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Pinched Nerve in Neck

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Have any of you experienced this type of problem before?

I had an MRI on my neck and have pinched nerves between C6 & C7 because of a protruding disc. My right hand has a numb index finger and the others on each side tingle. I had a steroid epidural shot in my neck yesterday and basically got zero relief. I have very little strength in my right arm. So little matter of fact that could not hit the rim with a basketball from he free throw line and I played a ton of hoops.

This has been going for a month and it has been devastating for me. I run, lift weights, play hoops three times a week and now nothing. Not sure what to think since this is so new to me. Not sure what the next move will be.

Radiologist suggested the next shot might be better going in from the front of the neck so the steroid can be placed in the front of the vertebra and right near the nerve. Was asked to give the first shot 2-3 weeks.

Anybody experience this? All I want back is my active life style. Not asking much.

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I had a herniated disc in my c5c6 that happened last August. I know how bad it sucks. I lifted 6 days a week and was very active. It took a toll on my fishing and daily living. I went from 190 pounds down to 170 from my muscles going into atrophy. I had physical therapy, chhiropractic care, and home traction. Not steriod injection though. I eventually had to have surgery on Nov. 8th. I was so scared and thought i would never be able to lift again or reach my personal fitness goals. I felt robbed. I had Dr. Nagib from Neurological Associates perform my surgery. I had an artificial disc placed instead of a fusion due to my young age. I am now 100% and can lift more than I was before and I thank god everyday. I hope you dont need surgery, but if you do look into your options! European studies show that 80% with a fusion done in the cervical will need another within 10 years, while 90% who have artificial discs dont need another in 10 years. I had the Bryan artificial disc. Hang in there man, and dont loose hope. You can and will comeback from this, its just a bump along the way smile

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On March 1 I had C6, C7 spinal fusion surgery. I know exactly what you are experiencing with your pain and numbness in your arm and fingers. Mine came on over night without warning. The MRI showed the bulged disk. My doctor wanted to try traction before surgery. After three days the pain was so bad they decided to do the surgery. The pain relief is immediate once you wake up from surgery. I have been wearing a neck collar for 5 weeks with 1 more week to go. The feeling in my fingers came back after about 4 weeks. Even though I haven't been able to lift much (8 lbs max) the strength in my arm is much better then before surgery. My recommendation is to make sure you are working with a qualified neurosurgeon. Good luck!

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I feel for u, have exact same thing cept left arm/fingers and have had for quite a while due to bulging disc. I was given 3 choices 1. shots which I said no to immediately since they did me absolutely no good b4 my L5s1 surgery, 2. physical therapy, & 3. spinal fusion. was going to do the spinal fusion but wife talked me out of it because we heard lot of reviews bout spine eventually losing strength over time, lose some personal mobility in neck, and no guarantee I would feel better after it. so after starting physical therapy and doing neck retractions with immediate results, the therapy center ordered me a home version neck retractor by homedics. I still have the pain and sometimes severe but do use the home neck retractor and it does provide relief. I was too scared to have a steel plate put in my neck with chance of losing spinal strength, mobility, and no relief.

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My wife has dealt with this for 1.5 - 2 years now. The only thing that helps her is Neurontin (gabapentin is the generic). She take 1 every night to sleep. Her problem started after one particular kick boxing type training session. I don't even want to tell you the cash I've spent trying to get this figured out. She had MRI's, CT scans, X-rays, physical therapy, messages, and acupuncture. Still paying for all of this now. Her last physical therapy sessions with traction has seemed to be the best. She can't do workout classes any longer and if she does, then she pays the price for it with the tightness and pain. She still works out at home and does videos that she can. I hope your travels are easier than ours have been.

Oh, and evey place you go to will tell you that they can make it better if you follow there plan. What a crock of shi!

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It's been quite awhile back, but I had the difficulty with my neck from a car accident injury, took a steering wheel under my chin, messed my neck up pretty good for a long time.

I went through therapy, which included among other things traction. I never had any shots, had pain and numbness and alot of swearin for quite awhile, but after the therapy was done, the home traction set up they hooked me up with and the diligent use of it and proper sleeping position, must have worked, because after a time, it started hurting less and less and I have no problem with it at all now. But every once in awhile it let's me know, "Hey, you better pay attention to what you do buddy, cause I'm still back here!"

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A little update on my nerve.

I have had my second shot in my neck and have experienced some relief. The numbness and tingling has gone down. This is good. I have lost a lot of strength in my triceps which has been the biggest down side. I went from working lifting 275 on bench to barely being able to lift 125. Basketball ball has been put on hold big time. Went from shooting threes all day long to not being able to hit the rim from the free throw line. This has been the biggest bummer of it all.

