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Bulging Disks In Neck - Experiences?


avg_joseph
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Back in June I started experiencing numbness/tingling in both hands, on my thumb, index and middle fingers.

 

Skip ahead to yesterday after MRI revealed C5/6 and C6/7 disks bulging to the right a couple weeks ago, I wake up feeling like someone stabbed me in the right side of my neck and pain radiating all way down arm.

 

I ended up having to go to ER. Still in a decent amount of pain today. I have a Neuro surgeon appointment first week of October.

 

My big question is who else has had disk issues in their neck? What remedies were offered? Is my golf life in jeopardy long term if I have to go under the knife?

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Somewhat different from you, but I am getting over a hernia in the lower back (L3/4). This was my second hernia in that region (previous was L4/5). I had surgery on the L4/5 disc years ago, and I think it was unavoidable then because the disc had split open.

This time around, it was just bulging. The doctors offered the choice of an injection ("Block injection" as a literal translation from the Japanese. Don't know what it's called in English) or just rest and physiotherapy. I asked about surgery, but they didn't seem eager to do it. I didn't like the sound of the injection, as it wasn't guaranteed to succeed anyway, so I opted for rest and recuperation. After two pretty painful weeks in hospital, I checked myself out and recovered at home. Nearly 3 months on, I am able to swing gingerly, and have played 9 holes recently, but recovery time varies from person to person. I am NOT fully recovered.

 

In may case, the doctor's said surgery is the quick fix, and rest and rehabilitation is the slower, long-term fix. I wasn't keen to have more back surgery so I ended up following their advice and working through the pain. After about 5 days, the pain subsided a lot, but I have no experience of bulging discs in my neck. It wasn't a nice way to spend my summer.

 

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> @avg_joseph said:

> Back in June I started experiencing numbness/tingling in both hands, on my thumb, index and middle fingers.

>

> Skip ahead to yesterday after MRI revealed C5/6 and C6/7 disks bulging to the right a couple weeks ago, I wake up feeling like someone stabbed me in the right side of my neck and pain radiating all way down arm.

>

> I ended up having to go to ER. Still in a decent amount of pain today. I have a Neuro surgeon appointment first week of October.

>

> My big question is who else has had disk issues in their neck? What remedies were offered? Is my golf life in jeopardy long term if I have to go under the knife?

 

One of the members at my golf league had the same issue with his neck.. He chose surgery.

He said it's was the best decision for him.. No more pain.. He's back playing golf without issues..

 

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> @avg_joseph said:

> Back in June I started experiencing numbness/tingling in both hands, on my thumb, index and middle fingers.

>

> Skip ahead to yesterday after MRI revealed C5/6 and C6/7 disks bulging to the right a couple weeks ago, I wake up feeling like someone stabbed me in the right side of my neck and pain radiating all way down arm.

>

> I ended up having to go to ER. Still in a decent amount of pain today. I have a Neuro surgeon appointment first week of October.

>

> My big question is who else has had disk issues in their neck? What remedies were offered? Is my golf life in jeopardy long term if I have to go under the knife?

 

Your surgeon and your post -op OT/PT will have a better idea of how long you'll be out of golfing after the surgery.

Follow their advise for recovery and you'll be better off than trying something on your own. Communication with their offices will benefit you rather than taking advice from a golf forum.

Degenerative spinal discs encourage improper posture ( because it'll make you feel better, seemingly ) The improper posture ( golfing , reading, work in front of the computer screen.....) will cause additional damage to the aging/ damage process.

Remember to tell your care giver everything that concerns you, they can't feel what you fell and will only rely on your communication to provide the best method to help you.

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Had the same basic problem, although mine was degenerative disc disease. After 3-4 years of facet joint injections, chiropractic care, massages and PT, I finally went under the knife. I had developed bone spurs and assorted junk in the joints. Had C4-5, 6-7 cleaned out and fused. When I woke up after surgery, the pain and numbness was gone. Post surgery pain lasted about a week. About a month later, I started rehab to improve range of motion and build strength in my neck. The downside was that the swing I had for 40 years was gone. At my age, 65 at surgery, I lost a considerable range of motion and cannot get my arms in the same positions. Had to do a complete rebuild, which has become pretty good, but not nearly the same level as prior to the neck problems. To sum it up, my life is better, the pain is gone, I sleep all night etc., but my golf game has seriously declined. If you are younger, I think there would be less impact, and at 69, my game was due for a decline. Good luck going forward.

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If they're bulging and not ruptured get a inversion table and try inversion therapy. I couldn't live without mine. My chiropractor recommended it probably 20 years ago. I've had several customers who have avoided surgery by using it.

