Cervical radiculopathy

VonMeister

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Apr 26, 2013
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Placebo from a physical therapist? Hmmm. Probably NO.
Maybe some traction device?
You're a doctor. You know that you can't decompress a spine. Sure you can provide some temporary relief which is mainly just positional and lasts as long as you are in that position.....but you can not change or alter the spacing or alignment between vertebrae and related soft tissue by pulling on the neck, adjusting or any other nonsense. Any relief from any of these treatments is placebo.
 

VonMeister

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Couldn't the temporary relief from traction allow the healing to take place?

You break the pain signaling cycle?

I
There's really nothing to heal. Most age or time related injuries are due to disc desiccation which is permanent. Disc herniations can shrink or resolve over time but not because you're doing anything specific.

The best way to break the cycle is to be active. Many people with chronic pain walk on eggshells and try to avoid using that body part out of fear of a flame up or making it worse.

Example-For someone with non specific lower back pain... getting them to use their back is half the battle. Once you get them there (educating them on the 100% complete normalcy of herniated, desiccated discs), there's no better way to convince them that they can use their back with reckless abandon than by constant exposure to heavy sets of deadlifts. Name one thing more scary to a person with lower back pain than a deadlift.

Neck pain is a bit tougher. It's a lot more stubborn and has a tendency to cause random shooting pain in the arms or chest. It's very common with surfers. The treatment for this patience and reduction in activity that aggravates it until it really settles down and then slowly getting active again, but being measured and mindful. Light physical activity helps...but all light physical activity is equally effective....so the experts that try and treat it specifically are just trying to drive dependency and not at all interested in resolution (or they are poorly educated). The good news is that when it gets to a point that it's chronic and a proper treatment plan doesn't work any longer surgical interventions are very effective and long lasting......as opposed to the lower back which overall are ok at best.
 

One-Off

Tom Curren status
Jul 28, 2005
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Aka pinched nerve (C8). Kind of like sciatica of the arm, numbness/tingling/pain down the left arm and into the pinky and ring finger. Been through 6 weeks of PT - stretching, nerve flossing, cervical decompression, etc - got most of it to go away, but just can't get rid of it completely. Still some numbness, my grip is not what it should be, fine motor skills are off, kind of plateaued the problem right there. About to go back to my doc to escalate the issue to whatever's next (steroid shot in the neck, I think). Anyone been through this? Thanks!

I've been doing a modified bridge exercise that seems to help. It basically this (below) but raise your shoulders off the ground. If nothing else my neck is getting stronger. I already watch tv in the evening lying on the floor ever since my back "event." I do bridges and hollow holds several times every night.

YMMV, but worth a try? At your own risk. At first it felt like a lot of load, but over time it seems safe (adaptation?).

.
 
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doc_flavonoid

Michael Peterson status
Dec 27, 2019
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pinched nerve pain is like no other. if you know, you know and you sure dont want to revisit it.

i do think you can get to a 75% recovery with rest after 8-10 weeks depending on severity. according to my pt the next 15-20% can easily take a year or two. the last 5-10% maybe unobtainable.

things that have helped me

all fours diaphragmatic breathing exercise

maintaining neutral shoulder position

head raises

maintaining good paddling posture (back arched, sternum off ur board, gluts and quads engaged, ankles crossed)
 

sussle

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Oct 11, 2009
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how it started:
Aka pinched nerve (C8). Kind of like sciatica of the arm, numbness/tingling/pain down the left arm and into the pinky and ring finger. Been through 6 weeks of PT - stretching, nerve flossing, cervical decompression, etc - got most of it to go away, but just can't get rid of it completely. Still some numbness, my grip is not what it should be, fine motor skills are off, kind of plateaued the problem right there. About to go back to my doc to escalate the issue to whatever's next (steroid shot in the neck, I think). Anyone been through this? Thanks!
how it's going:
ANTERIOR CERVICAL DISCECTOMY FUSION C4-T1/POSSIBLE POSTERIOR CERVICAL DECOMPRESSION AND FUSION C4-T1
end of the line, tomorrow morning. see you guys on the other side :waving:
 

HatterasGlass

Michael Peterson status
Apr 6, 2008
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I thought this thread was going to be way more about the vag area....cervix and all.
Boy was I disappointed.

