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Mild Narrowing of the C5/C6
I've been having pins and needles down my arm and pain in shoulder for about 6 weeks. Every day it seems to be getting worse, I can't do dishes, bath my children or even use the mouse on my computer without the pain escalating to an excrusiating level. My xrays only showed Mild narrowing of the C disc space with mild retrolistheses, straightening of cervical lordosis. Could there be more going on? If this is mild, I swear i'd shoot myself if it got to moderate or severe.
I'm not covered for the treatment the dr recommended. Answer Question. Read 3 Responses. Follow - 2. Dr Sharma.C5 C6 Disc Bulge Treatment Without Surgery (2019) - Bulging Disc C5-6
Hi there. I can understand your predicament. The narrowing of C5 C6 disc space could cause compression of the nerve root exiting at the level.
This could lead to neurological symptoms of nerve compression in the neck, arm, shoulder and hand. Severe cases it can disturb sleep, gives difficult time in doing chores.Cervical disc pain in the C4 C5 C6 C7 region can result in herniation or degeneration of the cervical discs.
The cause of degenerative or herniated cervical spine disease is primarily muscular tightness. By fully lengthening the muscles that attach to or surround the neck, herniated or degenerated cervical discs will be allowed to heal. Relevance of chest, arm, and shoulder muscle tightness in chronic neck pain. A large percentage of cervical pain cases involve tightness in the upper body, including the shoulders, chest, and upper back.
Its even possible to have chronic neck pain with all muscular dysfunction coming from the chest and shoulders; and very little tightness in the neck muscles. The neck rests on the shoulders, chest, and upper back. If the upper body is tight, more pressure is placed on the neck muscles and the cervical discs. Effective treatment for chronic neck pain should begin with opening up the muscles of the chest and shoulders before addressing the neck muscles.
Similarly, any self-stretching routine for the neck has to start with stretching of the chest and shoulders muscles.
If you start by stretching the neck, the pain will quickly return because the support structure of the neck is not being addressed. The majority of people sleep on their side.
This pushes the shoulder into the shoulder socket, which decreases range of motion in the shoulder joint. The neck muscles run from the skull to the shoulder. So sleeping on the side not only causes inflexibility in the shoulder but also stiffens neck muscles. The best position to sleep is on the back, with the knees and ankles elevated. Put one pillow the long way under each leg.
Many people find it difficult to sleep on their back. Developing upper back muscles will provide more mass to the back and make sleeping on the back easier, as the back feels more support. The seated row weight machine at the gym is a good way to start developing the upper back. Using a rowing machine is another good exercise to develop upper back muscles.
The primary causes of cervical disc disease are weakness or tightness of the upper body muscles.
Poor posture creates tightness in the neck muscles. Two key neck muscles that affect herniation or degeneration in C4, C5, C6, or C7, are the sternocleidomastoid and scalene muscles.I woke up one morning with neck pain. It got much worse in the hours to come. I went to the emergency room where the DR.
He took x-rays as I have a pain in the back of my neck and in my shoulder,as well as pain down my arm and tingling in two fingers. He said this narrowing is common and he seemed to feel it will go away. It has only gotten a little better after 3 weeks what can I do to reduce the pain or get the inflammation down??
He gave me motrin and naprosyn,it only knocks the edge off but doesn't take away the pain. Any Help out there?? Hey nekpnguy Did the doc say it was spinal stenosis, a herniated disc or a degenerated disc? The good news is most back pain will go away after weeks I'll pull some info together if you know the answer. Thank You,any good info is appreciated. The Dr. He took x-rays and said the narrowing is common bet c5 and c6. He gave me Naprosyn and Presidone. Just before I take the next dose it starts to really become painful again until the next dose kicks in.
Flexaril does seem to help. The Doc did mention degenerative disk possibility but he said he has 27 years experience and feels it will get better sooner than later,I don't know it sure hurts now. You may want to try a traction device.
They hang over the door, connects to your head and allows gravity to help stretch out your spine, which can relieve the pain. If the pain continues, I would try this first. What kind of doctor told you this? If it was not as orthopedic - go to one. Cervical radiculopathy is kind of a catch all for cervical radiating pain.
You could have a lot of things to cause pain, but if he did mention DDD, get it checked out fast. DDD, in the long run, is not good if you are young. If it's a herniation, there are many options. Motrin and Naproxin are anti-inflammatory with pain relievers.
Does heat or ice help? You might try alternating them at 5 minutes each time every 30 minutes. The flexyrl is muscle relaxant and it helps? I might wonder if you have some ligament damage or something muscle related?
