I have recently been diagnosed with a herniated disc - C5/6 and I also have Occipital Neuralgia (have had daily headache for many years)and am wondering if the two might be related. I am also having pain in my right arm and some in my right leg which, I believe relate to the disc herniation. I am most concerned with the headaches, however, for they are extremely limiting. I have seen Neurologists and headache specialists for years about my headaches and have had no success. I am scheduled for a Occipital nerve block - tomorrow . I am wondering if I were to deal with the disc problem (possibly by surgery) the neuralgia might also be taken care of. Thank- you for your time
It is a possibility that the headaches and cervical disk disease are related, although this is still controversial. There is such an entity called cervicogenic headache which is thought to arise from problems in the neck such as disc disease. The original thought was that it was only problems with the upper spine at C1-4 that could cause headache. But now some physicians argue that if you have a problem downstream such as C5-6 that causes limited movement there but compensatory increased movement in the upper cervical joints, this could cause painful dysfunction. Hope the injection helped today, it often does in uor patients if the trigger points can be found. However, I'm not sure if anyone can definitively say that surgery will fix the problem. This has to do with the degree of disc disease and the presence of any other neurological signs/symptoms. If the injections work, stick to that for now. In the meantime, you can talk to your docs about any need for surgery. Good luck.
thanks for your response! I had the block and so far it doesn't seem to be particularly successful. the doctor who did it said that he didn't find any trigger points. He also said that he found a "bulge" in the c4/5 area but, he does not feel that either that or the herniation in c5/6 are contributing to the occipital pain. It is hard for me to believe that ALL of my pain is on the right side of my body (head, neck, arm, hand, leg) and that they are not somehow related. I am encouraged, however, for after 10+ years of seeking help I have found a doc who understands my symptoms. Do you think I should seek other opinion? Thanks again!
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