PDA

View Full Version : Anyone Dealing with Cervical Disc Disease? (Degnerative discs)



JCY
October 1st, 2018, 10:17 PM
My dr.'s office called today with the results of my neck MRI last week. They will mail me the radiology report, so I haven't read it yet. I looked briefly on line. My dr. wants to know if I want a referral to the neurosurgeon. I said I wanted to do some research & think about it. I've had intermittent (now constant) numbness & tingling in my L. hand, esp. my 3 middle fingers, although sometimes it affects my thumb, which has gradually been getting worse over the past few mos. I'm thinking that car accident I had in Feb. 2017 when my car was rear-ended probably didn't help matters. I'm looking for alternative treatments, like maybe exercises or PT that might help my neck. My massage therapist always works on it when I have my treatment every 4 wks. Maybe I need to go more often. I'm going to ask her if acupuncture will help.

I'm just wondering if anyone else is dealing with neck issues & what has helped you.

Hulamoon
October 1st, 2018, 10:55 PM
I was born with two discs fused together when I was born and had to be in a cast. Can you imagine my mom changing diapers with a cast on my legs and back? Yikes.

I had back problems since then and had a job as a baker carrying sheets pans of loafs of banana bread around etc. It was a physical job for 18 yrs. I did try acupuncture at first and then had to go to a chiropractor. I found good relief from regular massages. That can get expensive. But if you call around you can find one that won't soak you and then go more often.

After the massages try to keep stretching to keep everything loose. I hope you can get some relief. :)


I also use something like this. I bought it in a Japanese store. This one is simple, but there are more pressure points on other ones. I might buy one of those!

https://www.amazon.com/Q-flex-Acupressure-Back-Body-Massage/dp/B00QMWWHUG/ref=sr_1_20_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1538446707&sr=8-20&keywords=back+massager+stick

LLLinda
October 2nd, 2018, 12:31 AM
I have some cervical problems and in the past had a nerve block. That was maybe 30 years ago. It has slowly been building again so may need to go back. The same doctor gave me a nerve block for my sciatic nerve. That shot hurt like the dickens and made me say words my momma would have washed my mouth out for. But let me tell you it was so worth it. The pain from the shot only lasts less than a minute I would say. The one in my upper back for my neck and shoulders didn't hurt and was a series of three. On the final one my eyes swelled up some as I was going home from the treatment. A side affect that can happen I'm told. Didn't last long. As you can see I'm suggesting you see if you might be a candidate for the block.

Hulamoon
October 2nd, 2018, 01:59 AM
I'm not sure about that nerve block thing. When I broke my wrist last year the anesthesiologist suggested that for pain instead of medication and I couldn't move for almost a week. I couldn't feel my arm and could hardly make it to the bathroom. I would do some research on that.

SuzanneOrleansOntario
October 2nd, 2018, 09:32 AM
Joy, I'm glad that they have found the issue causing you numbness. My mom does have degenerative disc disease. We used to be the same height, 5'8", then in her mid 70s, she started shrinking and fast. At 95, she is probably about 5'1" now. Unfortunately my mom has never taken care of her health with specialists or therapy, just pain meds. Clearly this did nothing.

Years ago, I was told that my discs were starting to compress in my neck and possibly disc disease. I have gone for PT, massage. At one point I had PT treatments where I was put in gentle traction. This was my lifesaver. In recent years, I had started shrinking, so I have increased my PT, massage and exercise to stretch neck and back. Last year's annual exam, my height was back up, and I regained 3/4" to my original height. I do the exercises all the time throught the day, no invasive procedure so far. I also have mild scoliosis, which the exercises have helped.

amartin24
October 2nd, 2018, 04:18 PM
Joy, I would definitely go to a highly recommended neurosurgeon sooner rather than later. Research and have all your questions ready. My brother and a girl from my book club had this. Both were told that if they were to get hurt in a car accident or such, they could easily be paralyzed. Tough surgery but both are better for having it. On the same note, I also know of two people that had the nerve block instead of surgery and this helped with symptoms and pain. I would ask about that. I wouldn't think that a nerve block though would not help in the event of an accident.

