(Closed) So sad. Herniated discs in my neck. Time for surgery? Anyone else had this?

posted 5 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
23597 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

@ElopingKauaiGirl:  Oh honey!  I haven’t been through this but I just wanted to wish you all the best and a happy recovery.

Post # 4
4921 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

OOoh, sorry you’re dealing with that,

I did not have a herniated disc, but I had a neck sprain/strain that went on for 2+ years after being injured sliding a patient. The muscles spasmed so much the vertebrae were pulled out of allignment. It was also my mid and lower back. I developed strange neuro symptoms, like ear ringing, sound sensitivty, light sensitivity… ugh. 

I went through years of physio, and occupational rehabilitation. Occupational rehabilitiaton/physio in unison worked well for me. The muscles were so weak… I required 18 weeks of the rehab.


it does get better. I’ll be honest, I am not pain free. But I’m functional, I’m better. Going through a neck injury is hard. I veyr much hope it goes well for you and you get better soon. I personally, would only do surgery as a last result. But I understand how horribly frustrating and draining the pain is. 

Feel better soon  🙂


Post # 5
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I just wanted to say hugs! I am currently dealing with some of this myself after I was unexpectedly rear ended. I have 3 in my c spine, 1 bulging in my l spine and 1 herniated in my l spine, I’m almost 4 mths into physical therapy now…so I can sorta relate. I just wanted to encourage you to hang in there, when I got my MRI results i was devastated, i knew from the pain and limitations that i was injured but i didnt know how badly. I just keep telling myself it could be worse. It is a huge life change with all the restrictions the doctor gives you I have had to get help with a lot of things that I would normally do on my own because one of my restrictions is not lifting anything over 5lbs…I relate to feeling bummed, physically and emotionally drained from this at times Because of the severity of what this is and what it implies. You don’t know how valuable your body parts are until they are compromised. Are you able to keep up with adhering to your restrictions? Have you had a second opinion about whether surgery is necessary Or your only options?  have you looked into alternative medicine? Just explore all your options before you make a decision.

Also, hopefully you can lean on your family and friends for support. And if you have some faith/religion lean on that also.

Chin up, hang in there, things will get better, this is just one hurdle out of the rest of your entire life, you will overcome this and then the rest of your life will be the best of your life, you just gotta get thru this. If you ever wanna talk or vent about therapy or drs pm me.

Post # 6
2073 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@ElopingKauaiGirl:  my husband had a herniated disc at C5-C6. He had a fusion done two years ago. He went through PT afterwards. He has more ROM now post fusion than he did before. He ignored the problem for about 5 years before seeing the doctor so he does still have some residual nerve damage but overall, he is much better off for having had the fusion done.  


Post # 7
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi @ElopingKauaiGirl: first and foremost, I see you are NEW here on WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”

My heart goes out to you (( HUGS ))

After my last pregnancy I have suffered from bouts of Back Spasms… no warning… they just happen.

They are agony.  They literally can leave me flat out on my back for days or a week+ at a time (think the longest run has been 10 days)

Then pouff, they are gone.

No rhyme, no reason… not sure when they will return.

Dr says they are related to a pinched nerve… makes sense I guess… I’ve had other issues with a pinched nerve (sciatica)

Some have said I might do better if I go to a Chiropractor… but to be honest they scare me (my generation fondly calls them “Quacks”).  And I have enough issues with just regular MDs.

So far so good… but I’m thinking as I age that if these issues grow greater, that I too might be facing surgery… and that scares the bejeesus out of me.

Hope this helps,


Post # 8
1366 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

My husband has.  His surgeon recommended surgery right away.  I have a PT and mentioned it to him.  He made the point that many surgeons use surgery as the first option and maybe my Darling Husband should get a second opinion.  I recommended him to a doctor at my PT’s and he is so happy.  She said that it is normal in the first year or so for a herniated disk to get better, than worse, better than worse.  and that posture is a good part of it.

Hopefully you will go through the same thing and it will get better and stay that way.

Post # 9
5400 posts
Bee Keeper

I would so highly recommend trying an upper cervical chiropractor. I’ve had neck issues for years after multiple serious accidents and normal chiropractors did nothing for me but I can’t talk enough about upper cervical. At one point I was wearing a brace daily, which did nothing. Look into Blair upper cervical chiropractic and PM me if you want!

Post # 10
102 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I would second looking into some alternative chiropractic care before getting surgery.  i am not sure about the success rates of surgery on necks but i know that back surgery has limited results for  many people.  I see a chiropractor who does ART and the cox technique- which is a gentle disk decompression technique…you can google it/ read/ find a local provider…would be worth checking out to see if you could get relief…

Post # 11
12248 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

@ElopingKauaiGirl:  three herniated discs in my c spine.  did full round of pt several times, but one false move and it’s back to square one.  I’m so sorry you are going through this, I know how much it hurts and how it sucks to have to ask for help to do normal things like lift a small bag.


