After the brilliant guest post from Neil Velleman on ‘All you need to know about a slipped disc‘ I found myself being diagnosed with yet another disc problem in my cervical spine.
For the last six months, I have been having constant pain going down my arm from my neck as well as pins and needles down to my little finger. Initially, we thought it may have been my ulnar nerve again. I say ‘again’ as I had surgery last year for a trapped ulnar nerve which was a total success but they said it can come back even after surgery.
After a 2 hour consultation with a physiotherapist, it was decided that it could be one of two things. Either the ulnar nerve or a disc in my cervical spine so the first port of call was a nerve conduction test.
The nerve conduction test showed no problem with the ulnar nerve so I was then sent to have an MRI scan. Those results have shown that I have another disc bulge which is compressing a nerve and giving me the pins and needles and pain and it also showed that I have arthritis in that area.
Neil Velleman explained that ‘the spinal discs act as shock absorbers and through a variety of causes, including injury, poor posture and general “wear and tear” (meaning gradual deterioration), the walls of the disc can become weaker. If the centre of the disc pushes out, this can cause the disc wall to bulge and that can be when pain strikes!’
Mine is definitely in the ‘wear and tear’ category as I have had two previous surgeries on the C3/4 area of my spine which has meant the disc below it has had to do all the work. I have now been told I will need to see a consultant about the sort of treatment they can give me for the pain which could be IDD Therapy, Injections, Manual Therapy or Surgery.
Back in 1996 when I had my second surgery on the C3/4 discs they gave me traction first but IDD Therapy seems to have taken over from that method but I shall just have to wait and see what they suggest.
The worst pain is doing the simplest of things like cleaning my teeth or drying my hair so I am just hoping an appointment comes through sooner rather than later.