Based on everything I have read and those I have spoken with the injury is a difficult one to recover from. Some have experienced their strength to never come back to what it once was. I sure hope this is not the case.

Thanks for all the info. I did follow it and took the info in with me when I visited with the radiologist who did the shots. It helped me ask some questions. I'm thinking about visiting with a Neurosurgeon not looking for surgery but to get some more answers about the recovery and strength issues. I really want to play basketball again since it is what I miss the most.

Therapy has been discussed both with a chiro and a PT. Have not moved on either. Been waiting to see how the injury responds to the shots and rest. Have stayed out of the weight room too. Just went by yesterday to test my strength and shot a basketball. I did make a free throw yesterday after about 10 tries. Before I could make 25/25 with little effort.

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Don't look for anything to improve. You are treating a symptom not what is causing the symptom. Continue to do that and your relief from the shots will lessen and your pain at the end will be greater. Once you treat the origin of your symptoms you will be able to be yourself again. I hope you figure that out before its too late.

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I know the cause of the problem. Based on the MRI I have a disc that is pushing in on my spinal cord and causing the nerve to be pinched in c6/7. The shots have been to try and get the swelling to go down and the nerve to setting down.

I have asked about other options with two doctors but have not received much in the way of advice. I have been a little frustrated with that. I guess it is one of my beefs with the whole medical establishment. Not to be to down on them but I do not get the feeling that those I have spoken with really give a rip once their service has been rendered and their payment received. There is really not much advocating for their clients. In my professional, all I do is advocate for the kids I see daily. Wish they did the same.

Dr. Juice, ideas? I'm going to meet with a chiro this week and discuss the MRI with them. Not sure where else to turn since it is only me who spends every waking minute trying to manage my own care even though I'm not a certified doctor.

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What's causing your disc to push up against the spinal cord? What's causing your inflamation? Those should be questions. Otherwise how are you going to improve?

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Part of the frustration you are feeling might be due to the reluctance of doctors to go more than one step at a time. Like, here is a problem. First they do x, maybe physical therapy or something, then when that doesn't work, they do y, maybe a cortisone shot and rest. Finally if that doesn't work, they discuss surgery or other invasive procedures.

The idea is to do the least dangerous and invasive thing first. Only do more invasive and dangerous stuff if the milder stuff doesn't work. It is frustrating and annoying but everyone concerned is better off if it turns out to not be necessary to operate on your spine.

As for Chiropractors, I have my own opinion about them.

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I have had this same problem, it took 3 shots in about 5 weeks to get the pain down, and the tingly hands to go away. I was told to stay away from the weight room. So I did for about a year, then started lifting weights again, and within a month, I had the same problems, I went back to get a few more shots, and all was good again, I was asked if I was lifting weights again, and I told them yes, they then told me, not to, or I would be back again in a few months. They told me if I am going to lift weights, I will be back before long. It now has been about 5 months, and no problems, other then if I look up, but I havent went back to weight lifting either.

I was told surgery may help, it may make it worse, and it may give me permanent nerve damage. Fusing them together would help the problem, but it would limit my neck movement.

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So.... Take a shot, don't lift, don't look up, just take all these shots and change the way you live. Doesn't seem right....

Right off the MayoClinic site:

Quote:
Cortisone shots carry a risk of complications, such as:

Death of nearby bone (osteonecrosis)

Joint infection

Nerve damage

Skin and soft tissue thinning around injection site

Temporary flare of pain and inflammation in the joint

Tendon weakening or rupture

Thinning of nearby bone (osteoporosis)

Whitening or lightening of the skin around injection site

Limits on the number of cortisone shots

There's some concern that repeated use of cortisone shots may cause deterioration of the cartilage within a joint. For this reason, doctors typically limit the number of cortisone shots in a joint. The limit varies depending on the joint and the reason for treatment. In general, people with osteoarthritis or other noninflammatory conditions may be limited to four total cortisone shots per joint. People with rheumatoid arthritis may be limited to three or four cortisone shot per joint per year.

It sure is a "Wonder" drug as in I wonder why its an option.

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So.... Take a shot, don't lift, don't look up, just take all these shots and change the way you live. Doesn't seem right....

.....

It sure is a "Wonder" drug as in I wonder why its an option.

It's an option because it often helps, and has fewer bad effects than doing nothing or doing more invasive things.

We have discussed whether you have medical training, and as I recall you don't. Putting that aside, what is your suggested treatment? A chiropractor? One of those magic machines you push?

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Hopefully not a game plan that involves surgery. But good job defending drugs Del. Whats next legal narcotics? If a prescription is all that you require in order to believe is something don't worry about what I do. I'm not going to go back and worth with you Del. A closed mind is a wasted brain.

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The medical establishment recommends a cortico-steroid (cortisone) shot. You oppose that recommendation, likening to heroin or something. So, what is your suggested alternative?

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I will echo what dr juice is saying in that you owe it to yourself as a patient to be educated on any treatment and to blindly take anyone's recommendation wheather it is any medical practictioner is foolish and not doing a service to yourself especially when there is so much information on things such as cortisone shots available as demonstrated by the info pulled off the mayo site. Are there alternatives? of course there are and you should question any doctor on those alternatives whether he's a G.P. or a specialist.

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I am sure many would agree that being an advocate for yourself and wanting all the information possible or a second opinion brings out the used car salesman in the providers. Those are guys you should stay away from. And stay away from their protocols.

Are they all that way, not at all. Many do care and those are ones that are caring about patient outcomes more than the dollar. The health care system will crack down on those individuals because of all the costs. its going to be a result based industry like it always should have been. It is not a result based industry now, and you will continue to see many of the good G.P's, Family Docs, and so forth switching to cash because they can, the service they provide warrants that. Del, there are some great Doctors out there, but for every great one there are plenty of sketchy ones.

You need to look out for #1 at all times because not all the time will others.

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I am sure many would agree that being an advocate for yourself and wanting all the information possible or a second opinion brings out the used car salesman in the providers. Those are guys you should stay away from. And stay away from their protocols.

Are they all that way, not at all. Many do care and those are ones that are caring about patient outcomes more than the dollar. The health care system will crack down on those individuals because of all the costs. its going to be a result based industry like it always should have been. It is not a result based industry now, and you will continue to see many of the good G.P's, Family Docs, and so forth switching to cash because they can, the service they provide warrants that. Del, there are some great Doctors out there, but for every great one there are plenty of sketchy ones.

You need to look out for #1 at all times because not all the time will others.

Absolutely one needs to be educated and discuss all the alternatives. But you seem to be pretty negative on the ethics of the medical establishment. So, what is your alternative to their recommended treatment, beyond getting a second opinion? Do nothing? Or are you still a big fan of Chiropractic?

Easy to be negative and liken doctors to drug pushers. You pushing magnets and colored lights and magic machines?

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Not hijacking a thread with you guys and your closed minds. Have fun living without evolution. fishers, I hope you get some where with your 3 sets of 10 routine.

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DrJ, I am curious. What do you suggest doing? I would love a permanent fix, but I havent been given an option of one. Just surgery, that may help, may hurt, may not do nothing. Or shots. If you know of a better alternative, I am all ears. Even now, all I have to do is look up for 10 seconds, and both of my arms go numb. I just dont look up. If I start lifting again, my neck hurts, so I stop, then it is tolerable.

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A permanent fix is going to take you knowing what compensatory actions are in creating the stress/pressure/friction in that area and correcting those patterns by consistently doing things the right way, how you were made to move, not how you caused yourself to adapt to. Ex: (one of many examples) you get whiplash, its painful to hold your head up the right way because of the injury so your body forms a new way to hold it up because your body does not like pain, the new way actually puts stress on a part that isn't made to absorb force, its not felt right away but that pattern that you formed never goes away and over time that consistent stress creates inflammation and now you have a pinched nerve that causes numbness/pain/limitation every time you look up. The concern should be on correcting that neurological pattern than focusing on bringing swelling down because if that pattern is corrected then what would be creating the swelling? Well simple, nothing. Being you adapted to that change you need to adapt back to what is natural. Lifting hurts because you're not lifting with what you should be, your asking something else to do it which is not how you were made, you are compensating or over compensating. Right now your body does not know the right signal to send to turn on the appropriate muscles at the appropriate time.

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I have a moderate bulge in my C5-C6. Caused weird headaches, some numbness in fingers. Family doctor thought I had anxiety. First trip to Neurologist had it figured out in 30 minutes and an MRI. Did the therapy and it took a while to figure out how to manage it. It got me in better shape and for me, tightness in the chest makes it worse.

I need to strengthen my back muscles more and stretch my pecs. I try to have good posture and don't look up much. I haven't had any shots, and use Aleve and massage when it starts acting up. I hang upside down every once in a while. Haven't had the bad headaches in years.

I would do surgery as a last resort, but if it's debilitating, then it may be the only option.

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