I started having transient bursts of pain in my head (mostly in the frontal area predominantly on the left side) while I was pregnant. After delivery, the pain got worse and more frequent and includes shooting pain in the back of my head, behind my left eye, my forehead, and left shoulder. I also developed neck pain and stiffness. No pain radiates past my shoulder. An MRI showed that I have "C4/5 left paracentral disc herniation causing a moderate impression upon the left ventral aspect of the thecal sac. C5/6 and C6/7 disc bulges which impinge upon the thecal sac." The doctor took one look at the MRI and said I have a "significant herniation" and asked how I felt about surgery. However, I would like to exhaust all conservative measures first. Somehow I've tolerated the pain to breastfeed with intermittent medication trials, but must seek pain relief at the expense of stopping breastfeeding if necessary. Oral prednisone helps to relieve the pain, but by the time I taper off the pain is back in full force and seems worse than before. I've tried ibuprofen, naproxen, indomethacin, mobic and celebrex. The celebrex seems to help some, but I still have severe intermittent pains accompanied by scalp sensitivity to the point that it interferes with lying my head on a pillow and washing my hair. Do you have any insight into what type of medicine to try next? I think I need something for nerve pain, but my doctor hasn't suggested such a drug. Thoughts on a nerve block considering the risks?
Non surgical treatment of cervical disc herniation include ice and heat therapy, gentle massage, NSAIDS and physical therapy which includes neck stretching and traction.
Also to relieve chronic pain in neck and arms an intervertebral injection to block nerves is administered. You will be relieved to know that 95% cases of disc herniation can be treated by non surgical treatment. Please discuss these options including physical therapy with your treating doctor. Take care!
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