Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    OLYMPIAN darb1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    133
    Rep Power
    1115170

    Default Cervical Herniated Disc

    I originally posted a thread about 6 weeks ago stating that my general practioner diagnosed me with a nerve impingement after I complained of weakness in my right triceps, lat, and pectorals, as well as some neck pain.

    After my condition did not improve after a few weeks my doctor referred me to an othopedic specialist who ordered an MRI and EMG. I got the results back today and met with spine surgeon who told me I had a minor herniated disc at c7. He stated that in a normal individual this would not likely be a problem, but apparently I have a spinal canal that is narrower than most people. He also stated that he was hesitant to do a fusion on a 24 year old as it could cause problems in the future. He did mention a cervical disc replacement, however, my insurance (blue cross blue shield) does not cover this proceedure, so it is not an option as of now.

    The spine doctor percribed physical therapy and referred me to a physical therapist who specializes in the spine. He also recommended traction to help stretch the vertebrae and that this in combination with the PT would allow the disc to retract back into its space over time.

    Does anyone have a similar situation or have experience using traction and physical therapy to solve this problem and if so how successful was it?

    Any help or personal experiences would be appreciated.

    PS: I will be posting status updates regularly.

  2. #2
    RX MEMBER B7emm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    221b Baker Street
    Posts
    1,502
    Rep Power
    2147651

    Default

    i have dealt with the herniation problem for almost 2 years i did 4 months of pt and it got worse i finely had a microdiskectomey on Aug. 11 of this year it was instant pain and numbness relief. I'm still sore around the incision site but nothing to extreme. oh and i also did 3 epidural steroid injections during my pt months. i hope it works out for you because a disk injury is the worst kind of nagging pain i have ever had.

  3. #3
    OLYMPIAN darb1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    133
    Rep Power
    1115170

    Default

    B7emm, I have not had any pain lately, I had some in the neck for about 3 weeks, but it is gone now. What type of things did you do for physical therapy?

  4. #4
    RX MEMBER BigJD69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Westchester County, N.Y.
    Posts
    6,191
    Rep Power
    206479

    Default

    I had C5-6-7 fused in 2003 and I still suffer with pain.

  5. #5
    RX MEMBER
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Staten Island NY
    Posts
    2
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by darb1 View Post
    I originally posted a thread about 6 weeks ago stating that my general practioner diagnosed me with a nerve impingement after I complained of weakness in my right triceps, lat, and pectorals, as well as some neck pain.

    After my condition did not improve after a few weeks my doctor referred me to an othopedic specialist who ordered an MRI and EMG. I got the results back today and met with spine surgeon who told me I had a minor herniated disc at c7. He stated that in a normal individual this would not likely be a problem, but apparently I have a spinal canal that is narrower than most people. He also stated that he was hesitant to do a fusion on a 24 year old as it could cause problems in the future. He did mention a cervical disc replacement, however, my insurance (blue cross blue shield) does not cover this proceedure, so it is not an option as of now.

    The spine doctor percribed physical therapy and referred me to a physical therapist who specializes in the spine. He also recommended traction to help stretch the vertebrae and that this in combination with the PT would allow the disc to retract back into its space over time.

    Does anyone have a similar situation or have experience using traction and physical therapy to solve this problem and if so how successful was it?

    Any help or personal experiences would be appreciated.

    PS: I will be posting status updates regularly.
    I too had herniation in C5 - C6 and a buldge on C6 - C7, I started
    physically therapy which was a terrible idea as it caused more pain and impingement. I did some research and found that Decompression Therapy was the ticket. I did it aggressively for 8 weelkd 3x per week then to 2 x per week and eventually one time per week and the problem was alleviated. Once the disc is back in place Physical Therapy is then warranted.
    I would get on it right away as nerve damage can occur. I had numbness in my thumb, index finger and middle finger and a whole lot of pain. I could not even think of training for 5 months. But the story has a happy ending as I was able to go back to training and compete approximately 1 year and 1/2 later and I am in my 40's you being younger will probabky come back much quicker

    Good Luck

  6. #6
    OLYMPIAN darb1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    133
    Rep Power
    1115170

    Default 9/9/09 Update

    I just had my first session of physical therapy and it seemed to go well. My physical therapist is one who specializes in spine injuries, so he seemed to have a good deal of experience and knowledge on the particular condition I am suffering from.

