Muscle tear and mild disc protrusion
I suffered a crick in the neck while working out in my Martial arts class,around 1.5 years ago.Over the years, that little injury has compounded into a muscle tear now due to my negligence.The pain has now reached in my neck, shoulders and upper back.While I did take various treatments of physiotherapy, accupressure etc, the pain would always subside.Then just when I thought that all was right and had got back to my practice, the pain would again come back hampering my spirits.Overall, I think my rest period during the treatment was not enough.The max amount of time I took off the exercise as rest was 1 month I think.I stopped working out 3 months ago when I was on a weight training regiment and the pain got worse.
Now, I got an MRI done as I think it's high time I took care of this injury.
Here's what the conclusion of the report is..
"Focal postesior central circumferential annular tear with associated disc protrusion at C5-6 level causing mild impression on thecal sac.
Posterior central dsic protrusion at C4-5 level causing minimal impression on thecal sac.
Para spinal muscle spasm."
Now, Can anyone of you help me as to how should I approach this injury as far as the treatment, rest and exercise is concerned?
It's been close to 3 months since I have stopped working out.Also I have been exploring the Korean accupunture treatment called SuJok Accupunture.Provides relief, but dont know whether it would cure my injury in the long run.
Accupuncture, Accupressure, etc...
These deal with applying pressure/hampering the nerves themselves. ie. they deal with symptom NOT the cause.
The cause is the disk protrusion itself, the side effect being that its pushing in on a nerve bundle.
Anti-inflammatories might help bring the swelling down temporarily... but your disk needs to be repaired by your body.
What needs to happen is that the pressure needs to be taken offa the disk so that it can retract back into its proper place...
Sadly though, your muscles only contract (they dont expand) along your spine, so everytime you exert them, they squish down and push the disk out, causing the bulge.
In most cases the disk will go back in on its own over time.
In some cases, surgery can help... cut the bulge OR fuse the vertebrae apart.
There are professionals that state they can help assist the healing of the disk by creating space between the vertebrae... ie. chiropractors, physiotherapists
Its a hit and miss here too... but at least they are trying to treat the problem as opposed to the symptoms
The disc is not touching any nerves.There is also no nerve compression or something like that.
I think I would choose surgery as the last option.
Also, when you said the disc will go back in it's own time, how much time are you speculating?
In fact, my symptoms worsened... if your symptoms arent getting more severe, i would be patient and let your body do the healing.
Im no doctor, but I would recommend staying active and eating healthy... medications/therapies are there only to assist your body to heal itself. Aside from meds to ease the symptoms, I would think a healthy diet + cardio health would be useful (light cardio that does not exert the spine... like a spin bike).
I was my worse enemy, I kept trying to live my life like I did prior to my injury which kept causing me to re-injure or aggravate my condition... this is a life changing injury, change your life accordingly... dont make the same mistake I did.
I dont mean to sound all 'guru' to you, this just means you have to adapt your lifestyle... you still get to do stuff, just be very cautious about what you are doing... and integrate things you can do without incident into your daily routine.
Well.. my symptoms worsened when I had taken up the strength training program(I was on a Stronglifts 5X5 program).Thats when I realized that I am pushing too far.I thought the squats and the deadlifts with proper technique qwould make the injury go away.It didn't.
I agree with you, on the life changing injury part.Negligence can prove to be very punishing.I know that if I dont take care of this injury now, it wtill have adverse effects down the line.
Now, about the healing part.I will try my best to eat clean and cut down on the alcohol.I am drawn to tasty food(means mostly oily as I am n Indian) and alcohol when I especially dont workout.Go figure.But I'll try to eat clean.
Would running cause a problem?
ALso, how much do you guys think could accupressure and accupunture help me in healing this injury?
In my personal experience with my low back disk issues, any kind of impact triggers it... I once jumped down 4 steps only to have the shooting pain come back... mind you, each person is different, different injury too.
Im completely paranoid now, I stick to low/no impact stuff... swimming, spinning, elipical trainer, and yoga..
I dont do heavy weights on exercises that could potentially compress my spine...like the military press, I used to press 130, 140, 150lbs 5-8 reps (i only weigh 165)...
now I will do 70, 80, 90lbs... but do 15-20 reps each.
Those wont heal you, they will ease the symptoms... like good meds... but wont do anything to actually get that disk back to its regular spot/shape/consistency.
Ive done both therapies... both needle & needle-free acupunture to help ease my pain. I was on vicodine and percocet for while and needed to take a break from em before I became a junkie.
Those therapies will take the pain away, guaranteed... but it wont heal anything... in fact, it gives you a false sense of security that you are OK and you aint.
As an option for 'pain management' I would give it a thumbs up...but as a healing therapy, nope... not for me at least.
Even I am beginning to realize that the accupunture therapy just provides relief but doesn't really help me heal this injury.
I had my MRI scans and report sent to my good friend's older brother who happens to be a good Orthopedic.He said that it's just a slipped disc which has happened due to the small injury.It is rampant these days due to bad posture.
He suggests physiotherapy(neck strengthening exercises) and cardio would help me heal it back.Wuuld it?
Also do disc protrusion/slipped disc/ bulged disc mean the same thing?
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Nice thread..!!I have read your problem. Herniated disc exercises and herniated disc treatment are good for the treatment of herniated disk problem. You also get good advices from others. Thanks for sharing your experience...!!
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