Neck Pain from bulging discs with Shoulder/Arm Radiculopathy
A recent MRI showed that I have an annular tear at C-6 with bulging discs at C-4, C-5 and C-7 with no recent injuries.
However have had 3 Auto Accidents with whiplash. 30, 20 and 5 years ago. I am a young 53 year old female and have always been active and managed to keep my pain at a minimum by exercising and walking.
However this past year I stopped my active routine and have spent 10 hour days on the computer at work. I am a medical coder.
I have lived with the tightness and headaches for 10 years, but the neck and surrounding muscles got increasingly tense and sore.
Better while lying flat at night and then after I'm at my desk for one hour I could scream from the tingling, burning pain. I did have a few massages which helped some. Then 3 weeks ago I woke up and couldn't lift my right arm or move my shoulder-thus the MRI.
Recently I have started to notice numbness with pain in both thumb joints and wrist pain-job related most likely.
My concern is that my MD has now referred me to a Pain Mgmt/Anesthesiologist for the Epidural Steroid Injection. I'm very skeptical and just not sure how steroids will affect the rest of my body, even if it helps the nerves.
Are there alternative ways to heal a disc?
I have 2 weeks before my appt. Just hoping to get all the info that I can.
Can you move your arm now?
So my first and immediate response to anybody talking to me about bulging/ruptured is to give the names of two books:
'7 Steps To A Pain Free Life' by Dr. Mckenzie
'Healing Back Pain' by Dr. John Sarno.
Those two books got me up off the floor and onto my feet after being on the floor for two months.
I'd take bad Tendonitis
over mild disc problem any day.
In three days I went from only being able to be on my feet for about ten minutes, to being able to be on my feet all day long, albeit still in pain but on my feet all day none the less.
I don't know what exercises you've been doing the past 10 years, but until I know more, I'm pointing to those books.
Here's one thing
to add in for you. You should have access to some skilled massage therapists in Florida, depending on where you are.
You need to find someone that is -very- skilled and experienced and have them work on your scalene muscles.
These are the muscles on the front of your neck, that connect your lower cervical vertebrae to your top ribs and clavicle.
It is 100% certain that your scalene muscles and surrounding connective tissue are too tight. Significantly so.
What do too tight scalene muscles and constrictive connective tissue do? They compress your lower cervical vertebrae....which compress your discs....which cause bulges.
At the computer all day? Forward neck position, shortening those already too short/tight structures, making the ones on the back overwork trying to pull the vertebrae back where they should be...tension tension tension.
Hello headache, pain, numbness down the arms due to the nerve getting stepped on by the scalene muscles, etc.
Get the front of your neck opened up. (I should have a video up sometime soon showing how to do the shotgun approach to it, but I'm having an impossible time figuring out how to do that for some reason....)Corticosteroid Injections
-may- decrease the pain for a while, but don't reverse the dynamic that is causing the problem.
A shot or two likely isn't going to do bad things to your body, though they do have other potential downsides.
And ultimately, it is incredibly unlikely that they are going to actually help you, because they won't make those tight structures loose.
The nerve is not the problem. All the compression of the discs is.
Disc stuff sucks. It's painful and problematic and slow to 'fix'. Still once you look at the dynamic and the cause, it's not a mystery.
Tell me more, and, more questions, more answers.
Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expertwww.TendonitisExpert.com