Bulging disk c5-c6

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 382
   Posted 3/23/2011 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I usually hang out in the fibro forum which my doctor said was the cause of my issues.  Speaking of doctors, mine is not proactive.   I am having more nerve pain, I questioning why.  
Long story short, got into a rear-end accident, thought I was fine until a few months later, my neck got stiff and pain was bad.  Was sent to PT, which helped.  about a year later had a son and my neck was in pain again, doctor did a MRI which showed bulging disk c5-c6.  I pulled that report today trying to figure out time lines. 
Fast forward 6 years, here I am with issues.   Sharp pains, nerve pain and muscle pain, now I admit Fibro plays a role but questioning is it possible for the disk to give me more problems now?  Could have I made them worse somehow, I'm questioning this due to the increase nerve issues.
Educate me, please.   I know lot about fibro. this I have no clue about.  My doctor knows I have bulging disk I told her and she has never said this could be the problem.
I'm serious, explain to me the symtpoms, is this possible and which direction should I take. 

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9258
   Posted 3/23/2011 11:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi KellieJo!

Nice to see you over here in the CP forum and you sure do have a good questions. Not sure if I can answer since I'm not in a similar situation but I can give you my thoughts.

My first thought is ... Change Doctors ASAP! This lady is piling money in the bank for retirement and not doing the job you hired her for. Yep, you hire her every time you go, same as I do when I see a doctor. If they aren't doing their job, fire them. Same as you would do if some roofers were working on your house and didn't bother to put any tar paper under the roofing or gutters on the house. They both are only doing part of their job.

Could you have made the bulging disk worse? Not sure their is any answer but in a short time it's not so likely, in my opinion. I few years back I feel on some icy steps and lit on my tailbone. I can't describe the pain but I"m sure you understand anyway. One doctor visit later that year I mentioned to my PCP about it and how it probably make my collapsed disk in lower spine worse. He said it was unlikely. Not sure why but I'm just sharing with you what he said. Then again, I know someone personally who had a back injury several years ago. He was doing some house remodel work and lifted a toilet to replace the flooring. And 'snap-O', he's a walking mess as far as his back goes. One comment from his doctor was...there are at least 5 and likely more ruptured disks back there. Guess with this answer is proves there might not be an answer...lol

We do have a lot of people with back injuries here. I'm sure some will be by to give you some of their thoughts. Good luck and keep us updated...OK?

Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
Daily Donnybrook: Fibromyalgia, Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Ulcerative Colitis, Rare form of Dermatitis, Collapsed Disk, Osteoarthritis (especially in right hand and neck) and a couple of other adjunct agitations.
Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
Mark Twain

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 3/23/2011 11:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Well you certainly have come to the right place many of us have had Cervical Disk Problems, I had a ACDF ( Anterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion) at C-6/7 in 1985 and then another ACDF at C-5/6 in 2006. The usual problems with cervical disk at C-5-6-7 is arm pain, and numbness and tingling in the arms and hands. I know when I had the severely herniated disk at C-6/7 the pain I felt was like when you severely hit your crazy bone! You know that intense burning tingling pain the goes down your forearm and into your fingers? and when you hit your crazy bone ( elbow) really hard it just hurts so bad, well I had that pain all the time and it would not let up! and it was in both arms! I was like that for months and months before they found out what was wrong. Now fast forward 25 years to 2009, I again started feeling arm pain not as intense, and more on my left side, it was an achy hot some what burning sensation and it reminded me allot of what I experienced before in 1985. Well sure enough the disk above my fusion was bad and herniated, so I again had to have surgery and as soon as I woke up from the surgery the arm pain was gone! I also had quite a bit of neck pain with my first herniated disk at 6/7 and  sneezing just killed me. Every one experiences pain differently, and allot of it will depend on the severity of the herniation of the disk. I know my first one was so bad that the disk broke apart and I had  free floating fragements in my spinal canal, and my spinal cord was actually bent around the disk like a side ways U.  My doctors did not understand why I was not a quadriplegic it was so bad. Bulging disk are of course not like that, but they can press on the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord, and depending on the nerve roots  the bulge is pressing on will determine where and the amount of pain and discomfort you will experience. Surgery is usually only done when it is absolutely necessary.  If you google "spinal dermatomes map" and then look at the listing for introduction to spinal cord disorders Merck manual, you will find and excellent  explanation of what problems herniated disk can cause and all the different areas of the body the different nerves coming off the spinal cord affect!
I hope this helps you and I sure do hope that everything works out well for you!
Good Luck to You
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 3/23/2011 11:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kellie, while I neither have back issues or Fibro, I have on question.
So it sounds like instead of constant nerve pain you only have flare ups, but it's localized to your neck area? What makes you think it's fibro? I was under the impression that with Fibro (Fibro patients please correct me on this!) it's that it's not localized to one location, and you make it sound like your pain centers around this old neck injury. If this is the case I wonder if maybe you have what I have: CRPS. (Also known formerly as RSD)
I might possibly seek out a back or a spine specialist; I'm actually seeing one tomorrow, but not for that reason. But Chutz is right... your current doctor isn't doing you any favors, and if anything could be causing harm by continuging to let you roam around in your current state.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 3/24/2011 12:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kelliejo, I recently have gone thru a nightmare of my own in relation to the same C5-C6 bulging disc. I have posts on both fibro(as I have it as well). I am presently and holding about 90% reversed. I don't feel like my disc bulge symptoms are related to fibro-it hurts like hell and I am seeing a neurosurgeon tomorrow, my symptoms haven't been arm pain thoug-mine has been searing burning pressure constant migraines with numb arms/face and blurred vision. You may also have a myofascial syndrome which is pretty common with the fibro diagnosis-do some research on it...change your doctors! You need someone who listens and is willing to investigate further for you, seek a neurologists (recommended by friends/family is best), and possibly pain management. I truely hope you geyt some relief and answers soon...not knowing is the worst part. Hang in there, if I can help-let me know! Amy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 3/24/2011 5:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Kellie.  The way I am reading your post you haven't had and MRI done since the one 6 yrs ago.  Am I correct?  If the disc was buldging at that time it could possibly have ruptured by now.  I too have had cervical fusion at C--5/7 and like White Beard said it really affects the shoulder and arm area.  Mine too was a dull ache with tingling all the way down the arm.  My fingers would go numb but just the thumb and half of the index finger.  Don't get me wrong, the neck will hurt too but when the nerves get involved the arm will be affected.  For along time before my fusion my neck was locking.  I would just move my head around to unlock it and go on about my business but one day it locked and when I unlocked it I felt it really pop and that was the end.  The next day all the arm and shoulder stuff started and it was all down hill from there.
I would ask you doctor for another MRI and if they aren't cooperative I'd start looking for another doctor.  My doctor at the time thought it was all in my shoulder and I wasted alot of time and money on nothing.  Finally went to an orthopedic doctor and found out it was all from my neck.  I'd already done PT, shots and all the other non-invasive procedures so surgery was my only option.
Good Luck and let us know how things turn out!

DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3 & L-3/4, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatica

solar powered
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 538
   Posted 3/24/2011 8:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Kellie. I agree with Jag about that disc possibly rupturing. That could definitely make things worse. Also it is possible that you have some other problem going on in there such as bone spurs or the disc degenerating. It sounds like a new MRI is in order. A lot can happen in 6 years. Good luck and keep pushing on until you get the answers you need,

Hope and attitude are everything. Never, never, ever give up.
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