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Old 11-24-2011, 07:58 AM   #11
Mike Laroche
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Re: C5/C6 bulging disc

http://tmswiki.org/page/The+20%2F20+...+Sarno+and+TMS
All links WFS by the way
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:24 AM   #12
Michael Burke
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Re: C5/C6 bulging disc

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Originally Posted by Rachel Fazio View Post
Hi Michael,
Thank you for your suggestions! I have come to accept that I will not be able to do much for several months. I haven't had any trouble with running aggravating my injury though, so I was surprised to see you say you had quit running as well. Maybe it's just not to that point yet with me or maybe it has something to do with the disc location. Any thoughts on that? Right now the only exercise I've had for the past three weeks is walking my dog and two brief runs when I happened to go to a conference at a hotel on the beach - just can't pass up a chance to run on the beach

I have just bought the book you suggested - I was surprised to see how many positive reviews there were on Amazon! I am hopeful that will help. Unfortunately the nearest McKenzie PT to me is an hour and fifteen minutes away, so unless they happen to be open on Saturdays I won't be able to do that. Maybe with the book it won't be necessary though.

Also unfortunately, I am not sure I can take NSAIDs. I was having really bad heart palpitations there for a while when I was taking them to manage my neck pain. I went to a cardiologist and tried several different beta blockers at several different levels and they just kept getting worse. I finally stopped taking the Aleve and about three days later they were gone. I've taken some ibuprofen since then - and it may just be in my head now - but it seems like that makes it worse again. Right now I am just taking baby aspirin 1-2 times a day if I get a headache, but perhaps I will give the ibuprofen another try.
Regarding running...mine was in the low back so maybe that was just hit worse by running, and each injury is different in how it affects people anyway.

For anti-inflammatories, I only took the oral steroids for a single 14 day course, then completely switched to NSAIDs. I tried etodolac which didn't work well for me, but discussed with the Dr. and just went with ibuprofen which did.

My understanding is that to be effective with herniated disc you have to be on a relatively high dose consistently, and the dose would need to be something your Dr. would tell you. Regarding your heart palpitations, I'd certainly talk with the Dr again before starting up NSAIDS again....there are several different ones, though, so it could be worth a discussion with them as to whether a different one would work better for you.

I hope you can get some relief from the McKenzie stuff. It certainly helped for my low back and sciatica...I was doing those stretches constantly.
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:27 PM   #13
Rachel Fazio
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Re: C5/C6 bulging disc

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Originally Posted by Mike Laroche View Post
Rachel,
please please before you do anything else, any more injections, and certainly long before surgery. Read Dr. John Sarno's book, Healing Back Pain. Please watch this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABeBP...layer_embedded
It can be a difficult pill to swallow at first, and it puts the burden of getting better on you, rather than on a magic shot or pill or surgery to fix you.
Most people will not accept this diagnosis, but I can assure you from my own experience that it works.
Hi Mike,
I am currently about nine months away from having my doctorate in psychology and have been a practicing mental health counselor for several years. I have also done research on the psychological aspects of one of the chronic pain conditions mentioned on that website, interstitial cystitis. From my perspective, with any pain condition there is not a "gold standard" test for, there will be a percentage of people who actually have a physical disease process and some who have a psychological disease process; this percentage likely varies by condition. That being said, I would put a lot more stock in "MBS" if they backed it up with psychological testing as I have tried to do with IC patients. I do think before anyone has back surgery, they should probably have an MMPI in order to catch at least the most obvious cases of psychogenic illness; I would put myself in that same category. Before I would have surgery, I would go to a psychologist and have them do tests with which I was not familiar in order to rule out that possibility. Without that sort of objective evidence though - I would need something at least as convincing as the huge lump of disc I can see sticking out of my vertebrae on my MRI - I'm not particularly interested in pursuing a psychological route of treatment at this time.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:05 PM   #14
Mike Laroche
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Re: C5/C6 bulging disc

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Originally Posted by Rachel Fazio View Post
Hi Mike,
I am currently about nine months away from having my doctorate in psychology and have been a practicing mental health counselor for several years. I have also done research on the psychological aspects of one of the chronic pain conditions mentioned on that website, interstitial cystitis. From my perspective, with any pain condition there is not a "gold standard" test for, there will be a percentage of people who actually have a physical disease process and some who have a psychological disease process; this percentage likely varies by condition. That being said, I would put a lot more stock in "MBS" if they backed it up with psychological testing as I have tried to do with IC patients. I do think before anyone has back surgery, they should probably have an MMPI in order to catch at least the most obvious cases of psychogenic illness; I would put myself in that same category. Before I would have surgery, I would go to a psychologist and have them do tests with which I was not familiar in order to rule out that possibility. Without that sort of objective evidence though - I would need something at least as convincing as the huge lump of disc I can see sticking out of my vertebrae on my MRI - I'm not particularly interested in pursuing a psychological route of treatment at this time.
As Sarno says, if you can't make it show up on a test, it doesn't exist. Problem is there are so many people with bulging discs and no pain. And people with no "abnormalities" who are in horrible pain. Interesting too, that in the time Sarno has been doing this (40+ years), in spite of encouraging people with disc herniations to resume all normal activities, weightlifting and excercise, he has never been sued or had any malpractice problems?

