I had a cervical MRI yesterday and my doctor emailed me and said that I have "a protruding disc which is causing inpingement of the nerves and is also causing a instability of the vetebrae called spondylolisthesis". He said that this is what is causing my neck and head pain and is setting me up with a doctor to get an epidural injection.
What exactly does this mean? Are epidurals usually effective for this? I have tried PT in the past for my pain and have been treating it with large doses of ibuprofen, but a recent endoscopy showed that I have moderated to severe inflammation/ulceration from the ibuprofen so I have to stop taking that. Any other suggestions?
discs are the cushions of the spine. they absorb shock. they have a gel like center and a tough cartallidge covering. when disc is disturbed the inner jell presses out the outer layer so it bulges and then presses on nerves giving you pain.
spondy is the shifting forward of the vertebrae bone so its out of align then it presses nerves,
epidural steroid injections are used to kill pain. they work on some people. not sure of the %.
as for drugs you can ask dr about lyrica, neurontin, tylenol, narcotics or even a short course of steroids.
i've found ice if used properly also can be effective.
what type dr are you seeing. i recommend a surgeon who specializes on the spine....pete
great explanation pete! i too have a bulging disk ( which iv recently read is the exact same thing as a slipped disk) at my lower thoracic spine which now and again when bad presses on my sciatic nerve an the pain, omg, i get shock like pains through the whole top half of my body, it knocks me sick, nasty! but also recently started having pains in my neck, head, shoulder and chest and have been told it too sounds like a nerve problem, my partner was giving my shoulders a massage to help with the pain not too long ago and as he ran his fingers across the top half of my spine just near the top of my shoulder blades there was a very very sore spot on my spine, just gently pressing on it hurt like hell, so im wondering IMTRYING is this anything like your experiencing? see i have been to my doctors about it once and hes done blood tests with all fine results nothing abnormal but hasnt really got a clue what hes talking about lol i was just wondering if you have any advice on what to do next, or could tell me more about your own symptoms, have you found any tenderness in your cervical spine since you have this protruding disk or?? what lead you to having the MRI, just these head and neck pains or?? thanks for reading my post hun, and hope all is getting better for you X
I'm not sure what type of doctor yet. My PCP coorinates all of my specialists (I have several health issues) so he will set up an appointment and then call me. I am thinking a neurosurgeon. I have been using heat which seems to help-should I not be doing this?
My doctor has given me tramadol which works okay and percocet which does work but I don't like taking it. I cannot take oral stroids because my stomach is so messed up from ibufrofen overuse.
I had the MRI because I was having pretty severe neck pain and daily headaches. When my doctor found out how much ibuprfen I was using he said we needed to address the issue.
My neck pain is in my right shoulder blade and goes up into my neck and shoulder on the right side. I have limited mobility when I move my neck from side to side and when I bend it forward. When my husband gives me a neck massage, I too have "hotspots". It especially hurts when he presses on my spine right in the middle of my neck. I have also been having some lower back pain with shooting down my leg. I have a doctor who jumps on things as soon as you mention them, so I haven't mentioned this one yet-it's not that severe.
If I were you, I would ask my doctor for a cervical MRI and go from there. Good luck!!
thanks for getting back to me hun, do you take your ibuprofen on an empty stomach? i know your not daft lol but just thought id mention it as that cud be the cause for you to get ulcers but obviously if your in that much pain your not going to eat everytime are you, sounds quite severe, i realy hope it gets better for you! yeah i would mention that at the bottom of your back tho if your getting the pains at the bottom of your back as the pains down the legs could be the start of sciatica, and i didnt know till id self diagnosed with sciatica after reading up so much about it that left undiagnosed and untreated compression of the sciatic nerve can lead to cauda equina ( loss of bladder and bowel control, numbess in the genital area etc) so im really gald i got mine sorted, i mean it took 8 years as my useless doctor kept telling me there was nothing wrong with me although i was goin to her sayin look im in that much pain and its in both my legs, there sore as hell just to touch, i can hardly walk, and my feminine area is actually going numb, i couldnt sit on the toilet seat without heaving the pain was that back in my backside but apparently there was nothing wrong with me!!! lol dont let it get that bad for you if its starting now hun! anyway im rambling! lol thanks for your advice! x
I would try and not take the ibuprofen on an empty stomach, but the pain was so constant that I am ashamed to admit that I kept upping my dose and was taking 400-600 mg about 5 times a day-even getting up in the middle of the night to take it. I wasn't really having that many stomach symptoms, but developed pancratitis and they did an endoscopy and then saw my stomach and my doctor pretty much freaked! Unfortunately that was not the cause of my pancreatitis, so still more testing!!
I'm sorry you have had to go through all of that. What are they doing for you now?
oh u poor thing!! you really must be in some pain ay! sorry t hear about your pancreatitis, i hear thats nasty! do you have trouble with your bowels? i have an uncle who got that because of a toxin build up through not being able to go to the loo :-S
well, i had to go to my doc and tell him what was wrong with me as daft as it sounds, he did his little tests, bending my legs and back this that and the next way etc and realised i may be right, he refered me to a specialist and she told me i have this slipped disk, finally i was referred to a physio who told me i needed to strengthen my core muscles and gave me excersizes to do to keep the disk in place, not something you could really do with the cervical spine tho is it which is a shame! xx
regarding heat vs cold. my experience is that its a question as to what works for you. try them both and make decision. i have both neck and lower back issues. i find the ice works on my neck and the heat down below. so see what does the trick for you.
i especially like putting ice in between my thumb and forefinger. if i do it right it kills pain for more than half hour better than any pill....pete
Have had chronic pain since 2004 and an on the job accident in 2005 caused disc herniations in the cervical and lumbar areas of the spine which led to sciatica in both legs. Have had a number of epidurals, had a neuromuscular devise implanted in my lower right butt which sends electrical impulses across the lower back and down the legs. Have also been taking morphine, now at 60 mgs. twice a day, morphine sulfate 15 mgs. when needed and trazadone to sleep. Walking with a cane since '04 and walk as little as possible due to the intense pain and have a sedentary job at work which I'll be done with by years end if not sooner.
This has changed our lives as I hate to do anything and usually lie down once I come home. Hopefully in retirement, I'll be able to just do nothing as the doctors say there is no cure for me and it will just get worse. Just living day by day is the best one can do. Hang in there!
you and i both have spine issues on the top and bottom. sorry you are having so much trouble. i have stimulator too. does it kill any of your pain.
i find the best painkiller is some activity to take your mind off the pain. i tried some painting pictures but was unable to sit still long enough because of pain in legs. lately i've been refinishing some furniture and i find repetitive movements sanding the wood helps me a bit.
i also like going on the computer and talking to people like yourself.
keep your eyes open for different activities. i'm sure there will be something for you...pete
The stimulator worked best when new but over time, the relief I get is less but still better than nothing. The Kadian I take went from 50 mgs. twice a day to 60 mgs. twice a day. Most times walking is extremely painful, so sitting & laying down is where I find the most relief.
I also have fibromyalgia to add to the mix plus degenerative disc disease plus spondyosis...so not a happy camper here.