Herniated Disc (Cervical Spine)

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Herniated Disc (Cervical Spine)

Post by BarryWashington » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:22 pm

herniated disc, c-5/c-6 area

goin to physical therapy for months and that $h1t is just short-term relief.

i have a traction unit and thats short term relief

have lidoderm (lidocaine) patches and thats short term relief

going to call a chiropractor soon.

any one got tips advice what i can do at home to make this $h1t better?

its making me a miserable person to have to deal with from the moment i wake and the moment i go to sleep

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Re: Herniated Disc (Cervical Spine)

Post by KPj » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:00 am

I deal with a lot of injured people -as a trainer- but, I never touch the neck, always refer out, even if it's a pain free dysfunction.

I would suggest putting your efforts into finding a better physical therapist, rather than trying to exercise your way out of it. I'm a firm believer you can exercise your way out of most things but, the neck is complicated, gets tricky, and a trainer shouldn't be messing with it. It's one area i'm not comfortable working with or helping out with.

Also, finding a good physical therapist is like finding a good trainer. Not easy but there are some out there. Become an active patient and seek the right help, ask if they're interested in exercise/sports injuries, that kind of thing.

Not what you want to hear but, I believe that's the best thing you can do.

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Re: Herniated Disc (Cervical Spine)

Post by Jungledoc » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:15 pm

Physical therapy is your best bet to fix this, shouldn't be just short-term relief. I agree with what KPj said about finding the right therapist.

In the mean time, don't scoff at "short-term" relief--it can make your life better. Stay away from opioid meds for the most part, but there are other meds that are safe and don't have unmanageable side effects. Talk to your provider about such meds as tramadol, low-dose amitriptyline, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Tylenol may not give dramatic relief, but if it helps at all, use it; it's extremely safe in standard doses. Several antidepressants are useful for reducing chronic pain, and have a clear role in dealing with the depression that often accompanies it.

If the traction actually gives you short-term relief, be thankful and use it!

Traditional chiropractic probably won't be the panacea you're hoping for, but some chiropractors are very eclectic, and can help in many ways, exercise, physical modalities, bio-feedback, TENS.

The most important thing (and I don't wish to sound glib here, I know this is really tough) is your attitude. You have to find a way to stay positive despite the pain. The pain is your enemy, and if you let it get you down, you lose. Be nice to people even when you're in pain. Don't let most people see that you're in pain, but don't hide it from the people who matter (providers, close family, etc). Keep up with regular family activities, religion, celebrations. Live a "normal" life, whatever that is for you.

If you are depressed, seek and follow medical intervention for that. It is treatable, even if the pain can't be cured.

Exercise! Whether or not you are doing any exercises specifically for your neck, exercise! At the very least, be doing some brisk aerobic exercise. It has been shown in multiple studies to reduce chronic pain. In addition, do whatever resistance work you can do without exacerbating your neck pain. It is far better to be strong and in pain than to be weak and in pain.

Good sleep is really important. Use some of those "short-term" relief modalities to help with this. Use the traction just before bed, put on a lidocaine patch for night. The low-dose amitriptyline that I mentioned is usually taken at night, because it causes a little sedation, which can help at night, and is not helpful during the day.

If you get to the point that opioids are needed, don't just get a supply from your doc an pop one whenever you hurt. Get them from someone who is familiar with the issues of chronic pain, and use the meds strictly as prescribed. That may be your family doctor, or it may be a pain specialist, but it should be someone who will do more than just keep you supplied. And opioids aren't just the end-stage last resort. They can be useful temporarily.

Have your doctors said that surgery is an option for you? It's a hard choice, because it's not always successful, sometimes makes you worse. But it can also offer a good long-term solution.

Good luck! Keep us informed.

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Re: Herniated Disc (Cervical Spine)

Post by JasonJones » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:21 pm

KPj wrote:I deal with a lot of injured people -as a trainer- but, I never touch the neck, always refer out, even if it's a pain free dysfunction.
I agree with KPj 100%. Any trainer who is willing to tackle this kind of injury without the support of a medical practitioner is going way outside the scope of their practice. I've worked with clients with cervical disc injuries, and my first step is to refer them out to a chiropractor whom I've been working with professionally for over 3 years, or if they have someone they're working with, contact them directly to discuss the client. If I can't have that kind of support and feedback, I'll simply decline to work with the client.

I understand your frustrations with physiotherapy — I have a very dim view of the profession as it is practiced in Canada, and have yet to meet one who actually impresses me with their desire to work with patients, although I'm certain they exist — and would recommend you try a chiropractor, osteopath, or athletic therapist.

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