    He evaluated my affected areas and noticed weakness in the left tricep and it going to use the strength response of that muscle to guage the progress of treatment. He also evaluated my posture and noticed that I have a tendency to hunch forward when I sit down.

    He showed me some stretches for my neck to help relieve tension in the cervical area. After performing some of the stretches he noted an increased strength response in the right tricep (not back to full strength but more strength than before). Apparently the stretches are creating more space in the cervical area and allowing more nerve response.

    He said that we cannot speed up nerve recovery, but can create an optimal environment in for it to occur.

    He is hoping to have me back to normal after 4 weeks of treatment if not sooner.

    I am very encouraged by this session and look forward to my next treatment Friday.

    PS: I have been laying off my upper body for 2 months and just doing cardio and legs, but plan on returning to my full weight training routine on Monday.

  7. #7
    OLYMPIAN darb1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    133
    Rep Power
    1115170

    Default 9/11/09 Update

    Trained shoulders yesterday and did one pressing movement to test out if blood flow or strength was getting to tricep. Appeared that there was about 15-20% increase in strength and some blood floe, but difficult to tell as I have not trained in 2 months. On a side note, I did notice that every time I try to flex my tricep it cramps up.

    Physical Therapy today (9/11/09), therapist did some stretching of my neck which felt like it was releasing some tension, the then showed me some stretches for my middle back that would allow me to sit tall much easier and keep my lower back in and chest out. One particular stretch done on a rigid foam roll allowed me to release tension in lower back and seemed to make it easier to sit up straight. Therapist also showed me ab exercises that do not involve crunches (as crunches are basd for spine). Ab exercises felt very effective and will be incorporated in my routine from now on. I asked him about a home traction unit and he agreed that it could be helpful. I am going to call or write to my spine surgeon requesting a doctors note to get on and how to use it.

    Trained back today. Light workout trying to get right lat signals to fire and contraction to take place. Strength seemed to be on par with left side, although other back muscles could be taking over workload. Very little blood flow or pump to right lat, but appeared there was some.

    Doing cardio this weekend then back to weight training Monday. I will be following my regular routine, but going light and working on contracting affected muscles and reestablishing mind muscle connection and nerve signals.

    Will be following this training split:
    Sun: calves, abs, cardio
    Mon: shoulders
    Tue: arms
    Wed: legs
    Thu: back
    Fri: chest
    Sat: off

  8. #8
    RX MEMBER B7emm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    221b Baker Street
    Posts
    1,502
    Rep Power
    2147651

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by darb1 View Post
    B7emm, I have not had any pain lately, I had some in the neck for about 3 weeks, but it is gone now. What type of things did you do for physical therapy?
    sorry for the delay. but i had to do a lot of core work to add some stability and traction for decompression. thats about it. now i have to stay leaner because my spine suffers. I'm not sure the protocol for cervical you might as the physical therapist on here about it.

  9. #9
    OLYMPIAN darb1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    133
    Rep Power
    1115170

    Default 9/16/09 Update

    Physical therapy today went well. The therapist showed me some more ab exercises that would allow me to work my core from various angles as well as give me some more options for ab work. He also showed me how to work my lower back in a manner that would not put stress on the spine. After doing a few of the lower back exercises I can tell that they will be a great alternative to my current low back routine and will actually allow me to work the muscles in that area better.

    After that I asked him to critique the form on some of my exercises and see if my back would be in jeopardy. I will be making a change to one exercise but other than that, he way satisfied with my form provided I keep the spine in alighnment and not allow the head to creep forward.

    Trained shoulders Monday and it was a pretty good workout (considering my condition) had some blood flow to right tricep but still not near as much as the left.

    Trained Arms Tuesday and it also was a good workout. Overall a somewhat minor pump considering I have just taken 2 months off it will take time for the muscles to reajust. Definately noticed that the right tricep was getting blood flow but again not as much as the left. Also noticed that locking out on repetitons or flexing the muscle caused cramping. Should go away though as the muscle connection reforms.