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I have bulging disks in both my lower and upper back unfortunately so I feel your pain. No surgery but I've been in the hospital on several occasions and found that exercise, especially the core, really makes a difference in reducing pain. Overall I feel pain every day but with exercise, and a desire to change my swing, I've been able to reduce the pain overall. It still acts up at times where you can't walk or bend over but overall it's improved with exercise. Not sure if this helps and it did for me.

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I also experienced pain and numbness down my right arm from cervical bulging. Chose PT and it worked fabulously. Went twice a week for very specific treatment and exercises over about a 6 week period. Also followed the routine at home almost every day. This was several years ago and there's been no recurrance. I'm 65.

 

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I have a 2 level fusion, C6-C7 and C7-T1. Couldn’t play prior to the surgery, pain was so bad. Post-surgery it took about 6 weeks before I was allowed to make full swings. I could chip and putt after 2 or 3 weeks. Initially i lost about a club of distance, but that came back after a while. I lack a little bit of cervical rotation but luckily not enough to really affect my swing. All in all, I can’t complain.

 

I was 37 when I had the procedure done. I’m 43 now and haven’t had any issues other than the occasional trigger point in my right shoulder.

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> @lawsonman said:

> If they're bulging and not ruptured get a inversion table and try inversion therapy. I couldn't live without mine. My chiropractor recommended it probably 20 years ago. I've had several customers who have avoided surgery by using it.

 

Was going to post the same. I have some issues from time to time in mine. And the inversion table at home or the “ stretcher table” at my chiropractors office e , as I call it is what works. ACtual term is a decompression table. It attaches and pulls your head up gently and slowly. Literally the best feeling on earth for me. And I come out of the office sometimes almost an inch taller. Come to think on it I’m due a session anytime. Usually go 2-3 times a year. Something else that works is swimming .... something about floating weightless relaxes the muscules and frees it all up. Not sure if it would help a true destroyed disc issue. But it helps a misaligned neck at once.

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  • 2 months later...

43 y/o, bulges at c3/c4 and c6/c7. A few other MRI findings like dessication and facet joint issues.

Have just started PT for it. Hoping for the best.

Originally occurred over a year ago during golf, aggravated it 3x after initial healing, once non golf, but last time was late August via golf and that's the day it crossed over into inarguable problem. Played 2x after that, but lost distance and night pain was intense. Lots of waking up numb down to the pinky, lots of daytime cervicogenic headaches- very bad beans for work.

I've sadly shut down golf for last couple months and it has improved, but not well enough to get back. Have had 2 doses of steroids, second one after one of the rounds I couldn't resist.

Consulted ortho after second recurrence and that's when we did MRI and got findings. His opinion is that it will all heal w PT and rest. I didn't believe him at first, but after first PT session I'm a believer.

Therapist started with 2 mid back manipulations, which improved neck mobility off the bat. Fixed a long standing problem actually. Then did some gliding techniques just to improve ROM a little at a time. Walked out of there improved on day 1.

Scheduled for 2x a week and will go til I'm back to my normal distances. Also plan to swim and walk.

I think this is the ticket and has to be tried before discectomy and fusion, which are last resort issues if it doesn't resolve after 6 diligent months up to a year.

Best of luck.

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  • 1 month later...

not sure where this left off, but I had the micro discectomy surgery on C6, C7 about 7 years ago (my kids were 9 and 7 at time) I did everything with/for them...coaching, playing, horsing around then it came to a grinding halt when my discs bulged. I had surgery almost immediately because the pain was so bad. 8 weeks later, I was pitching batting practice, hitting golf balls and my neck has been pain free ever since. I hope you get through your issues without surgery, but just know you do have choices. I am playing more golf than ever these days. Good luck.

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Lol. I’m in recovery as we speak for an ACDF surgery (anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, due to a bulging disc at c6-7). I noticed a “crick “ in my left shoulder blade back in October. A couple of weeks later it became excruciating shoulder and arm pain, then became numbness in my left hand. But maybe the worst part was that I lost virtually all of my strength in my left arm. Took 3 doctor visits to find the right person, etc. Surgery is apparently the only option if you lose your strength.

I had the surgery a month ago. I’m not 100% better like everyone else with this procedure seems to be. I still have numbness and weakness, though it improves a little each day. Doctor says no golf (not even putting) until April (3 months post surgery). Then I’m supposed to be cleared to essentially get my full life back. Eagerly awaiting that day...