Heather
October 2nd, 2018, 04:46 PM
Dad played football and he had neck problems. He had a "sling" that his head fit in, which connected to a rope (for lack of a better term) that went over the back of a door with a counterweight and stretched his neck while he sat in a chair against the door. I remember it from when I was little. It was medically prescribed what ever it was.
There are exercises / stretches that can help maybe consult with a PT.

SuzanneOrleansOntario
October 2nd, 2018, 11:02 PM
Dad played football and he had neck problems. He had a "sling" that his head fit in, which connected to a rope (for lack of a better term) that went over the back of a door with a counterweight and stretched his neck while he sat in a chair against the door. I remember it from when I was little. It was medically prescribed what ever it was.
There are exercises / stretches that can help maybe consult with a PT.

This sounds like a variation of 'traction'. Gentle stretching.

Sylvia H
October 3rd, 2018, 04:51 PM
Joy, I agree with the recommendation that you see a neurosurgeon sooner rather than later. I started cared under a neurosurgeon in September of 2016. I have compressed/slipped discs in my lower and upper back as well as sciatica going down both legs. I'm a person who puts things off too long! The first thing the doctor did was to start me on physical therapy. It did very well for several months. I then went to a pain management specialist who has had me on pain medication and taking steriod shots. The shots helped at first, but the last series did not. I will be going back to PT and we will see what happens next.

All this to say that seeing a neurosurgeon does not necessarily mean surgery - at least not immediate surgery. I hope you find quick relief.

JCY
October 3rd, 2018, 05:03 PM
Sylvia, thanks for the advice. I plan to make an appt. for a consult. I don't have much neck pain, but I do have stiffness & tiredness. What bothers me the most is the tingling & partial numbness in my L. hand. That hand is weaker. It's affecting my piano playing somewhat. I'm also having minor tingling on the L. side of my tongue which affects my appetite. It reminds me of when you burn your tongue with a beverage that's too hot, but my tongue feels like that all the time. It doesn't go away. I want to avoid surgery if at all possible. If I do eventually need surgery, it would be a challenge, since I'm caregiver for DH & we have no family here. They all live out of state (MD, WA, ID). I'm hoping & praying for the best.

wiriverquilter
October 3rd, 2018, 05:58 PM
JCY sorry to hear about your neck problem. I too have degenerative disc disease and had a history to disc problem. The discs giving you problems are L5 - L6 when they affect your hands. I didn't listen to my neurologist regarding having surgery and did try alternative measures. My acupuncturist said the treatments won't help due to nerves being pinched. My physical therapist advised my to have the surgery since the treatments weren't helping. I had numerous Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections. As a last resource, massage treatments weekly. My massage therapist advised me to get the surgery and stop messing around. After sometime 3 months, I woke up in the morning not able to moving hands / arms freely, the pain was killing me. I called my physician and he said to get to the hospital emergency room. He called ahead giving them information and they admitted me. The ER doctor gave me a shot for the pain. My neurologist and neurosurgeon showed up in my room. They had come to the decision that the surgery was needed. I did have the surgery. Took some time to recover which was very painful but the feelings in arms and hands were back. Thank god for that. You must do what the neurosurgeon recommends. The surgery fixed the neck but left me with other problems and this is why I say don't wait. Best of luck and prayers for you.

amartin24
October 4th, 2018, 01:03 PM
Sylvia, thanks for the advice. I plan to make an appt. for a consult. I don't have much neck pain, but I do have stiffness & tiredness. What bothers me the most is the tingling & partial numbness in my L. hand. That hand is weaker. It's affecting my piano playing somewhat. I'm also having minor tingling on the L. side of my tongue which affects my appetite. It reminds me of when you burn your tongue with a beverage that's too hot, but my tongue feels like that all the time. It doesn't go away. I want to avoid surgery if at all possible. If I do eventually need surgery, it would be a challenge, since I'm caregiver for DH & we have no family here. They all live out of state (MD, WA, ID). I'm hoping & praying for the best.