Hope you're healing up sussle.
 

sussle

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Oct 11, 2009
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Wait. What? Somejhow I missed this. Did you get surgery? How's it going?
yeah, replaced 4 disks, C4-T1, about 6 weeks ago. coming along slowly, every joint/tendon/muscle in my neck/shoulder/upper back is tender and has to adjust to my new spinal configuration. had to be done, no regrets. thanks for asking :waving:

before, you can see how whacked my spine was, misaligned, collapsed vertebrae pinching nerves etc...would have to attribute that to a lifetime of surfing, e.g. getting smacked by the lip, headers off of sandbars etc etc. after, everything is nicely lined up, the hardware is healing nicely but it's going to take a while for the nerves to heal.
before after copy.jpg
 
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tenover

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Jan 17, 2003
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Stoked I saw this thread. Been having crazy pain in neck/shoulder/right arm since a recent dive trip and after a cortisone shot(in the butt), pills and an MRI, finally found out it's a "severe pinched nerve between C5/C6.

Been going to my sports medicine/chiropractor now for 2 weeks with minimal positive results. I wanted that to work, but might need to go with the targeted cortisone shot next. I wanted my chiropractor to be right when he said he could fix it, he just didn't know how long it would take.... not being able to sleep more than a few hours totally sucks.
 

One-Off

Tom Curren status
Jul 28, 2005
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yeah, replaced 4 disks, C4-T1, about 6 weeks ago. coming along slowly, every joint/tendon/muscle in my neck/shoulder/upper back is tender and has to adjust to my new spinal configuration. had to be done, no regrets. thanks for asking :waving:

before, you can see how whacked my spine was, misaligned, collapsed vertebrae pinching nerves etc...would have to attribute that to a lifetime of surfing, e.g. getting smacked by the lip, headers off of sandbars etc etc. after, everything is nicely lined up, the hardware is healing nicely but it's going to take a while for the nerves to heal.
View attachment 169676
Wishing you a full recovery.

How bad were the first weeks?

What kind of ROM can you expect afterwards?
 

ElOgro

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Dec 3, 2010
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yeah, replaced 4 disks, C4-T1, about 6 weeks ago. coming along slowly, every joint/tendon/muscle in my neck/shoulder/upper back is tender and has to adjust to my new spinal configuration. had to be done, no regrets. thanks for asking :waving:

before, you can see how whacked my spine was, misaligned, collapsed vertebrae pinching nerves etc...would have to attribute that to a lifetime of surfing, e.g. getting smacked by the lip, headers off of sandbars etc etc. after, everything is nicely lined up, the hardware is healing nicely but it's going to take a while for the nerves to heal.
View attachment 169676
Excellent! Heal fast!
 

sussle

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Oct 11, 2009
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@ tenover: good luck broseph - I would love to have been able to fix this with a shot. i had a lot of pain early on, but PT seemed to alleviate that. my immediate problem was that i was losing functionality in my left hand from the nerve compression (C8 mostly, i think)....numbness, tingling, my grip was about 50% gone. PT did not help with that and left unchecked, my left hand would basically wither into a claw.

@ One-off: appreciate your good wishes. first couple weeks sucked like i'd been in a car wreck, it's just such an invasive procedure - see below. but my left-right ROM feels pretty good right now (six weeks post-op), close to normal. i suspect holding my head up while paddling out is gonna be a stretch (literally) - probably something i have to work my way into, but it will be a few months before i even attempt it.

