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bulging disk in neck
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bulging disk in neck

i  have 2 bulbing disk in my neck.the doctor said this is not painful but im in pain everyday.is bulging and herniated the same thing? can this get better on its own?and can it get worse?
Tags: Neck, Pain
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Avatar_f_tn
I also have 2 "bulging" disks in my neck.  My doctor (a neurologist) says bulging and herniated are the same thing - the disks bulge outward and cause problems by pressing on nerves and, in some cases, the spinal cord.  Your doctor must not be too knowledgable about this, otherwise he would know you are in tremendous pain.  Did your doctor tell you anything about why this can cause pain?  Unfortunately, if your pain in nerve related there's not alot you can do.  There's epidural cortisone injections that help about 50% of people.  Sometimes, physical therapy with traction can help.  Not many pain medicines are very effective on this kind of pain because the nerves are usually involved.  I find that 4 tylenol (all at once) and 2 ibuprofen (all at once) tend to take the edge off the muscle pain I have associated with my disk problems.  Tylenol PM is great at night because eventually you just can't keep your eyes open anymore, even if you can't get comfortable.  I know some doctors are treating c-spine problems with antidepressents.  What I was told is that a herniated disk will always be bulging.  It can not go back in it's right place, but it can be managed.  You will feel better eventually, but you may also struggle with bouts of pain from time to time.  They can get worse, because the disk can actually rupture and then the nucleus of the disk can leak out.  Some disks go "dry" this way and then you have no lubrication in the vertibrae.  Another website: www.spinehealth.com, is really good.  You should see a neurologist or neurosurgeon.  Let me know if there's anything else I can help you with.  I've done a ton of research on this and been to a lot of doctors.  Good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
RAttyrandi, Im impressed with your input.....I always visit spinehealth site, it help me comprehend and educate myself about my illness, they have the video for every procedure concerning the vertebrea......I used to worry a lot but knowing that there's a hope, it makes me ease a bit.

Like what Rattyrandi is saying, it will not go back to how it used to, but atleast it can be prevented from spreading/affecting the other spine/disk. Spine should be treated sensitively.....

Rattyrandi, I used to take those meds you're taking, uh, uh! useless.....but perhaps you want to try disclofenac 50 mg (voltarin tab) it's very effective BUT don't get use to it or to any med's you'll become dependent.....lastly, apply some hot pack on the affected area it will help to reduce the pain, do some  stretching (neck) exercise above all swimming it is highly recommended by the doctors.


Takecare and God speed~!