An MRI should be able to answer those questions. If they did an MRI, take it to an Orthopedic that is well respected where you live. Physical Therapy will probably happen next if something is wrong.
Find the answer. It could go away, but make sure you cover everything if the pain does not go away. I have an appt with a neuro surgeon on Tues,However the next couple of days are going to be a pain.Spinal stenosis causes narrowing of the bones that make up the spinal canals, or the areas through which the spinal cord and spinal nerves pass.
The Mayo Clinic reports that spinal stenosis causes symptoms only when the spinal nerves or spinal cord are compressed. Depending on the cause of spinal stenosis, symptoms may gradually become worse over time.
Spinal stenosis in the neck is called cervical spinal stenosis. C6 and C7 are two vertebrae in the cervical spine that may be affected by spinal stenosis. Cervical spinal stenosis that causes nerve compression can result in upper body pain.
The University of Wisconsin reports that someone who has stenosis at the C6 and C7 levels may feel this pain in the shoulders, outer part of the upper and lower arm, and even into the hand--portions of the thumb, index and middle fingers, in particular. This pain is called radiculopathy. Because spinal stenosis does not always occur evenly on both sides of the body, this pain may be worse in one arm or shoulder.
MedlinePlus reports that pain may be worse when standing: Cervical spinal stenosis pain may be relieved by sitting or leaning forward. Cervical spinal stenosis may cause numbness or tingling sensations.
Depending on the nerves involved, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports that this altered sensation also called parasthesias may be present in other parts of the body as well.
If the sensory nerves entering or exiting the spinal cord at the C6 or C7 levels are affected, parasthesias may be present in the neck, shoulders and outer arms. Parasthesias may also extend to the thumb, index or middle finger. However, if the spinal cord is compressed at this level, parasthesias may be present in the legs as well.
Like cervical stenosis pain, this numbness or tingling may be worse on one side of the body. Cervical spinal stenosis can cause both upper body and lower body weakness, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Compression of the nerves at the C6 and C7 levels may affect certain muscles in the upper body--in particular, those that straighten the arms tricepsbend the fingers finger flexors and allow the palms to turn up forearm pronators.
Someone with spinal stenosis at these levels may have difficulty with these movements or may not be able to move these muscles at all, depending on how severe the nerve compression is. Spinal cord compression from cervical stenosis at C6 and C7 may also affect the leg muscles.
Like other spinal stenosis symptoms, weakness may be worse on one side of the body. Cervical spinal stenosis can cause other nerve problems in addition to those mentioned above. One of those, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, is muscle spasticity. Muscle spasticity can cause spasms in the legs or make them more difficult to control. Other related problems include heightened reflexes in the legs and difficulty standing or walking.
Erica Jacques is an occupational therapist and freelance writer with more than 15 years of combined experience. Jacques has been published on Mybackpaininfo. Monitor the health of your community here.
More Articles. Written by Erica Jacques. Resources University of Wisconsin: Radiculopathies.Treatment of the C5-C6 spinal motion segment typically begins with nonsurgical methods. In cases where the neck pain and other symptoms do not improve with nonsurgical treatments, or if the health of a nerve root or the spinal cord worsens, surgery may be considered.
Treatment of the C5-C6 spinal motion segment begins with nonsurgical methods. See Treatment for Neck Pain.
It is advised to maintain good posture by sitting tall with the shoulders back and without protruding the head forward in order to avoid stress on C5-C6.
A doctor can help estimate the degree of movements permissible on the neck to avoid further injury to the C5-C6 vertebral level. See Surgery for Neck Pain. Surgical methods used in the C5-C6 vertebral levels are described below. Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion ACDF surgery involves removing the C5-C6 intervertebral disc to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or C6 nerve root.
The disc is replaced by an implant or bone graft, allowing biological fusion of the adjacent C5 and C6 vertebrae. Watch Cervical Laminectomy Video. Watch Cervical Posterior Foraminotomy Video. The type of surgery chosen for C5-C6 may depend on the extent and location of the damage, as well as how many vertebral levels are involved. In some cases, more than one surgery type may be combined. Reduced neck pain may also be experienced. As with any surgery, there is always a small risk of serious complications such as infection, neurologic injury, excessive bleeding, allergic reaction, or death following these surgical procedures.
It is important to speak to your surgeon about these risks, the alternatives to surgery, as well as risks if surgery is not performed. C1-C2 Treatment. Cervical Spine Anatomy Video. Neck Strengthening Exercises. C6-C7 Treatment. C2-C5 Treatment. Peer Reviewed. Editor's Top Picks. Health Information Sponsored.The cervical spine refers to that portion of the spinal column that is within our neck. This portion of the spine needs to be flexible enough to allow us to turn our head from side to side and up and down, but at the same time needs be strong enough to protect the delicate spinal cord and spinal nerves that travel through it.
The cervical spinal column is made up of seven vertebrae and the discs and ligamentous bands between these bones. Each of these seven vertebrae has a channel within it through which the spinal cord travels.
As part of the normal aging process, the discs lose some of their water content and start bulging out as we get older. In some patients, however, the bulging of the disc and other arthritic changes between the vertebrae results in narrowing of the space for the spinal cord and its branches, known as nerve roots.
The spinal cord is like the main cable that brings television signals to the house. The spinal nerve roots are branches of the main cable that carry signals to each room within a house. The spinal cord carries signals from the brain into our arms, legs and body and, at the same time, carries signals back to the brain from our arms, legs and body.
The spinal nerve roots control individual muscles or are responsible for feeling in certain parts of the arm or leg. Cervical myelopathy refers to a loss of function in the upper and lower extremities secondary to compression of the spinal cord within the neck. Cervical myelopathy tends to creep up on patients in most cases. It can result in subtle changes in the way their hands work. Patients feel their hands are clumsier; they may drop objects more often, they may not be able to button their shirts as easily as they could, or their handwriting may become worse.
Patients may develop unsteadiness, requiring holding onto objects more frequently while walking. Their gait may become noticeably wobbly.
In extreme cases, patients may develop more profound weakness and numbness in their arms and legs and rarely changes in bowel or bladder control. Cervical radiculopathy will manifest itself as pain traveling from the neck into a specific region of either arm, forearm or hand. In many instances, this will be accompanied by numbness in a similar distribution or weakness in specific muscles in either the arm, forearm or hand.
What could I expect if I do nothing? In patients who present with very early symptoms, the prognosis is generally very good. Most of these patients will have complete resolution of their pain, numbness and weakness over a week period.
In patients who have had symptoms for a slightly longer period of time, the prognosis is less clear. Some patients will go onto complete resolution of pain with and, in some cases, without limited treatment such as modification of activities, heat, ice, physical therapy or over-the-counter medications. Approximately one third of these patients will have some lingering degree of symptoms that they may be able to cope with.
A small percentage will have symptoms that are unbearable and may need further treatment.Your C5 and C6 vertebrae are located in the cervical portion of your spine, otherwise known as the neck.
Physical therapy for C5 and C6 ranges from reducing pain and symptom levels by properly taking care of this region to strengthening and stretching exercises that return your neck to a functioning level.
Since not all treatments or exercises may be right for you, check with your doctor first. Neck positioning plays a key role during physical therapy for C5 and C6 spine problems. Proper positioning lessens neck pain and helps the area to mend efficiently. While lying down, support your cervical area by placing either a rolled-up towel underneath the curve of your neck or inside the lower portion of your pillow case. Commercially prepared contour pillows offer another option for properly cradling your neck's curvature while resting or sleeping.
Applying heat throughout the day can provide a number of benefits during your physical therapy for C5 and C6 spine problem areas.
Narrowing of c5 & c6
Heating enlarges blood vessels, otherwise termed vasodilationcan help reduce your neck pain levels by flushing out harmful toxins and chemicals. Enlarging your blood vessels also allows more oxygen and nutrients to flow to your injured neck area, thereby enhancing the healing process.
Choose from a number of heat treatments such as taking warm baths or showers, using a heating pad or applying moist heat packs to your neck for 20 minutes. Make a homemade heat pack by soaking a towel in hot water until thoroughly heated. Remove the towel and thoroughly wring out before applying to your sore neck. Remember not to apply heat for too long in order to prevent overheating or burning. Exercise plays an essential role during physical therapy for C5 and C6 spine problems.
Gentle stretching plays a major role in reducing pain, properly aligning your neck and spinal column and reducing neck muscle tightness, which helps correct imbalances of spinal movements, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Do a neck tilt by sitting upright in a firm chair. Place your feet firmly on the floor.
Gently tilt your head toward your right shoulder. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds. Slowly return to the original position.
Relax for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise 10 times. Do the exercise again by tilting your head to the left side. Repeat this exercise three times daily. Gentle resistance exercises can be included during physical therapy for C5 and C6 spine problem recuperation.
Resistance exercises strengthen your neck muscles and help keep your spinal column properly aligned. Do a front resistance exercise by sitting upright in a firm chair. Place the palm of your right hand on the center portion of your forehead. Slowly press your head into your palm, using your palm to keep your neck from moving. Feel the tension in your neck area. Hold the tension for three to five seconds. Release the tension and relax for 10 seconds.