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C4/C5 bulging disc after accident
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C4/C5 bulging disc after accident

I was in a serious accident back in april where a semi truck ran over the top of my car. I have since had moderate mid to lower back pain and moderate to severe neck pain. I did suffer a head fracture and have since been diagnosed with a small bulging disc at C4/C5. My lumbar and thoracis MRI's came back negative. I have problems with my right shoulder with weakness and deltoid pain and pain along the spine of the acrominuim. I have been in physical therapy for a few weeks now with limited success. At times it makes my pain worse. They have done e-stim, hot packs, soft tissue mob, ultrasound, stretching, massage, the whole deal. I began getting severe muscle spasms and pain last week. My Dr started me on a course of toradol plus gave me parafon forte 3-4 times a day and perocet for pain. Have tried to not use the perocet. symptoms seem to be getting better but I am not sure if it is the drugs or the therapy. I still get severe neck pain in the muscles on the right side of my head and neck when it is stretched or massaged.
     I would like to know if the symptoms I am having are typical for this type of problem. What kind of precautions should I be taking so far as lifting bending etc.? Would I benefit from having a neurologist take a look at my problems? How long could it take before physical therapy shows me any results. Should it get worse before it gets better? My family Dr seems to be at her wits end.
     Thanks for any advice/ information. I feel very ignorant on this subject and have not had good luck in finding comprehensive information.
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Without personally reviewing your films and examining you, I can't say definitively how severe your disc bulge is and how much it should be affecting you clinically. However, C4-5 disc problems can give weakness in the upper arm muscles as well as sharp electrical type pains in the upper back and down the arm. In your case, another consideration would be muscle spasms causing the symptoms, which is a frequent complication after a motor vehicle accident. Precautions would be common sense type things like no heavy lifting (nothing more than a gallon of milk), gentle stretching and light physical therapy. No strenuous exercise. You should see some improvement as it has been 6 months since the accident and the MRI is relatively normal excet for the small bulging disc. A pain clinic appointment may help. If there is significant tightness, newer treatments include botox injections to relax the muscles. In this aspect, a neurologist who does the injections may be of some help. GOod luck.
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