I don't blame you, I was very resistant to the diagnosis for a long time. It took a very convincing experience in relation to my symptoms to convince me. Best of luck with whatever you do, being in pain sucks.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:13 PM   #15
Rachel Fazio
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Re: C5/C6 bulging disc

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Originally Posted by Mike Laroche View Post
As Sarno says, if you can't make it show up on a test, it doesn't exist. Problem is there are so many people with bulging discs and no pain. And people with no "abnormalities" who are in horrible pain. Interesting too, that in the time Sarno has been doing this (40+ years), in spite of encouraging people with disc herniations to resume all normal activities, weightlifting and excercise, he has never been sued or had any malpractice problems?
I've thought a lot about this actually, and my answer to this is that these people probably don't CrossFit. What I mean is that if I didn't do pullups, cleans, and heavy squats, I probably wouldn't know I had a bulging disc either - or wouldn't have until this point, after three and a half years of continuing to work out like that after my initial injury. I guess that's the beauty of just doing a half hour on the elliptical three times a week and working at a desk job.

The ones with the pain and no abnormalities...I do think there's still a lot we don't know, but I also think some of these would come up on the MMPI like I mentioned previously.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:04 AM   #16
Mike Laroche
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Re: C5/C6 bulging disc

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Originally Posted by Rachel Fazio View Post
I've thought a lot about this actually, and my answer to this is that these people probably don't CrossFit. What I mean is that if I didn't do pullups, cleans, and heavy squats, I probably wouldn't know I had a bulging disc either - or wouldn't have until this point, after three and a half years of continuing to work out like that after my initial injury. I guess that's the beauty of just doing a half hour on the elliptical three times a week and working at a desk job.

The ones with the pain and no abnormalities...I do think there's still a lot we don't know, but I also think some of these would come up on the MMPI like I mentioned previously.
The fact that you have thought a lot about it is good. You are intuitive. You recognize that something does not jive, and this is accurate. However-you are trying to justify it with something external-ie these people do not do crossfit. I am one guy typing on an internet forum, and I crossfit. I did not have to stop to get better. There are many people Sarno has worked with who are weightlifters, marathon runners, and other competitive athletes. One other great statistic-if pain were due to abnormalities and degeneration-the majority of pain complaints would be in the elderly, but they are not. People aged 30-55 provide the group with the most problems. Is it just coincidence that these are usually the most stressful and productive and responsibility laden years of ones life?

I can tell that you are not completely closed to the diagnosis. This is good. I think part of the reason that people have a hard time with the diagnosis, myself included, is that they don't like to admit a psychological problem or shortcoming. It is much easier to seek help outside of yourself, or to blame it on a physical cause-something over which you have no control. But once you see it, you realize that its not as big a deal as it seems. Then a whole new world opens up to you when you learn how this works. It has made be wonder what else my brain can control.
In our society, I believe that just about everybody with few exceptions suffers some Mindbody symptoms in their life. Everyone around here is into the paleo lifestyle. If you research Hunter/Gatherer societies as they exist (albeit barely) today, you see that they work about 12-25 hours a week to nourish and house themselves. This includes food preparation time. They enjoy the rest of the time with leisurely activities and spending time with those they care about.
http://www.raw-food-health.net/HunterGatherers.html
How many in our fast paced society do that? We most often work a minimum of 40 hours, and that does not include preparing food. To make matters worse, we do a lot of this alone, not with people who's company we enjoy. Everyone accepts that our bodies aren't suited to the diet we have in modernity, our digestive system is the same one that our distant ancestors had, and we should treat it as such. I believe this. Is it so hard to fathom that the same is true for our psychology? We are wired for a certain type of lifestyle, but we do not live it? Is it so unfathomable that this could have health consequences the same as a crummy diet does?
Now that I understand it, I had my first bout of mindbody symptoms when I was in high school. Sarno has found that it occurs most often in people who are striving, goal oriented, perfectionists, people pleasers. These internal factors are the biggest contributors. People who are not hard working and goal oriented generally do not pursue doctorate degrees. The other factors can be external, you lose your job, you have a sick or dying parent or other close relative etc... You wrote
"I also live approximately 600 miles away from my family and don't have anyone to take care of me when I have a flare up of my nerve pain or to take me to or from a procedure like this. Right now I am also on an internship and have just started accruing sick leave, so I don't have a lot of time to take off at the moment either."
Not to mention pursuing a doctorate simultaneously. Sounds stressful to me, and thats just what you offered up without any prodding. You may have more going on.

