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Thread: C5-C6 herniated on C6 nerve

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    Seamac is offline New Member
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    C5-C6 herniated on C6 nerve

    So this is what they said when I went to ER yesterday. Was doing shoulder press when felt sharp pain in neck. Instant pain through shoulder and down arm. Thumb and index finger pretty numb. Had similar problems with L5 years ago with it on sciatica nerve. Similar pain. Have tried chiropractor when I first noticed discomfort about a month ago. Was wondering, should I just quit lifting period until an MRI is done?

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    Mr.BB's Avatar
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    Yes, you should stop lifting till the problem is solved.

    But, you had an injury same spot a month ago and continued lifting heavy? What did the chiro said?

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    Seamac is offline New Member
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    I actually cut weight by 50% once it seemed alleviated. He was going to set me up with MRI until things started getting better. Unfortunately I jumped the gun too soon going back to lifting even at 50% cut back. Pain is so bad this time I am going straight to ortho that fused my L5-S1. Hopefully get cortisone treatment.

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    You need to stop asap, if you damage that nerve to badly you may lose some or all of its function. I had a patient that herniated a disc at l5-s1. Had and epidural done and felt no pain after that obviously and went back to heavy lifting against the advice of his MD. Ended up damaging the nerves so bad that he lost feeling to his pelvis, had emergency surgery. Unfortunately the damage was too severe. At that point there was not much I could do to help. I feel that if you have an epidural, you should engage in zero high risk activity for 3 months. Which includes lifting weights.
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    Seamac is offline New Member
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    Going to see ortho on Friday. Will update after that. Have not lifted anything since Sunday. Pain going down arm is pretty severe.

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    But how much were you shoulder pressing bro?

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    Get a refereal to do a nerve induction test. Also, you may consider never doing straight bar military presses again.

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    Seamac is offline New Member
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    So, four months later, an epidural with PT and it seems to be ok. Went from 200lbs to about 180. Been back in the gym at about 50% and feel great. Thumb and index finger still numb but that's ok. Hardest part is taking my time going back. Amazing how having something taken away from you messes with your head but it's great to be back!

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    Be very careful bro. Epidurals block the sensation of pain from the point in your Cervical spine to all the nerves that go to your arms and hands. You need to be very sure that the herniated disc has healed enough to put added pressure on it. With the epidural, you might not feel the pain from an injury immediately. And do a lot of damage to yourself before you realize it. Hopefully your doctor went over this before he released you. Good luck bro!

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    Seamac is offline New Member
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    Thanks bro! We went over it. Epidural was about 6 weeks ago. Went back to gym at about 33%. Going on week 3 now and only at about 75%. Have focused on form more than anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seamac View Post
    Thanks bro! We went over it. Epidural was about 6 weeks ago. Went back to gym at about 33%. Going on week 3 now and only at about 75%. Have focused on form more than anything.
    I couldn't see if you posted MRI results? Was there disk space narrowing? Herniated disk? One side or both? One level or multiple levels? Is your doc on board with you returning to gym?
    If so, I would recommend looking into the following:
    Custom fit mouthguard (have a friend with cervical injury who swears by it, was recommended by his surgeon post-op when he was reentering gym)
    Identify those exercises that translate the least amount of strain into the neck (for example keep head flat against bench with DB incline press, etc., avoid dead lifts, etc.)
    Consider having PT show you kinesio taping pattern that may help retain good cervical posture while lifting (may be utilized to train yourself into proper posture based on your particular injury, while also avoiding injury in the process)
    Always opt for higher reps vs heavier weights while progressing

    Muscle Science might be able to weigh in with more proactive preventive suggestions.

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    Seamac is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRunAZ View Post
    I couldn't see if you posted MRI results? Was there disk space narrowing? Herniated disk? One side or both? One level or multiple levels? Is your doc on board with you returning to gym?
    If so, I would recommend looking into the following:
    Custom fit mouthguard (have a friend with cervical injury who swears by it, was recommended by his surgeon post-op when he was reentering gym)
    Identify those exercises that translate the least amount of strain into the neck (for example keep head flat against bench with DB incline press, etc., avoid dead lifts, etc.)
    Consider having PT show you kinesio taping pattern that may help retain good cervical posture while lifting (may be utilized to train yourself into proper posture based on your particular injury, while also avoiding injury in the process)
    Always opt for higher reps vs heavier weights while progressing

    Muscle Science might be able to weigh in with more proactive preventive suggestions.