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I've gone through the same exact issue as you for the last 10 years. initially, I consulted a surgeon who was ready to cut me open. After consulting with a few people, I tried the more conservative approach and had the epidural injections and PT. It worked for me initially. Gave me 5 pain free years. When the problem reoccurred, I had another 2 epidural injections and did the PT. Bought me another 5 years. I recently had a relapse which was through my own stupidity. Lifted a big window A/C and aggravated the neck. This was back in November. This time, my physiatrist (Spine Doc) recommended accupuncture as well as chiropractic. After 6 weeks, I am once again pain free and swinging a club. I have a high tolerance for pain so I was able to tough out those sleepless nights and driving with my right arm over my head (the only comfortable position for me)

I also agree that an inversion table might work for you as well. I also got myself a TENS electro stim device that I use on sore areas of my body especially the neck. My chiropractor used a traction device but an inversion table does the same thing.

Hang in there. The temptation is to give in and have surgery. I prefered a more holistic route. So far, so good. Surgery should always be the last option after exhausting all else.

 

Good luck

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I spent a year suffering and spending a ton on Chiropractors, physical therapy, etc and finally demanded an MRI. Bulging disks at base of neck and mid thoracic spine (don't remember exactly). Dr wanted to perform surgery. I did some research and purchased an inversion table for around $80. Look for sales at your local sporting goods store or even on craigslist. Changed my life. Now, when i have an issue a few times a year, I pull that thing out of the closet and I'm good to go in a few days. Give it a try, it's a low cost option.

 

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My story is much like yours. I hurt mine while lifting weights. It hurt for a few days and I lost my strength, but it came back in about a month initially. Approximatey two months after I hurt it, I awoke to the most excruciating pain ever. I went to my doctor and she said I had a pinched nerve and prescribed oxycodone. It so happened my pharmacist asked what happened and recommended a script for nerve pain instead. I took the oxycodone for two days. It was worthless. The pain in my triceps brought me to tears, and the back of my hand and fingers were constantly numb. My shoulder hurt too. I went back to my doctor and told her about the pharmacist's recommendation. Two days later, the vast majority of my pain was gone. I could finally sleep for longer than 1 hour.

After getting rid of the pain, I went to a physical therapist. She told me I had nerve damage due to the disk derangement and it may be permanent. She also said I had about 1/3 chance of regaining the strength in my arm. I worked out hard trying to get my strength back, but it still hasn't and it's been four years now. I used to bench 315 pounds on my last set. Now it's 225. Pulling isn't a problem, but pushing weight is. So my strength never came back fully, but my PT did have me do stretches that at least got my chin off of my chest. Because of the stretching, I have a full range of motion in my neck though it still feels a little stiff.

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I think I hurt mine moving this extremely heavy desk into my house. I saved hundreds of dollars buying it used, but cost myself thousands in surgery afterward.

My big fear is permanent nerve damage. I had lost 30 yards off my driver and 2 clubs off my irons because of this muscle weakness. I hope that I’m able to get my strength back. My surgeon suggested I would be better immediately and that my prognosis was really good. Now, though, he’s saying there’s nothing to worry about yet as it can take up to a year for it to fully recover.

I’m surprised that your PT seemed to “know “ that you had permanent nerve damage. All of the research I’ve read suggests you need a year and some nerve conduction tests to make that determination.

Either way, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had this experience. I hope it continues to get better over time.

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It wasn't that she knew, but said the odds were low that it would all come back. My doctor said the same. They also said it could take 18 months for it to come back. It didn't come back fully, but I hope for a long time. Hopefully things work out better for you than they did for me.

I didn't lose any distance golf-wise. For the first year however, I had shooting pain from my neck to my fingertips whenever I swung a club. It was nice when that finally went away. My only real issue is pushing with that arm.

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That makes sense. If I can get most of my strength back, and avoid the pain, etc I will be happy. My surgeon said that in his experience, therapy has poor outcomes post ACDF. I’m sure he knows what he’s talking about, but my muscles on that side are so sore right now (and still weak), so I “demanded” a prescription for PT. Starting in a couple of weeks.

He’s insisted from the beginning that my prognosis would essentially be 100% recovery, but I’m starting to worry about it a bit. Literally everyone I’ve talked to that has had this procedure says they were practically 100% the moment they awoke from surgery, and the doctor told me that would very likely happen in my case. I haven’t experienced that at all so far, but he’s saying now that it will take some time...up to a year.

Anyway, all I really care about is having no pain and getting enough strength back to hit bombs again. It sucked standing on the tee of a 400 yard hole and feeling like there was no way I’d get there in two (when 3 months ago I’d have a wedge in on that one).

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I had one about 5 years ago. I actually lost complete control of my left arm a few times. What I did was stretched through the pain everyday for a few weeks and it went away. Now I have one in my lower back causing buttock/leg pain sometimes. It only hurts when I walk certain distances so I'm going to the doc for this one.

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