    Next physical therapy is Friday Sept 25, so until then I will continue my new exercises and keep an eye on my form.

    PS: Picked up a cervical traction unit for home. PT said it would help but I may only need it for a few minutes a day or every few days or when my neck feels tight. Will contact my spine surgeon to see how much weight to use.

    Feeling very optomistic and hopeful for a full recovery within the next 8 weeks, look for posts as new developments occur and recovery improves.

  10. #10
    OLYMPIAN darb1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    133
    Rep Power
    1115170

    Default 9/27/09 Update

    Completed last physical therapy session Friday (9/25). PT said that we have addressed the posture issues, adjusted my form on several exercises to protect my spine, and the disc has begun to heal. He showed me how to use my newly aquired home traction unit and said that I can feel free to call him if I have questions.

    PT Friday I just did a warm up, and then he stretched my neck and mid back and then critiqued a few exercises I had concerns about.

    Overall I am very happy with the progress in physical therapy, especially considereing it only took 4 sessions to address the issue.

    I am feeling great, obviously not back to 100 percent, but I have been back training for 2 full weeks (taking it easy obviously). I have been dieting to stay lean and have had good pumps in the gym and am seeing some great results (saw veins in my thighs for the first time ever Friday night after a week of low carbs then eating a pizza).

    I am able to get a pump in my right tricep, the cramping when I flex the muscle in nearly gone, and the strength is coming back. I am also able to get a pump in my right pec and get a moderate contraction, and strength is returning. My lat is coming a little slower, but I am able to get a moderate pump, decent strength, but am still working on contracting the muscle (still rebuilding mind muscle connection).

    Recovery will likely be ongoing for the next few weeks to months as the nerve path reform and mind muscle connection reforms. Provided I am more self aware in the gym and careful on posture and exercises, I am confident that I will make a full recovery within a matter of months. The key will be to avoid any reinjury to the disc in the future and avoid aggrevating it.

    In terms of returning to old form (before injury) my upper body is still a little behind, legs are looking great, seperated and lean. Right now bodyfat about 6-7% if I had to guess, and I am about 205 lbs.

    I will keep posting on this tread as my training and recovery improve, although not as frequently.

  11. #11
    PENCILNECK
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    1
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    I had disc replacement at c5-c6 and was cleared by Neurosurgeion to go back in the gym at two weeks. Catch was to only use light weights and perfect form. Have been 4 times now at three weeks after surgery and most parts that don't use the left tricep are now at about 50% of original strength. Doc says microfibers associated with left arm will take the longest to heal.

    Training and recovery is definitely slow and I am listening to and respecting what my body tells me for each rep. Am currently 200-205 lbs and 51. Any articles regarding specific stretching / rehab would be appreciated. All this rehab and light weights only motivates me to continue to say, "I'll be back". Age is NOTan excuse or factor in my mind

  12. #12
    RX MEMBER
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    I have the same problem right now.

    Could you please describe the stretching exercises you did to get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by darb1 View Post
    I originally posted a thread about 6 weeks ago stating that my general practioner diagnosed me with a nerve impingement after I complained of weakness in my right triceps, lat, and pectorals, as well as some neck pain.

    After my condition did not improve after a few weeks my doctor referred me to an othopedic specialist who ordered an MRI and EMG. I got the results back today and met with spine surgeon who told me I had a minor herniated disc at c7. He stated that in a normal individual this would not likely be a problem, but apparently I have a spinal canal that is narrower than most people. He also stated that he was hesitant to do a fusion on a 24 year old as it could cause problems in the future. He did mention a cervical disc replacement, however, my insurance (blue cross blue shield) does not cover this proceedure, so it is not an option as of now.

    The spine doctor percribed physical therapy and referred me to a physical therapist who specializes in the spine. He also recommended traction to help stretch the vertebrae and that this in combination with the PT would allow the disc to retract back into its space over time.

    Does anyone have a similar situation or have experience using traction and physical therapy to solve this problem and if so how successful was it?

    Any help or personal experiences would be appreciated.

    PS: I will be posting status updates regularly.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •