Herniated disc do not always mean surgery, thank god for that. So many factors they take into consideration before being given the surgery option. The situation with your neck may stay as it is, its even possible to get better or down the road it could get worse. But, those are just possibilities , it does not mean any of it will happen. I hope now you can settle down now that you do know you have a problem with your neck. Now, you know why you have pain and need medication for the pain and no the pain was not imagined. For as long as you have had neck pain this is probably been your problem all along. Physcial therapy may not be any good for you at this point since this has gone on for so long. Talk to your and see what he recommends.
I do suugest that you get the MRI done of your shoulder, Better to be safe than sorry. The neck is a crazy thing, it can cause terrible shoulder pain, but something else within the shoulder could be going on too. So, with this in mind, I would get it scheduled ASAP and get it over with. If the MRI comes out normal, then no more guessing and stressing over the shoulder and you will definetly know its all coming from the neck. If something shows, then just like the neck, you will know what the problem is and take care of it. No one can or will ever force a patient into any surgery.
When I fell off the back of our motorcycle I landed on both elbows to try and break the fall since I did not have a helmet on. I was trying to protect my head. I went into a roll once I hit the black top and rolled into a ditch. I screwed up my right shoulder and caused impingement. I nearly lost the use of my right arm for quite awhile. I had alot of scar tissue to build up and it was in the wrong places and made it very painfull. I could not hold a fork, hair dryer, curling iron, shift gears in the jeep, nothing. It was explained to me when I made the wrong arm movement, it was like my muscle was suppose to be on the top shelf but unstead was down on the bottom shelf. Boy, did it ever deal me misry. I still have alot of problems with it, sometimes its like a nagging toothache, but I just deal with it.
The neuropathy in my hands is from the that fall and landing on the elbows. I injured the ulnar nerve in both arms and refused surgery for both arms. I had so much scar tissue to build up in the wrong places. Now, I could kick myself for being pigheaded. My strength is gone, I have alot numbness in the hands its permament now, so it the nerve damage, too late for surgery waited too long. We need our hands just like the rest of our parts. The point of telling you this is simple, don't always reject the surgical option because you may pay for it in the long run, I sure have every stinking day.
So, don't let the MRI results on that neck bum you out-you have sort of known all along that something was going on there, so it was really no big surprise. Now you know and you can live with herniated disc and no one is forcing any surgery on you. Thats not bad news after all kid. See ya later. Susie