Joy, I don't want to scare you but if you wait too long with the nerves being compromised (evidence of this is the tingling in your hands), you can have permanent nerve damage and the numbness would then never go away. When I first herniated a disc in my lower back, I had the numbness down my right leg all the way to my little toe. I was in the middle of changing jobs and had to wait two weeks for surgery. I was also dragging my foot at this point. In just those two weeks I had permanent nerve damage. To this day, the outer part of my leg and all the way down to my little toe is numb.
Also, you mentioned your tongue tingling. Perhaps this is not related to your neck. Didn't you just have dental work done? One time the dentist hit a nerve when putting needle in to numb me. My tongue was numb and tingling on one side for weeks before it resolved. A good neurosurgeon can give you all the facts. Some neurosurgeons want you to get a new MRI if yours is a few months old.

JCY
October 4th, 2018, 04:09 PM
Alina ~ Thanks for your input. Yes, I did just have some dental work done, & the tongue sensation did increase after that crown prep. The neck MRI was just done, so it's recent. I plan to make an appt. for a consult.

Rhonda K
October 4th, 2018, 05:37 PM
Best wishes to feel better soon. I love seeing your projects and hope the pain doesn't keep you from stitching.

JCY
October 4th, 2018, 06:25 PM
I called this afternoon & made an appt. with the neurosurgeon for Oct. 31. I have to get a CD of the MRI imaging from the hosp. to take with me to the appt. I'll let you know how it goes.

Midge
October 4th, 2018, 06:26 PM
My dr.'s office called today with the results of my neck MRI last week. They will mail me the radiology report, so I haven't read it yet. I looked briefly on line. My dr. wants to know if I want a referral to the neurosurgeon. I said I wanted to do some research & think about it. I've had intermittent (now constant) numbness & tingling in my L. hand, esp. my 3 middle fingers, although sometimes it affects my thumb, which has gradually been getting worse over the past few mos. I'm thinking that car accident I had in Feb. 2017 when my car was rear-ended probably didn't help matters. I'm looking for alternative treatments, like maybe exercises or PT that might help my neck. My massage therapist always works on it when I have my treatment every 4 wks. Maybe I need to go more often. I'm going to ask her if acupuncture will help.

I'm just wondering if anyone else is dealing with neck issues & what has helped you.

Yes, I have had cervical stenosis with subluxation for around 25 years, and I have managed to avoid surgery so far. When I initially was diagnosed I had numbness, tingling in the medial nerve distribution and significant loss of strength in my right forearm and hand. Fortunately I am left handed. There are many steps to take before you even start to think about surgery. What helped initially was a steroid taper to reduce the swelling and then I started a multipart physical therapy program. We are talking around 6 months. I had hot packs to start each session, then cervical traction. After was deep tissue massage. After weeks of that I was improved enough to add exercises for posture (you will be shocked how bad your posture gets with neck pain. You hold your head forward) and core strengthening with weights in the gym and with resistance bands and other techniques at home. Eventually it got better, and I stopped PT. Over the years I have had flares from time to time and resumed a PT program until it resolved. I urge you to try the physical therapy route before considering anything else. Good luck, and pm me if you have more questions. Oh. And lifestyle changes. I sold my horse and my golf clubs. It was extremely hard losing the two activities I liked the most.

JCY
October 4th, 2018, 10:24 PM
Thanks, Midge, for your input. I definitely want to go the conservative route & avoid surgery if possible.

Deegles
October 7th, 2018, 11:13 PM
Sounds like it is the medial nerve. This is the the nerve that is associated with corpal tunnel. If it is corpal tunnel, you can remedy it by diet. If it is the medial nerve, it probably will never get better. They will probably want to cut on you. I would ask about anti inflamatories and cortosol. I would also get a second opinion regardless.

It may be time for a new pillow too. If it is inflamed/pinched sleeping in the right position helps.

Star lover
October 8th, 2018, 08:29 AM
Oh Joy, so sorry to hear of you health issues. I have degenerative arthritis in my back and have had it for 20 years now.
I could fill this page with details, but it would bore all who read.
I ended up having surgery at one point and have relief from pain. Cortisone shots didn't work, PT made things worse.
As suggested, see the neurosurgeon........they'll give you options and you can proceed from there......what's best for you. Trying different things can make things worse and some won't help......
I'll be praying for you......love and hugs.