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Scofflaw Mountain Biker
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Discussion Starter #1
Well it seems like I really went and did it now. While doing some tile work at my house I seemed to have tweaked my neck. Doc thinks I have a Cervical Herniated Disc (MRI pending) at C5. In any case it is one painful injury and has kept me off the bike for going on three weeks. We are talking world class pain in the shoulder, down the arm, with weakened deltoids and numbness in the hand. The only relief is a combo of Vicodein and Soma which I am getting sick of taking but have no choice. So I am in PT getting message, heat, cold, electro, and so far it doesn't seem to be helping much.
Anyone else had this injury? How long did it take to heal? Can anything be done to speed up the healing process? When were you back on the bike? I WANT TO RIDE MY BICYCLE!!!
 

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feeling your pain

I had an MRI about oh...4-5 months ago. Large herniation C5-6 on left side and severe stenosis (narrowing of the foramina for the nerve to pass through) on the right. Neurologist said it will require fusion at some point but that is up to me (when it gets bad enough). Like you the pain is constant with the numbness and tingling into the thumb and index finger primarily. Alot of general aching in the neck and shoulder. Not taking anything for it other than ibuprofen when it gets real bad. Suprisingly, riding is the only time where I forget about it...pay for it later though...I also get quite a bit of muscle twitch in the Pec and tricep...you? The constant pain is exhausting, but I don't want to be doped all the time either. Depending on how bad yours is, it may not go away....hopefully it will be treatable because the alternative sucks! Good Luck.
 

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Medical Limitations?

I have 2 words for you:
Chiropratic
Inversion
That and the ice packs work for me. Dr.s can only operate and give meds. How's that working for you so far?

Ricisan
 

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Ricisan said:
I have 2 words for you:
Chiropratic
Inversion
That and the ice packs work for me. Dr.s can only operate and give meds. How's that working for you so far?

Ricisan
That's exactly what I do for my pain. Ironicaly, I'm a sales rep for an orthopedic implant co. and pedicle screws, cages ect. are among the wares I peddle.
 

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I'm another C5/6, herniated and narrowed, with two previous whiplash car accidents contributing. I spent a lot of time in physical therapy, and have had cervical and spinal blocks. Along the way I learned from a PT how to release my back, and I release it whenever I feel like I'm starting to lock up, restoring me to the most normal condition my life has been in the past 20 years. Maintaining muscle tone, stretching, releasing all make a difference. Painkillers sometimes help, but not as much as maintaining the physical.
 

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Just make sure...

Ricisan said:
I have 2 words for you:
Chiropratic
Inversion
That and the ice packs work for me. Dr.s can only operate and give meds. How's that working for you so far?

Ricisan
if you go to a chiro that he/she is recommended by and MD or is an MD as Chiro's can't do operations they can manipulate and that doesn't always work either. It is another avenue to look into though.
 

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Ricisan said:
I have 2 words for you:
Chiropratic
Inversion
That and the ice packs work for me. Dr.s can only operate and give meds. How's that working for you so far?

Ricisan
check with your neurologist first. Chiropractic manipulation can be traumatic. think about the mechanical issue and where the nerve is, the room it has etc. Apply some common sense: violent manipulation has risks. Dont make it worse. Inversion may be less risk but it also has issues. Just suggesting you check carefully before grasping at possibly inappropriate options.
 

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Rohloff
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I'm a chiropractor and employ a physical therapist. I've been treating herniated discs for over 15 years. I have found none of the usual medications are very helpful. The only thing that seems to help is a round of oral steroids. Check with your MD on that. As for therapy, the single most important thing is to do lots of axial traction. I usually don't do spinal manipulation early on, but once the disc calms down a chiropractor can get you better quicker. Massage, heat, cold, electric stimulation, etc. is just fluff. It pads the bill, but does little to help a herniated disc. Either way, you are looking at a lengthy recovery and you should plan to stay off your bike for a while. To keep in shape, go to the gym and ride a bike there.
 

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Scofflaw Mountain Biker
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Discussion Starter #10
Well just got the MRI done and as suspected I have a C5-6 hernia. Dont know how bad it is yet, I'm sure I will get that info when I talk to to neuro doc. BUMMER!!! Hopefully I'll heal quick.
 

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Me 2 kimo sabee

I am A 48 year old mtbker. I too have joined the ranks of C5/C6 Herniated Disc club. I can't say exactly how I did it. So many crashes and laborious pursuits. My pain does not extend all the way down the arm and is mostly confined to my left shoulder where I recently seperated my AC joint on a glorius crash on the Conyers GA olympic course. After recovery from that injury I was back on my bike but feeling the shoulder arm pain when assuming the ride position. i thought it was from my shoulder so I persued PT for that. My shoulder was feeling good but I still had the pain in position, HMMM. So it must be my neck. Back to the Doc, got an MRI, found the problem C5C6 herniation. After my first visit to the PT I had immediate relief that was a week ago. He manipulated my neck, stretching and turning to the left and to the right. It felt great. Then traction on an pnuematic neck stretching device. he showed me some stretches but they feel like they aggravate the area so I don't do them exessivly. I have a script for the neck traction devise and will have one soon. I think most of the advise you have been given is good.There is no clear cut silver bullet, however know this disc herniations and bulges do heal. The fluid released from the disc will be dissolved by the body eventually.Research this on Google it's no secret. People live work and play with these problems for years and show no symptoms. Riding may not be in the cards for awhile.I bought a BLUR LT 5 inches of travel which I find very therputtic.I put a dorky 120mm 40 degree stem with riser bars so my seat is close to level with stem. It is very comfortable.The hardest part of the whole experience is losing your "riding self" It's a very addictive sport and I think we go through the same shite a smoker goes thru upon quitting cigs. Think traction.
 

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Have Surgery

I took a spill on my bike 2 years ago and seperated my collarbone. I spent the next year expereincing the same pain you described. I went to a nuerologist who said the disk between C-5 anc C-6 had deteriorated and had to come out. This past January they went in through the front of my neck took out the disk, replaced it with some cadaver bone (hopefully not Tookie Willams') and fused 5 & 6 together with a titanium plate and screws.

I've been off the bike for the last 10 months which sucks but I have absolutly no pain anymore in my neck or arm or hand. I was really a life saving surgery for me. Good luck.
 

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I as previoulsy stated for another back pain sufferer, I highly recommend the book "Fix Your Own Back/Neck". This book will explain in lay terms what is going. Disc herniation aka discal derangment, is a compromise of the hydro-static property of the spine. If the offending movemetn or mechanics are not eliminated the problem will only grow worse, potentially to a point that will require surgery. As stated above, traction is one of the best ways of alleviating symptoms and discal derangments. PT's, DC's or a family member that is instructed by the former can provide manual traction or devices such as inversion tables or pnuematic collars can provide mechanical traction. Again, w/o addressing the postural/mechanical issue, traction will be little more than palliative. I would highly recommend ask your MD for a PT or DC referral.

wayne
 

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Ricisan said:
That and the ice packs work for me. Dr.s can only operate and give meds. How's that working for you so far?

Ricisan
This is 100% incorrect, DO's, and Ortho MD's can and do manipulate when such is indicated.

Wayne
 

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Todd Bertuzzi

Of the Florida Panthers just had surgery on a herniated disc and they say he'll be out 6-8 weeks. He was scheduled to receive 5 epideral anti-inflammatory's, however, after no improvement was noticed after the first 2 he opted for the surgery. It doesn't seem like a big deal.

I searched around but can't seem to find his problem discs...
 

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bulging herniated or deteriorated?

QUOTE"who said the disk between C-5 anc C-6 had deteriorated and had to come out"
I think at this point it is important to understand the difference between a bulging, herniated and deteriorated disc.My understanding is the bulging and herniated disc may or will heal themselves whereas a deteriorated disc will not and surgery is you only option.Furthermore you can develop bonespurs. Comments anyone. i also have found that there are other options to the fusion method although they are not performed here in the USA. Instead of a bone graft they use a artificial disc.
 

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Ken Taber said:
QUOTE"who said the disk between C-5 anc C-6 had deteriorated and had to come out"
I think at this point it is important to understand the difference between a bulging, herniated and deteriorated disc.My understanding is the bulging and herniated disc may or will heal themselves whereas a deteriorated disc will not and surgery is you only option.Furthermore you can develop bonespurs. Comments anyone. i also have found that there are other options to the fusion method although they are not performed here in the USA. Instead of a bone graft they use a artificial disc.
"Bone spurs" are a normal part of degenerative joint disease that every body goes through after a life of wear and tear. By damaging the disc, you can prematurely cause degenerative changes in the spine. The changes in the spinal biomechanics will contribute to the development of bone spurs, or ostephytes, in the spine. Definitely want to correct the biomechanics to reduce the potential for increasing degenerative changes.
 

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Rohloff
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Ken Taber said:
QUOTE"who said the disk between C-5 anc C-6 had deteriorated and had to come out"
I think at this point it is important to understand the difference between a bulging, herniated and deteriorated disc.My understanding is the bulging and herniated disc may or will heal themselves whereas a deteriorated disc will not and surgery is you only option.Furthermore you can develop bonespurs. Comments anyone. i also have found that there are other options to the fusion method although they are not performed here in the USA. Instead of a bone graft they use a artificial disc.
A bulging or herniated disc is usually of more concern and, in severe cases, may require surgery. Most of the time it will heal on its on and surgery is not required. A degenerative disc is less severe and rarely requires surgery. Artificial discs are currently going through controlled trials in the US.
 

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same but different(longish)THe only exercise IWas able to do without aggravating it

I have two herniated discs, not at cervical level but between L4/L5 and L5/L6.
I know your saying hey there isno L6, well I have L6. I have spare parts so to speak.
ANyway I herniated mine by twisting the wrong way while carrying 150 lb box and i dropped to my knees and that was it.
This happened in 1993. I was unable to stand or walk properly for three months. I was using a wheel chair for abit, and then to a cane. In canada we dont have the option to pay for promptness medical care, you have to wait, and a long time. my right foot was numb for months and the pain in my calf muscle from the sciatic never being pinched was something that made a bad tooth ache feel like a pin prick.
I as unable to do anything physically fo approx 3 years. They said that surgery was a 50/50 chance of my getting better with less bending mobility due to fusing the two vertebraes.. I decided to not get the surgery and take my chances.
I was off work for 4.5 years in total.
The only exercise I can do was biking and starting off lightly like 1km a day.
Today I am glad I chose to not get the surgery. being tht I have been able to strengthen the muscle around my lower back has me almost back to normal but i do know my limits and when i am lifting something and i feel my back starting to pull out, i drop it on the spot no matter what it is.
I do not want to go through that again.
 

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Robin1 said:
I took a spill on my bike 2 years ago and seperated my collarbone. I spent the next year expereincing the same pain you described. I went to a nuerologist who said the disk between C-5 anc C-6 had deteriorated and had to come out. This past January they went in through the front of my neck took out the disk, replaced it with some cadaver bone (hopefully not Tookie Willams') and fused 5 & 6 together with a titanium plate and screws.

I've been off the bike for the last 10 months which sucks but I have absolutly no pain anymore in my neck or arm or hand. I was really a life saving surgery for me. Good luck.
I am currently in PT and having good results as far as pain is concerned. i am not riding yet. I am going to see another Doc for a second opinion then another for a third. Surgery scares the crap out of me.My first doc said go get the epidural shots and when that doesn't work we will do a fusion. I requested PT. Glad to hear you are pain free and the surgery worked.Will you ever be allowed to ride again
 
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