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Cervical disc bulge/herniation and numbness
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Cervical disc bulge/herniation and numbness

Hello, I am a 37 year old female who is experiencing neck pain and facial numbness.
Almost 5 years ago, I went to a chiropractor and he adjusted me so forcefully that two weeks later the left side of my face started going numb from my ear to my nose almost like a line.  After my dr. ordered an MRI, it was confirmed that I had three discs either bulging or herniating.  Since then, I seem to get flare ups from time to time when my eye starts twitching, my face (mostly left side) gets numb and also my scalp.  My back and neck spasm to protect the injured area and I am left in pain and numbness sometimes for several weeks or a couple of months.  
I have been told different things by different dr's-that the discs are hitting spinal nerves and therefore causing this, also that it's in my head, it's stress etc.  It's definitely not in my head and it is real.
My question is-what else other than surgery (I'm not willing to do that) can I do?  I take anti inflammatories and am careful with my neck most times but I think I overdid it at the gym last week and now am paying the price.  
I would appreciate any input I can get as I'm getting tired of going to countless dr's and getting nowhere.  

Thank you!
Tarmale
Tags: Cervical pain/numbne
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Avatar_f_tn
  I hope you have good insurance, you are going to need it.  I have heard so many horror stories of chiropractor manipulations.  I worked with a girl who ended up paralyzed after one.  I try to tell people never to do it.  Anyway, with out proof that you had the herniations prior to the manipulation (MRI) you will probably never be able to prove that the manipulation caused it, or it only made it worse.
  You don't say which discs are herniated, I assume high up.  You must have done some research to get to this place and have a feel for what's going on.  But yes, herniated discs will cause your symptoms, as the herniation progresses and or nerve involvement starts, the symptoms will worsen.  Paresthesia (pins and needles) starts, goes down the arms into the hands.  Depends on the side of the herniation, that arm will be effected.  Numbness, pain between the shoulder blades, radiating over shoulder, following nerve path.  Depends on the nerves involved, as to where the pain will be.  That popping sounds are muscles from what I understand.  Spasms, they are trying to compensate for the injury.
  Non surgical treatment begins with physical therapy, exercises to strengthen the muscles around your neck and shoulder, traction to take the pressure off, ultrasound to help the spasms. Heat, ice and meds.   After that if pain continues and you can't handle it, epidural steroid injections into the disc space to help shrink the disc back into it's space.  Some of these therapies help some and some times there isn't anything to help.  It seems to be that the longer you wait before starting anything, the worse your outcome will be.  
  With 3 discs herniated, you may have a long, tough road ahead of you, especially since it's been 5 years.  The longer the nerves are compressed the more chances that permanent damage can occur.
  Get to a neuro-surgeon pronto.
  Good Luck  dgri
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your messase back. Yes, it was a dumb move on my part to go to a chiropractor and dumber still, I let him adjust me at a "free day" at the mall.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  It's my own fault and I should have known better.  I was just in so much pain and everyone kept saying that they work.  I will NEVER go back to one or recommend one to anyone.
As far as my injuries go, they seem to get better when I take it easy and am really careful.  I know that for the rest of my life I will have to avoid rides, waves etc but it's a small price to pay if I can keep my discs healthy.  
I'm sorry to hear about the girl you worked with.  That is just awful.  I've always done better with massage therapy.  I will get to a neuro surgeon and hopefully they can mri me again and get me better.

Thank you so much again as noone usually answers my question and you have told me a lot more than any doctor has!
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Avatar_n_tn
In defense of chiropractors, I have been receiving chiropractic treatment for 13 years, and have never had a problem. In fact, because of the treatments, I no longer suffer from migraine headaches, and my herniated disc is healing. Not all chiropractors are bad, though apparently the one who treated you was not the best. All in all, I am a firm believer in chiropractic, as I have experienced the whole-body wellness that comes from your spine being in alignment.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so glad that you have a good chiropractor.  I had two bad ones and another wanted to treat me and I said no way.  I really believe in massage therapy but again only good therapists. I had two good ones but one had a baby and one moved away so I am again without one.
I am feeling better now.  I've been resting and heating etc so hopefully I'll be ok for now and get to a good neurosurgeon soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 39 years old male. I have a disc bulge at C6-C7.
I went to Neurosurgeon, one of the best in my town experience spanning over 37 years.
He advised me physical therapy from a cornerstone. I did that for several weak but no results.then he asked me to have the three epidural injection. It was a very painful experience. I had them. After third one I felt I will be fine. But pain came back. I continued my therapy at my own.
I am physically very fit , no other problem but this neck pain kills me. My work is usually is on computer. Now I think of going to chiropractor but not fully persuaded. I do not know what to do. I think if I go back to my Neurosurgeon he would either advise me continue physical therapy or go for surgery. But I am not for surgery at the moment.
Please advise me what to do.
Thanks
AM

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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 43 yr old female, who at the beginning of the summer thought that I was having a heart attack because the pain in my chest back and down the arm was so bad.  I was sick tomy stomach too!  They did an EKG and determined that it was not my heart.  After going back and forth to the doctor to get this thing figured out they did an MRI only to find three bulged disks C4 - C6.  I was sent immediately to a Nuerosurgeon who wanted to fuse all three disk spaces.  A friend had something similar in August, had surgery and is still not back to work.  Needless to say I told him I wanted to exaust the alternatives before surgery.  I have done chiropractic in the past and it too relieved headaches that were not eased with any other treatment.  Unfortunately, it did not help this time, I have been through traction - on the second round now.  (However I did have Chiropractic done by another doctor for a lower back issue and he did adust my thorasic and cervical - I left there one day with my hands feeling numb and tingly....I think that is where my issue came from.)  The first time it worsened the symtoms (symptoms).  So I had the three injections.  First one did nothing, second one felt some relief, third one was 4 weeks later and pain had started back.  The third one helped some so I started back to traction.  I can feel the pain increasing.  I was told that I could have a 4th in 4 months.  On Tuesday I am headed to the Cleveland Clinic to see what they think of all of this and what the other options are.  I don't want to end up like my friend, I am a single mom with two kids and a dead beat Ex. I can't afford to ne out lke my friend. I wil be sure to post again to let you know what they tell me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Once my chiropractor knew I had herniated C5-6, he would NOT adjust my neck. I too tried non-surgical intervesntions first, but after 6 mos of now improvment, ended up having a C-5-6 disc removal and titanium plate & screws. It is a "simple" surgery. If no complications go home same day. I ended up staying overnight from a reaction to the morphine they gve me. I was walking around great after a week, and back to work in a month. Sureery isn't a fun experience, but we need to thank God it is available.Yes, my neck still hurts sometimes, but nothing like before, and almost all of the pins & needles and numbness is gone too. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. God Bless and good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi
After the surgery are you able to live a normal life like sleep, walk, run, climb. I have a bulge on  c6-c7 and the pain is severed
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a busy mom with two kids and I was also afraid of a 2nd surgery.  I tried every conservative treatment possible for two years.  I finally had a multi-level ACDF (C4-7) about 9 weeks ago performed by a skilled neurosurgeon.  I felt better immediately when I woke up from surgery.  I have continued to recover and feel better than I have in two years!  I have my life back and I'm out of chronic pain.  My advise is to go to see a neurosurgeon with an excellent reputation who has done many of these surgeries.   Good luck!
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