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Avatar_f_tn
my  neurologist is the doctor  w ho told me i have the bulging disk and told me im not in pain.iv been seeing him for 3 years for uncontrollable migraines.its been two years sense i found i had bulging disk. he has not been a good doctor.im looking for another one now.im taking a  muscle relaxer , if i dont take it i cant stand the pain.how will i know if they rupture?do you have any numbness or tingling in your hands?how can this be prevented from spreading.am i going to have to live with this pain?  what can happen to make the disk to bulge? should i be worried about the rest of my spine?thank you so much for all your help.
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Avatar_f_tn
my  neurologist is the doctor  w ho told me i have the bulging disk and told me im not in pain.iv been seeing him for 3 years for uncontrollable migraines.its been two years sense i found i had bulging disk. he has not been a good doctor.im looking for another one now.im taking a  muscle relaxer , if i dont take it i cant stand the pain.how will i know if they rupture?do you have any numbness or tingling in your hands?how can this be prevented from spreading.am i going to have to live with this pain?  what can happen to make the disk to bulge? should i be worried about the rest of my spine?thank you so much for all your help.
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Avatar_f_tn
I do have numbess and tingling an my left hand; certain fingers are affected by certain nerves.  If you have an anatomy/physiology book, it can tell you all about that.  I have pain down the inside of my left arm and into my thumb index finger, then my pinkie and ring finger.  These are just two of the nerves that can be affected.  I also have numbess on the rear of my left shoulder and then, lower, under my left shoulder blade on my back.  I have learned this is all nerve related.  The problem is that if it is allowed to continue and the imflammation doesn't go down, it can cause permanent damage.  The way disk structure was explained to me is to compare it to a jelly donut (very technical), except that the filling (the nucleus) is acidic.  The donut part (the disk fibers) are interwovenin different directions and are very strong this way, however, when a disk bulges, these fibers become damaged.  Tiny holes and tears in the fibers allow the nucleus to "leak out" if you will, and this acidic jelly irritates the nerves.  Then, because your immune system has never before encountered the jelly, it attacks it, irritating the disk.  On top of that, the neck muscles are freaking out and trying to keep the pressure of your arms (which are suspended by the meck muscles) and the weight of the head from compressing the disk further, and tighten up.  Really, I think you'll find heat and muscle relaxers to be a helpful, if short-term solution.  I am going to have an epidural cortisone injection in my neck sometime soon and I will let you know how it goes and if it helps.  I'm apprehensive because I have had problems with regular cortisone shots before and this comes along with even more risks.  I'm taking flexoril and oxycodone when I absolutely must, but I try to avoid it.  The flexoril works great to loosen up the muscles.  I don't know how you got your injury.  Mine is a work injury that I would guess had been coming on for sometime.  One day I was lifting something with another worker and - bam! - I just felt it all of a sudden.  I also spent about 8 hours a day looking down at a table and hammering material I held in my left hand with my right hand.  I think you will be able to manage your pain if you get a better doc and hopefully eventually it will subside.  Yes, you will have incidents which will aggravate the disks again and it will be painful - this is a lifetime thing we must live with now.  I would worry not so much about it "spreading" to other disks, but about the disks that are bulging getting worse.  Disks can be dessicated (dry) if the nucleus leaks out too much, and they can bulge to the point that they are pressing on your spinal cord.  Sometimes, these disks bulge because of simple degeneration (age and wear and tear), other times it is trauma (like a car accident or work injury).  So, keep me posted and let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.  Happy Hollidays and try to enjoy them.
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Avatar_f_tn
.please let me know if the cortisone shots work. i dont know if i could be able to do that because im deathy afraid of shots and iv heard bad storys  from people who have had them. i am takeing  flexoril too.im not really sure what caused this i was in an abusive relationship, and got kicked  by a horse so im sure it was one or the other that cause this.  thank you for all your answers you have made things much clearer.happy holidays to you too.
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Avatar_m_tn
what is the downside to the epidural shot?
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Avatar_f_tn
From what I understand, there is a risk the person doing the injection can hit a nerve because the area is so small and tightly packed with tissue. If this occurrs, there is tingling, burningg, nubness and discomfort that usually lasts about 4 weeks.  Some people have pemanent damage.  It is important that who ever does the injection use a fluoroscope to get a live picture of the area so they don't hit anything vital.   Also, there is a small risk that the injection site may not heal and that the fluid around your spinal cord (and that which is cushioning your brain) may leak out to a certain extent.  If this happens, you can get an awful headache because the brain is no longer cushioned by enough fluid and the little fibers which attach it to the cranial space are stretched.  The leak can be repaired by blood patching.  Also, in older patients, there is an increased risk of stroke because blood vessels in the neck can become agitated by the injection.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had neck pain/tension for about 2 months and occasionaly I will have a shooting pain or kinda of a tension/lockup  that almost feels like a shockand shoots up the back left side of my head, the longest it has lasted is maybe 3-5 minutes but it ***** so I went to see a doc last month and had an mri done, the first time I showed up and they did an mri of my brain for some reason nothing came up and I said because it starts in my neck and shoots up so I wanted an mri on my neck and it showed a c5-6 bulged disc, the doc gave me nothing at first and it started getting worse so I had to ask for a anti inflamatory so he gave me a prescript for that and norcos, three weeks later aka yesterday i went and got a cortizone shot in my neck and refered for physical therapy. Do you think things are being handled correctly or should I find another doctor? It would greatly appreciated if you had some advice.  Thanks!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Lee, the Dr who told you the bulging discs are not painful is either a very good psychic or an idiot. Does he live in your body? Only you can guage your pain levels and as I have 8 herniated discs I know the pain can be excrutiating and chronic.
There are many medical definitions for herniations, bukges, ruptures etc, however the issue is what do your personal scans show and what is being done to help you??

I am permanently disabled and in chronic pain with my spinal damage, so I empathise with you. If you arent happy with your Drs find a second opinion etc, as you may have to live with these issues for the rest of your life. Apparently some disc issues can self resolve after a few weeks/months once swelling subsides etc. I hope that is right for you.

Do your research early and try to learn what you can without getting overly subjective. I have found much help on forums such as this and others. Acceptance and understanding go hand in hand. Also I agree with rattyrandi re neuropathic pain being hard to treat even with opiates such as morphine etc. Gabapentin has helped some but not all, may be worth a go?
Good luck with your issue.
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2117020_tn?1334635015
Hi.
I also have the same problem as you. I have two bulging discs in my neck which showed up on the MRI and my doctor said they same as yours, they don't cause pain. But, gee, doc, I am IN pain. Luckily, my PCP gave a muscle relaxant and voltaren which seem to help a little, not a lot and I still have to start physical therapy. Good luck to you.
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