 and C6) and similar to you my symptoms just started one day out of the blue. I have seen several physicians, chiropractor, PT, and so on and what I have realized is that you have to keep looking for the right fit, as there is no fit for all unfortunetly. Also from my experience if a certain therapy doesn't feel good, just don't stick to it as in my case it only made it worse.

    I have been struggling with this issue for 3 years now and it is off and on.

    It is possible that your current state will improve with just a few sessions of a therapy you respond to however it usually comes back a few months along the line. Once you have found what works for you though you can always go back. I am not sure how severe your case is though and for that it's helpful to see a doctor. It's probably best to see several ones to compare their findings and suggestions.

    So far what has helped me a lot is PT and dry needling as well as a recently found sports massage therapy.

    In any case I would advise you to be very patient as even though very frustrating this can take some time to heal. Hang in there, I am certain that you feel feel some sort of relief at some point!
  • CarolP88CCarolP88 Western AustraliaPosts: 12
    Thank-you zuhairah
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  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 320
    I too have bulging discs at C5 and C6. I was treated for severe tension headaches for years and was then rear ended in July and an MRI showed the injury. I see a pain management doctor who has done one steroid injection with another one scheduled next Friday. I also saw a Neurosurgeon who did not recommend surgery and said that this type of injury is very common at this level and 80% of cases resolve in about 8 weeks with conservative therapy like physical therapy and injections, etc. I have been going to physical therapy since September.

    I hate to say this, but I have seen very little relief of my pain and symptoms so far.

    I have not tried a chiropractor because I am afraid they would do more damage, but many people have found relief from going.

    Have they recommended physical therapy or anything else for you?

    From what I have found you have to have patience as there is no quick fix.

    Hang in there!
  • CarolP88CCarolP88 Western AustraliaPosts: 12
    I  actually ended up cancelling my chiropractor appointment yesterday because the thought of being touched and bent and snapped and cracked was too much. I think if it is the treatment necessary it isn't the one for me. It feels brutal and I'm not sure it is what I can deal with emotionally right now. My pain is linked to emotion but the emotion stays at bay most of the time. I feel vulnerable around the area and don't want any sort of manipulation without recommendation from the Dr and my Dr told me not to bother with physio or anything of the sort but he may be a bit of a stubborn bastard. I have managed to sleep for 6 hours roughly the last two nights and the pain has gone down alot during the day. I'm just hoping I get in for a neurology appointment soon!
  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 320
    Good luck, hopefully the Neurologist can give you some direction! I totally understand the pain being linked to your emotions. I am a mess most days emotionally and hope to get everything under control soon. I have another injection scheduled for the 18th so we will see if that helps at all.
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  • CarolP88CCarolP88 Western AustraliaPosts: 12
    Good luck! let me know how it goes, if it helps.
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