    Had a MRI done and all I really remember was it herniated against the C6 nerve if I remember right. That caused the pain in the shoulder and down the right arm. He did say all other disc were ok.
    I like the mouth guard idea. Are you talking about the ones you can buy in Sporting Goods stores?
    Ortho was ok with going back to gym as long as I went lighter for a few months. He also introduced me to Functional Training. He swears by it. Going lighter has helped me concentrate more on my form than ever before. I have cut out dead lifts and no more shoulder presses with heavier weight. Mostly machine and dumbells.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seamac View Post
    Had a MRI done and all I really remember was it herniated against the C6 nerve if I remember right. That caused the pain in the shoulder and down the right arm. He did say all other disc were ok.
    I like the mouth guard idea. Are you talking about the ones you can buy in Sporting Goods stores?
    Ortho was ok with going back to gym as long as I went lighter for a few months. He also introduced me to Functional Training. He swears by it. Going lighter has helped me concentrate more on my form than ever before. I have cut out dead lifts and no more shoulder presses with heavier weight. Mostly machine and dumbells.
    Yes, the mouthguard you can pick up at Sporting Goods store. I still like the old plain clear one, and since it's for really biting down the thickness better than the newer gummy fitting ones IMHO.

    Sounds like you have it dialed in. I was wondering about a Mike Mentzer type routine for you also, but man, I have a hard time with that because it requires SO much focus. It's like any mental lag and the workout isn't good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRunAZ View Post
    I couldn't see if you posted MRI results? Was there disk space narrowing? Herniated disk? One side or both? One level or multiple levels? Is your doc on board with you returning to gym?
    If so, I would recommend looking into the following:
    Custom fit mouthguard (have a friend with cervical injury who swears by it, was recommended by his surgeon post-op when he was reentering gym)
    Identify those exercises that translate the least amount of strain into the neck (for example keep head flat against bench with DB incline press, etc., avoid dead lifts, etc.)
    Consider having PT show you kinesio taping pattern that may help retain good cervical posture while lifting (may be utilized to train yourself into proper posture based on your particular injury, while also avoiding injury in the process)
    Always opt for higher reps vs heavier weights while progressing

    Muscle Science might be able to weigh in with more proactive preventive suggestions.
    I haven't heard of the mouth piece one before?

    Sounds like everything is covered, you could add cervical spinal manipulation we do that at our clinic for disc injuries a lot. I usually have one of the staff Chiros do it for my neck, I don't let the PT's manipulate me, but I do have them KT tape me or do some ART. Some DO's still manipulate but they are few and far between.

    A typical c5-6 disc patient with radicular symptoms we have them on the following protocol.

    Epidural: in house on day 1 after consult and MD referral. With combined conservative care listed below.
    4-8 weeks: Cspine manipulation usually on second visit
    4-8 weeks: PT with soft tissue work and KT taping on second visit.

    Week 8 is a reevaluation: if no progress then we send out for neurological consult for potential surgery. If conservative care doesn't work in 8 weeks and/or 12-18 sessions then it's deemed a non-responder. (if it wasn't a result of some hidious accident or trauma). At which point insurance will typically pay for surgery, usually never before that. Which with that basic protocol we get 80% resolution of all symptoms, 90% with 50% or better (which they get 4 more weeks then re-evaluate) and about 3-5% that require surgery.
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    Seamac is offline New Member
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    I know this sounds crazy but, I visited my ortho surgeon a week before Memorial Day to discuss a second epidural and the possibility of surgery. I told him I HAD planned to drive my motorcycle ( BMW F700Gs) to Ohio from NC. About 500 miles. He wasn't thrilled but I figured I'd give it a shot. Not sure if it was the constant vibration, the angle at which I was riding or what. All I know is that ever since I made that trip I have had absolutely no pain. I even cancelled my second epidural which was supposed to be yesterday. Maybe a coincidence, maybe not. Would love to hear comments on this....

    The only residual effects I still have is the numbness in my thumb and index finger.

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