Happy holidays, gentlemen - best wishes and stay well :waving:

disk.jpg
 
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GromsDad

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West of the Atlantic. East of the ICW.
Just saw your post topped. All ball busting aside, hope you're felling a lot better by now. For what its worth, I have tow friends who've had this done. One is a surfer who is back surfing and the other is one of my golf buddies who has gone on to win a couple of club championships since the surgery.
 

bvendley

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Jul 18, 2018
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@ tenover: good luck broseph - I would love to have been able to fix this with a shot. i had a lot of pain early on, but PT seemed to alleviate that. my immediate problem was that i was losing functionality in my left hand from the nerve compression (C8 mostly, i think)....numbness, tingling, my grip was about 50% gone. PT did not help with that and left unchecked, my left hand would basically wither into a claw.

@ One-off: appreciate your good wishes. first couple weeks sucked like i'd been in a car wreck, it's just such an invasive procedure - see below. but my left-right ROM feels pretty good right now (six weeks post-op), close to normal. i suspect holding my head up while paddling out is gonna be a stretch (literally) - probably something i have to work my way into, but it will be a few months before i even attempt it.

Happy holidays, gentlemen - best wishes and stay well :waving:

View attachment 169679
Wow, looks like heavy duty surgery, best of luck with the recovery!
What exactly was the surgery called, did it involve fusion?
I'm dealing with something similar although definitely not as bad as yours. Doc is recommending prosthetic discs (C4-6) and I'm trying to figure out how tough the recovery will really be.
 

Swallow Tail

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Oct 6, 2017
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Wow, looks like heavy duty surgery, best of luck with the recovery!
What exactly was the surgery called, did it involve fusion?
I'm dealing with something similar although definitely not as bad as yours. Doc is recommending prosthetic discs (C4-6) and I'm trying to figure out how tough the recovery will really be.
Looks like Sussle had a 4 level fusion, not artificial discs.

I had c 4/5 c6/7 done w artificial discs about 5 n 1/2 years ago.

My pain was way over the top, waaaay past a 10. Had to stop working etc. Bed ridden some days. Thought I was going to be a cripple. I remember waking up from that procedure and it was the best I had felt in years. A life saver/game changer.

that being said, surgery should always be a last resort. They’re not always success stories. I’d try epidural shots and strength training- strength training is needed regardless of surgery - more strength and stability is always part of the solution.

PS: I have found chiropractor to be helpful-but NOT a solution, and NOT placebo. It is a band-aid like other “therapies.”

“Placebo” … IMO one of the dumbest fckn things we do is discounting the power we have to help heal or deal with injuries, pain etc. Believe in it, you can heal, we can do it, we can get better. It’s powerful medicine.
 
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One-Off

Tom Curren status
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@ tenover: good luck broseph - I would love to have been able to fix this with a shot. i had a lot of pain early on, but PT seemed to alleviate that. my immediate problem was that i was losing functionality in my left hand from the nerve compression (C8 mostly, i think)....numbness, tingling, my grip was about 50% gone. PT did not help with that and left unchecked, my left hand would basically wither into a claw.

@ One-off: appreciate your good wishes. first couple weeks sucked like i'd been in a car wreck, it's just such an invasive procedure - see below. but my left-right ROM feels pretty good right now (six weeks post-op), close to normal. i suspect holding my head up while paddling out is gonna be a stretch (literally) - probably something i have to work my way into, but it will be a few months before i even attempt it.

Happy holidays, gentlemen - best wishes and stay well :waving:

View attachment 169679
That looks so gnarly. Again I wish you a speedy recovery.

Isn’t the larynx in front of the vertebra? Where’d that go?

I have PT next week because whenever I surf my neck and shoulder (trapezius?) hurt, while surfing and for hours after, getting progressively worse if I surf multiple days in a row which I did this past week. I’m always hoping for some magic bullet exercise…
 
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sussle

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Oct 11, 2009
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They go through the front now - recovery is WAY faster for all these types of procedures.
the front is by far preferred - if you go through the back, they have to cut through muscle. and i knew of a bunch of celebs who had this procedure - Keanu Reeves, Troy Aikman etc. did not know about Springsteen and i'm kind of amazed coz my voice is still mostly gone - sounds like a blown speaker. i'm guess Springsteen had some serious speech therapy as well, whereas i just figured my voice is the least of my problems. in fact, in certain quarters around here, Dad's missing voice is not considered a problem :rolleyes: