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herniated disc in neck and shoulder pain
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herniated disc in neck and shoulder pain

I have herniated discs at C6-7,C5-6 disc bulging at C3-4 and C7-T1. My question is can this cause severe pain in my shoulder where I can barely use or lift my left arm. I have a very sore spot on the front of my shoulder that I can hardly touch.I had a bout of vertigo on sat. so sat. night I had to sleep in a wierd position with my neck. Woke up on Sun. and could not move my arm for pain. Went to the er yesterday. The doc said tendinitis,and gave me a shot of toradol which helped a little. I asked if this could be coming from my neck and they said they did't think so. I was doing some more reading today and read somewhere that certain discs could make it seem like there was problems with the rotator cuff. I also have a bulging disc at L4-5 that gives me severe pain in my buttocks and leg where I can't move my leg, feels kind of the same. That's why I am wondering if this is from nerves or something in my shoulder. This arm has gotten weaker over the last year anyway. Has anyone ever experienced what I am talking about. Could sure use some help on this one. My arm is a little more movable today and I have been albe to take it out of the sling and use it a little more. Any help would be appreciated.
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16 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I am glad we can IM each other, one day we will both be online at the same time and can actually chat. LOL

That sucks about your arm now. I don't have much to say about it but I wanted to ask you something else.

Before you were injured, did you have a regular exercise routine? Are you able to do any exercises now?

Also, how much of this is related to your job? Which area of your spine do you think got messed up at work?  How long has this been going on?

I am just curious, you sound like you are a mess! LOL  

How's the L4-5 pain doing? You said you had an EMG that confirmed nerve interruption or something like that. Is it a pinched nerve?

Hope that doctor appointment goes well for you on Thursday.

Keep in touch,
Elaina
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Avatar_f_tn
I can't say I had a regular exercise progaram but I did walk on my treadmill. I liked to do tae bo and there was some pilates I did sometimes. I was active though. I didn't like to sit around too much. I found things to do with myself, whether outside when it was warm or teaching myself to paint. Just things to keep busy and of course school at night.
I will honestly say that i really don't do too much now as far as real excerise, I just want to get through the day doing my routine things that have to be done and sometimes that is too much.
All of this is work related.
In SEpt. 2005 I was given the responsibilty of being a 1 to 1 with a child with c.p. She was in a wheelchair and did not have much control over anything. I am not a very big person about 5 2 and this little girl was almost as big as me. I had no training and I just moved her around all day from all her different equipment and lifting her up onto a changing table. I started to get really bad backaches but I just figured it was my mucsles from lifting her. I asked to get another position but they refused cause they had no one who wanted to take care of her.
One day in Jan. I could not get out of bed in the morning I was in so much pain then started my whole ideal of what was wrong with me.
About 3 months later I was pushing my girl through the bumpy grass after recess with one arm and trying to get another little girl with severe mental problems back into the building with my other arm when my neck popped. All of this was being done with my backbrace on because this is what they considered light duty. When my neck popped I was in so much pain crying I couldn't even move my head and barely hold it up. The workmen's comp doc said I was faking that ther was nothing that i did to cause any problems. Another doc later an a mri showed the disc problems in my neck.
My L4-5 is so so as long as I don't push it. I have chronic L5 lumbar radiculopathy according to my emg
Talk to you later
chadry
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Avatar_m_tn
channdry--- the problem in your shoulder does NOT sound like a disc issue. just becasue you have MRI findings of disc disease does not mean that is what is causing your symptoms. your problem sounds like bursitis/frozen shoulder/tendonitis/rotator cuff related.  the tender spot on the front of yur shoulder, again, does not sound like it is casued by a disc in your neck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks. I was just curious about it. I had come across an article when I was reading up on my shoulder that had mentioned that sometimes a herniated disc can give off symptoms that is mistaken to be a problem with the rotator cuff. I go to an orthopedic tomorrow so I will see what he has to say about it. It is feeling a little better today.I have a muscle on my upper arm that has become weaker over the last year and since this episode with whatever is going on it is much weaker today.
Thanks,
Chadry
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Avatar_n_tn
I remember my ex-husband had the same herniations as you and complained of shoulder pain like you are. I think it is very possible it can be disc related. Of course, it can be other things, but I would not rule out your discs on this one.
He ended up having a fusion - the surgeon took bone from his hip bone and fused it upstairs. The ex said that the pain from "shaving" a piece of his hip was worse then the fusion.
Let me know what the doc said.
Cheers!
E.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was in and out of his office in a few minutrs. took 2 hours to get there.He told me to go to my doctor. This was for a percentage for disability for my injuries. It still hurts but it is starting to ease up again. I did notice that my neck has been very tight these last few days. I have been sleeping on the couch because it is the only way I can situate myself to get some relief. I really didn't do anything to hurt myself.
I will talk to later and send you a message. Hope you are doing good E.
Chadry
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Avatar_n_tn
HI,
So you didn't find anything out after traveling two hours! Well, I guess it was worth it if you get disability money that you deserve by seeing him.