It is not my intention to be too pushy or diagnose you over the internet through a few posts. It just seems to me, based on my own experience, and what I have seen in friends and family members, that virtually all of these nerve pain conditions are mindbody. I have a good friend who started having back trouble a couple years back. 3 herniated lumbar discs on his MRI. He was an athlete through college, great soccer player, never had problems then when he was hard on his body. Now that he's taking it easy at a desk job all these problems pop up? "Its from too much sitting" they will say. How ridiculous is that? Sitting herniates discs apprarently. Well if you prod a little deeper you will find that right around the time he and his wife started having trouble was when his back started to hurt. It was excruciating through his divorce, especially when the child custody stuff came up, and figuring where his daughter would go to school. Couple years later, his back is much better. He and his ex get along ok, he has a visiting schedule with his daughter that suits him just fine. I would like him to go back to get another MRI now that he is pain free and see what they find. My guess? 3 herniated discs. Or my dad-when he was in his late forties had excruciating pain in his neck and nerve pain down his arm, "like fire out my pinky finger" was what he told me. Went to doctors, diagnosed with "pinched nerve" and "herniated disc". Not coincidentally, he developed this pain while both my aunt and grandfather were dying, and he and my mother were traveling 2 hours to see them multiple times a week, on top of work and building a new house. They passed away, house got built, they moved in, he is better. His pain lasted pretty much the entire 18 month period while all that was going on. He used to have to sit with his arm up over his head cause it was the only position he found relief. I specifically remember his arm sticking up above everyone's heads at my aunts funeral.
Back to my original post-please please please get the book and read it. Then decide for yourself. Here is a very good link that with your psych background you may like.
http://www.stjohnprovidence.org/inne...px?PageID=2480
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:25 AM   #17
Michael Burke
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Re: C5/C6 bulging disc

From what she's said, there's great reason to think that the pain is from the herniated disc, and that healing that will alleviate the pain. I'd do whatever you can to exhaust those options before resigning yourself to a pain management therapy.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:38 AM   #18
Mike Laroche
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Re: C5/C6 bulging disc

It is not pain management therapy. It is understanding the cause of the pain and creating a cure.
And I do roofing and carpentry work. And I lift weights. There was every reason to think my problem was related to injury as well. I did not stop working or working out. I am not some super healing freak of nature.
And I'm not saying that it is impossible to hurt yourself. It is possible. And it will heal. But when it becomes chronic, there is something else going on.
Seriously the book is like 7 bucks and you can read it in about 2 or 3 hours. What do you have to lose?

Last edited by Mike Laroche : 11-26-2011 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:49 PM   #19
Rachel Fazio
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Re: C5/C6 bulging disc

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Originally Posted by Michael Burke View Post

I hope you can get some relief from the McKenzie stuff. It certainly helped for my low back and sciatica...I was doing those stretches constantly.
Hi Michael,
Got my McKenzie book today! I've already read it into the section about the exercises. Exercise 3 is basically what my first PT had me doing; I can't say it necessarily helped, but it didn't hurt. I think that applying it to my usual posture (exercise 1 version) might make a difference though. Also, exercise 2 really freaked me out - it makes stuff in my neck sound like rice krispies having milk poured on them. I'm taking it slow and just doing those two plus the stretch for lateralized pain for a few days, then I'll expand my repertoire.

I really liked how the book also talks about sleeping position and how that affects the neck. I really wish I hadn't slept on my stomach with my head turned to the right for the past 20+ years or so I have been trying to remedy that ever since my neck started to cause me problems and it does make a big difference. I try to sleep on my side or back when I can, but when I want to sleep on my stomach now I take one of those little c-shaped travel neck pillows and face plant into it so that I can keep my head from turning while still sleeping on my stomach and still breathe somewhat. Just thought I'd throw that out there in case it may help someone else.

I'll report progress every few days
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:49 AM   #20
Victoria Stiles
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Re: C5/C6 bulging disc

A C5 C6 disc that is herniated can cause incredible pain and disability for the person suffering with it. The most common cause of a herniated disc is trauma. The only way you can get new nutrition and oxygen into the discs of the spine is by physically pumping them. It doesn't matter if your injured disc is in the neck or somewhere else in the spine - this exercise will effectively pump new oxygen and nutrition into the disc for faster healing.
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