 I have found a surgery with only a one inch incision that you get up and walk on day one, which is supposed to be a lot safer than the fusion surgery. Its on my old computer that died. The doctor is in San Fran but I can’t remember the name of the surgery right now. There are a lot of different methods for the surgery. I’ll try to find it tomorrow. I am trying to avoid surgery just because it terrifies me. 


just FYI, I  was told never to go to chiro with this. I was warned that if I wasn’t careful, I might lose ability to move my hand and leg on the impacted side. The nerve damage is permanent, but my neuro said that many times, the discs heal themselves. Even if they heal, they are always going to lack the cushion of the disc, though, so it is a life changer. 

Eta i see you are in Seattle, and I know there’s a doc there that does this surgery. You have good medical people available there, so that’s a big bonus. Still, I would try to hold off on the surgery if you can. I hope your pain lessens soon. 


Post # 13
12248 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

@ElopingKauaiGirl:  I got a stim machine for at home use that is great, from amazon. Also, my PT ordered a traction machine for me, the new kind ( not over the door), it is over twenty pounds of traction, which they told me is necessary. It’s fantastic. they both help. Your massages and acupuncture sound really  helpful! 

Post # 14
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@ElopingKauaiGirl Seems like you are on the right track to recovery!

Sounds like you have a great medical team and an awesome fiance, woo hoo! If i were you I would keep at it with my treatments and only do surgery as a last resort BUT I know you are tired of treating (who wouldn’t be after such a long time!) it sounds like your surgeon is awesome with that being minimally invasive which i hope equates to short and successful recovery if you need to decide to go that route, that might not be a bad idea if you’ll finally be able to get some relief.  If his previous patients have had success and the risks are low and the recovery time is short… then that might be your best bet at this point.  I hope everything goes well at your upcoming appointment and I’ll be praying that you are much better to enjoy your elopement for August.

My physical therapy also includes massage and electrical stim. They also gave me homework stretches that i can do at home regularly to help with my range of motion. I think they are helpful, if you dont already have stretches you are required to do at home maybe you can ask your PT about that.

The alternative remedies i used to reduce my inflammation was making fresh ginger tea by steeping slices of raw ginger in hot water and drinking it. I also ate raw garlic cloves (NOT fun!). I feel like they largely contributed to reducing my inflamation, you can’t overuse those though or else you risk having too much heat trapped in your body. Maybe you can mention those to your herbalist and see if that’s something you can add to your regiment if its not already included. Also, heating pad! heating the area helps, get one with a timer so that you can just fall asleep with it if need be. My doctor also prescribed muscle relaxers to help with sleeping, don’t know if you are sleeping well or not.  My mom wants me to get a “special pillow” to better support my neck at night, i promised to look into that, but I haven’t yet.

I’m also happy to hear that you have a psychologist, having a neutral source to talk to is a huge help because I know the feeling of not wanting to constantly burden your loved ones with your frustrations because YES it is hard not being able to do so many things that we take for granted. I might need to get one too, lol, because some days all I want to do is complain.

Hang in there, things will get better, you will overcome this and keep believing that the best is yet to come!

Post # 15
334 posts
Helper bee

Sorry to hear about your bung discs 🙁

I have a herniation between C5-C6. Mine is a relatively bad herniation (16mm I think), but thankfully there isn’t a lot of nerve involvement. I get a bit of upper arm pain, and it is uncomfortable for me to sleep on my left side but no muscle weakness yet. 

I have had neck issues for the past 13 years due to a trampolining injury (I’m now 28) but only found out about the herniation last year. The disc keeps herniating every so often and based on the symptoms (stiff neck that I am unable to move), it has happened in 2005, 2009 and 2012 so I really want to do something about that if possible as it seems to take longer and longer to heal every time it herniates.

I have already seen one specialist, but he only does fusions and I’m not at the stage where I want or need a fusion (the outcomes of those tend to be 50/50 good/bad) and I don’t want a huge scar across the front of my neck – already have one down the side! If I did go down that route, I would have a disc replacement instead of a fusion as the outcome of that surgery tends to be better. 

I am seeing another specialist on Friday that does a procedure called a posterior cervical foraminotomy – essentially they go in from the back and drill away the herniation to relieve pressure against the nerve. I believe this is the surgery that one of the previous posters was talking about, less invasive and quick recovery. Also better outcomes from what I have read. 

I will update the thread once I have seen the specialist 🙂

In the meantime, the drugs I found helpful when it herniated in 2012 were gabapentin (for nerve pain) and amitriptyline (for nerve pain and sleep issues). 

The topic ‘So sad. Herniated discs in my neck. Time for surgery? Anyone else had this?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors