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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

I've been experiencing severe upper back, neck and shoulder pain on my left side for 3 years now, accompanied by numbness, tingling, and decreased motor function in my left arm and hand. I've also suffered from excruciating headaches that always start at the base of my skull, are always worse on the left side and almost always preceeded by visual problems. These were diagnosed as migraines, and I've had them for 9 years, but they've increased in frequency and severity over the last 3 years along with the back, neck and shoulder pain.

I've seen several different doctors; neurologists, orthopedists, and pain management and have undergone several painful procedures without a real diagnosis until finally, my pain management doctor ordered an mri of my c-spine on thursday and found that I have at least 3 herniated discs. The report is not yet finished, so I don't know which vertebrae are affected, how severe it is, or how many I actually have. The doctor just took a quick look, and right away spotted 3 ruptured discs.

Although I've tried several different treatments, many more than once, including trigger point injections, epidural steroid injections, pulsed radio frequency (for the migraines), massage, physical, tens unit and cold laser therapies, I've had no success in even reducing my pain. I am currently taking narcotics to manage my pain, and I'm scheduled for another series of facet injections starting on 10/13, and spread out over the next few weeks. I'm reluctant to try as these didn't work for me before, and were very painful to undergo.

I'm trying to find out as much as I can about treatment options. It seems like surgery may be my only hope at this point, although I want to avoid it if at all possible. I don't want to have to depend on opioid narcotics to manage my pain either. Everything I've read about the condition only seems to cover singular disc herniation, and I can't find anything about treating multiple disc herniations in the cervical spine.
Can anyone tell me if I have any other options, and can anyone tell me about their experiences with herniated discs?
I'd also like to know if my severe headaches could possibly be linked to my diagnosis, does anyone else have that problem?

My doctor says that it's not at all common to see this kind of injury in a person my age, especially someone who is otherwise healthy and very active. Any advice??

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