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Old 10-31-2008, 07:03 PM
Location: a primitive state
9,538 posts, read 19,409,941 times
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Yes, I could work but I was miserable. Some afternoons I would just go home early. It took about two months for my condition to start to improve. I thought I was going to be permanently disabled.

You can also ask for a TENS unit (one of those electrical stimulator things with pads that stick on) for the pain and spasms. I used one that a friend lent me. It was one of the few things that would cancel out the pain at night and allow me to fall asleep. They're not expensive and are far better than having to worry about getting addicted to pain meds. (I sort of miss my happy pills)
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:20 PM
Location: a primitive state
9,538 posts, read 19,409,941 times
Reputation: 11437
The other thing that helped me, and I can't believe how obvious it is and how hardheaded I was about not doing it - ICE!!! Get one of those soft ice packs and use it on your neck frequently. Ice therapy really seems to do some good. Google it.
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:00 AM
9 posts, read 29,605 times
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Depending on the extent the disk is herniated and the location in the neck, the symptoms may be a local sore neck confined to a small area or a sharp pain that may travel down the arm and even into the fingers.
The disk is a type of joint cartilage that connects and cushions the bones in your neck. Each disk attaches to the bone above and below it. This provides the proper spacing for nerve roots to exit from the spinal cord from between each joint. It is sandwiched between each neck bone and allows normal turning and bending.
Each disk has a "ball bearing" like inner portion which is red in the diagram and an outer part colored blue. The disk is kind of like a jelly doughnut with the inner part being the jelly and the outer the doughnut.
A healthy disk in the neck provides flexibility, normal turning and bending which produces a pumping action that supplies proper disk nutrition and waste removal.
Problems arise when the disk is damaged by arthritis or injury. Like a blister, disk tissue can bulge. As the soft inner part is compressed, it pushes outward where it can cause neck symptoms ranging from a sore area to sharp traveling pain, numbness and/or tingling. The symptoms can also involve muscle twitching and weakness. Muscles usually go into spasm to protect and splint the joint.
In the diagrams below we can see a bird's eye view of the disk and how a herniated inner part can extrude and come in contact with the sensitive nerves. The herniated part may move back and/or to the side and cause a pinched nerve in the neck.
Because the disk is so close to the spinal cord and nerves, it is often involved with neck pain. The disk may not completely herniate but weaken and slightly push out or protrude which may cause a more local pain reaction.
Disk problems are not a normal result of aging but more likely the result of years of neglect. Many neck problems do not cause symptoms until the advanced stages of degenerative arthritis.
A disk herniation may require surgery, anti-inflammatory medications or other therapeutic measures to get past the acute stage depending on how much of the inner part has herniated out and the extent of pressure it puts on the sensitive nerve tissue in the neck.
Fortunately, most often a neck herniated disk will dry up and shrink over time taking pressure off the nerves. The long term consequences result from the altered biomechanics which disrupt normal motion and thus nutrition and waste removal of the disk which can cause an advanced degeneration of the joints.
It is important to get a proper neck examination if you think you have a herniated disk. An x-ray will not show the disk, only the disk space. Usually a MRI is taken to get a view similar to the illustrations here.
For long term management, restoration of normal motion is important. The use of heat for neck pain relief is important to reduce muscle spasm. Additionally, a tens unit can be used for pain relief to avoid prolonged dependence on medications. To promote early mobilization with a passive motion, the neck massager is a wonderful therapy to use before active neck exercises can be performed. Often, a home neck traction unit can begin to restore normal biomechanical relationships and ease nerve tension. Chiropractic adjustments can provide additional relief and biomechanical support although I do recommend gentle, low force techniques for any confirmed neck herniated disk.
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:07 AM
566 posts, read 832,295 times
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Originally Posted by puffle View Post
Thanks for the info. I'm going to see if an accupunturist is covered on my plan. Oddly enough after getting stuck with pins yesterday, I feel a little less pain, although that wasn't the purpose! How long did it take till you could resume a normal life? Up until now, sitting in a car, movie or on our couch is very painful.
Never went over a week. The debilitating pain where I couldn't move, that is. The shoulder/elbow/finger pain would last a couple weeks, never longer than a month tho.
The ART chiro showed me some slow stretches I could do after the nerve unstuck itself and I had more range of motion. They truly helped. Also, I cant stress enough of the "good posture" issue.
My sympathies and prayers to you. I know what you are going thru. The meds were somewhat worse. I would sit and stare at nothing for hours on end. It was relentless.
I had young kids that needed to be taken care of and I just couldn't when this issue would flare up. But surgery didn't sound like an option to me at the time. Good luck. Not just one thing helped tho. It was def physical therapy: traction, elect stim, heat, massage, accu puncture, stretches and tons of meds over time.
While I was suffering, I could not eat, sleep or even speak. It was awful.
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