I am scared of having surgery but I know if I don't I won't get better. My doctor told me today the last resort are those epidurals. He gave me the name of a reputable Pain Clinic and I will go get the epidural even though I do not want one. Who knows, maybe it will be amazing and I will be able to get my life back without surgery. We shall see.

Hope you're not doing too poorly. I am doing so-so, but it's because I haven't been doing anything to aggravate my nerve. I want to ride my bike so badly and start running again, I miss it so much. My golf game is going to need a lot of work once I am able to get back to it. I have a cool golf cage in my backyard but cannot use it.

Cheers!  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am not doing good. I had to go to the er again last night. my arm was hurting so bad.i didn't say anything about my neck at first. when he asked where my arm and shoulder was hurting i showed him. it is my whole arm now with shooting throbbing pain. i can not even find a comfortable position to ease it up. he asked if i had done anything to my neck because he thought it was a nerve pain. then i told him about my neck and he said well that explains it. he did an xray of my shoulder and he said my xray was good. nothing he could see to cause the pain.he gave me a shot for pain that i actually took and it only made me high did nothing for the pain. did you ever hear of neurotin. it is a med for nerve pain. he gave me a script for that. we have to pick it up. youi know how i am with meds and let me tell you i am doing anything right now to help ease the pain. the worst part is i just had to have my daughter and husband give me a bath and wash my hair. i needed it. i could not do it myself.they threratened to leave me in there. haha.
maybe you should try the shot either it works and helps some or it don't.just as long as it is given by a good place. i personally think that the shot has a lot to do with the person giving it. i hope you can get back to your life. my oldest son loves to play golf and he is pretty good. when he was about 3 my father cut down his old set and started him with those. he still loves to play. good days are coming. o.k.
miss talking to you. i have not been out of bed too long these last couple of days.
talk to you soon
chadry
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Avatar_n_tn
I wish you could get off that vicious merry-go-round you are on.

I have heard of Neurotin but have not used it. I hope it works for you. I don't understand why you have not been prescribed this before?  Have you had physical therapy?  Does anyone say you need surgery?  Are you going to reputable doctors?  An xray of your shoulder is useless unless you fractured or broke it. I say it is pain radiating from your neck that is aggravating your shoulder and I ain't no doctor. LOL

Gettting a bath by your daughter and husband must have made you feel like an old lady!  But I understand. My son has had to hold me up while walking to the bathroom numerous times.

My doctor told me Friday that he cannot guarantee I will be back in school in August. I was supposed to graduate next year and become a teacher. I have a couple A.A's and was working toward my teaching credentials. I worked at the college as a supplemental Math instructor and then moved on (had to change up my schedule to meet my class schedule) to being a private tutor and nanny (both cash based jobs) so I cannot collect disability or unemployment. I am going to MAKE it back next semester, I have to! I am so close to my goal. The only good thing about not being able to go back to school is that my attorney will collect me the money I would have made had I graduated on time and was teaching. I would rather have my degree on time then the money.

Anyway, hang in there kiddo!  Let me know how the Neurotin works. Thanks for sharing the golf story, that was cute!

Cheers!

E.
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176803_tn?1198543198
  A torn rotator cuff and pinched nerves from your herniated disks do feel the same because they are both pincing the nerves, just 2 different causes. Your docs need to figure out witch cause it is.
  As you see, different docs give different opinions. Thats exactly what they give, "opinions".  I Have had 4 injurys at least to my back, each time the severity dismissed because of "opinions", especially from the ER's.  Most of the time, the simple x-rays show nothing, or if I am lucky enough the ER doc. orders a "cat" scan, shows minimal things, but NEVER has an ER doc. sent me home with more than a "back sprain", etc.. to later find out I have herniated disks each time, and compressing nerves.
  Your doc. has the means of ordering the right tests and referring you to the right specialists to find the cause(s) of your problems.  It's getting them to do it.
  As for the nuerotin...it is actually a anti-seizure medicine that they have recently dicovered helps SOME people with nerve pains.  I have tried it and it never helped at all for my back and leg pains from the nerves.  However, I have a good friend that had some major surgerys on his legs and knees and tells me its like a "miricle" drug for him, and that it helps him more than narcotics did.
  Good luck and keep us posted. Hope you feel better.
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Avatar_f_tn
I truly feel this was coming from my neck. I decided to put my collar on and after I did that I started to get some relief. I did not take the medication because I was starting to get some relief. Today I am able to move my arm without the severe shooting pain but the upper muscle is weaker now than it was. It was starting to get weak before this last episode for awhile. Hopefully I can do some excersises to get a little muscle control back. I am not pushing it today though. I finally can move my arm and for now I am soooo happy. I finally slept through the night. Thanks for your reply and experience. I feel like a new person today.
Chadry
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Avatar_n_tn
i know how you feel i have 7 herniated disc an a rotator cuff tear from work related an also i'm getting very weak with my shoulder an every doctor that looks at me can't help me they say i been to 10 different doctors in 7 months an they help but then they give up on me my store is pretty long i can lift nothing over 10lbs so that limits my abilities to jobs i'm on worker com/no fault an struggling with my life.

                                                                   cindy
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Avatar_f_tn
Yeah I know what you mean about limitations on jobs. My arm is slowly getting better but not very much stronger. I had some plates and a jar of mayo in that hand for a few seconds. I made someone grab them because I felt my arm giving out. I con not support myself with that arm. I can see on my upper arm where there was muscle before but it is starting to hang a little now. I lost my job because they think I am unable to do it but w.c. says i can. I finally got unemployment this week but I am still looking for something. What.... I don't know but I am looking. NOt quite sure who will hire me though. When I was doing my p.t. they had me doing work conditioning. I had to lift a basket of weights and walk and bend and reach above with them. My limit was 7 pounds. Then my neck went out when they tried to increase the weight. So I can't lift too much with my neck either.
Take care and thanks for the reply. I truly believe the problem with my arm and shoulder is coming from my neck. It kind of feels like the pain in my leg when my lower back is acting up.
Hope the struggle gets a little better.I guess we all have to just wait and see what happens with time. Right? Bye for now.
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176803_tn?1198543198
  Are you even trying to fight WC?  I know from experience how the PT reports can work against you or for you.  I went to one that there was no way they were not on the insurance companys (who paid them) side.  One thing was climbling a ladder that took me along time while in pain, yet because I did it, it was marked that I could do it like it wouldn't effect working. They didn't include how it took me 10x longer than it should take and the pain I was in.  Like your lifting 7LBS.  If your like me, just because you can do it now, doesn't mean you can tomorrow.  One day I can carry in my grocerys and the next day I drop a gallon of milk.  Not like we can controll it.   Good luck.  I am just curious on why you are getting unemployment and lost your job instead of continuing with WC.
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Avatar_f_tn
W.C. is a game.They never took me out of work. Sent me back always on light duty(which we don't have). no matter how many times I reinjured myself.  I worked with special ed kids. This required alot of physical work. Of course they always told me I should QUIT my job. Yeah right like I was going to do that. I am fighting this. I just went to the first doctor visit my lawyer set up for my permanancy. I get a percentage from him. I have to go to a shrink next. Then I have to see 2 docs from w.c.I can get unemployment because my job renewed my contract and then my doc put me out for 4 weeks. they took back my contract for next year but they would not say for medical reasons because then they would have to admit that i can not do my job because of my injuries. w.c. says i am mmi and that there is nothing else they can offer me. i had 2 rounds of p.t. work conditioning and tried an injection with a pain mangement doc. So for now I will collect my unemployment.After I get all the results back from all these docs I will try and figure out my next move in life. Not sure yet. I know what you mean abbout being able to do one thing one day and not the next. I will not make the mistake you wrote about before about completing a task. I will flat out tell them that it hurts too much. If I fell iacn't do soething I will stop. At this last doc visit he had bend over to touch my toes. I try not to bend over that way because I can't get back up without help. He had to straighten me out. I had nothing to grab onto to pull myself back up.
When i was in work conditioning the p.t. told me that he was writing about my weight limit. He told me he was not there to make it look good or bad for anyone. That was my limit and his job as a p.t was to write that. So hopefully that is what he wrote.
My union is trying to fight my firing. It could take up to a year though.If they would have just nonrenewed me I probably would not have a chance but sincw they renewed me and then took it back I have a chance to fight this. Not that I really want to work for this district again after they threw me away,  it is just a point now. I did not like being thrown away. I already feel so bad about my limitations, that was just a slap in my face. Any other suggetions or comments you have picked up will be greatly appreciated. I know I have been dealing with this **** since jan. 06.
Thanks, talk to you later.
Chadry
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176803_tn?1198543198
  Good, I am glad you are fighting it. I will let you in on something though. YOu better get good documentation from YOUR doctor as to exactly what your limitations are.  Even for social security, physical theripists carry NO weight. I allready went through it years ago and am again, so this time I am making sure all the funtional limitations are properly documented by ALL the DOCTORs.  That includes ranges of motion, lifting, bending, twisting, etc.
  None of the PT's or injections ever worked for me. This is  my 4th time around and I told my doctor NO to all that stuff. At least for me those only have made me worse in the past, then the docs that say "if you don't get releif or get worse let me know and we will help", end up saying "oh, theres nothing we can do for you. I tried the injection one more time just wishful thinking and to follow thier game plan. Once again, can't walk the week with now even more pain.
  Very smart to tell them when you can't complete a task. I was told that many years ago, but being honest and put 100% into everything I do hurt.  I learned. If I ever have to deal with functional limit pt's again, i will scream, cry, and holler till they send me home. So if you go to another one and see a grown man acting that way, say hi cause its me....lol...
  I'm having a hard time getting help now. Only state insurance that covers out patient 23 hours or less.  My Feb. surgery made me worse right away, then a new injury right away, alot more problems now that I won't write, but the point is that even though all the docs write i'm disabled and need a 2 level fusion, medicaid denied me. While i'm cutting all the red tape and waiting, my back can't handle all the pressure and I keep getting new injurys.  If they would have helped me right away, I wouldn't be this bad, now i'm screwed even if I do have my surgery because now there is at least 3 things wrong that need fixed.  Anyway, rambling again.
  Another thing, as I pointed out about me getting new injurys because its taking so long to get the first one fixed, that could be the case for you too.  I have talked to others in simular positions that have MRI's that say theres an injury, people have surgery, than it don't help because all that time while they were fighting the insurance company they got new injurys but the docs were going on the old MRI.
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