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Having tremors in shoulders and arms, headaches and off balance. Should I continue exercise or go for surgery?

Jul 2013
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
Over the past 3 years I have noticed my arms weakening. With this I have also had zingers down my arms, up my head, down my back, beginning in the neck or shoulder area about every 2 months. I went to an orthopedic this summer. He did an MRI and found I had a bulging disc at C5/C6. I have had a massage once a week, did PT for 5 weeks, traction at my chiropractor, 2 cortisone shots and feel this is only getting worse. I have quit my job because I cannot use my arms. I cannot fold laundry, go grocery shopping, shuffle cards to play with my kids, exercise. I have awful tremors in my shoulders and arms, headaches, my shoulder burns. All have gotten worse since August. I am waiting for a neurology appt because I also have off balance when I turn my head alot or hold it to one side or the other. I feel this is also related to my neck because I can feel the offbalance coming. My neck begins to burn, travels up the back of my head to my ears, my ears begin to ring, and then my eyes feel funny and I lose my balance until I lay and rest. I am trying to be patient but I just want to feel better and be myself again. Should I continue to push through stretching and exercise or is it time to talk surgery?
Posted Fri, 13 Dec 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 17 minutes later
Brief Answer: You have CERVICAL DISC DISEASE. Detailed Answer: Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX Your description and symptomatology are due to cervical disc disease along with radiculopathy, which implies a disc protrusion causing pressure over the nerve root producing typical radiating pain into different areas as well as tingling and numbness. Your symptom of losing balance is termed as vertigo, which is commonly seen in cervical spine problems and is associated with movements of the neck - CERVICAL VERTIGO. This condition can be effectively treated with Antihistamine preparations. Regarding your cervical disc problem, the initial management is always by conservative (non surgical) management as follows - Soft Collar: Soft collar allow the muscles of the neck to rest and limit neck motion. This can help decrease pinching of nerve roots with movement. Soft collars should only be worn for short periods of time, because long-term wear can decrease the strength of neck muscles. Medicines: Analgesic are needed in the acute phase. Muscle relaxants are essential for relieving muscle spasms once the acute pain subsides. Neurotropic vitamins like METHYLCOBALAMINE (activated Vit B12) or PREGABALIN will help in alleviating the neuropathic pain. Cervical traction: may enlarge the disc space, permitting the prolapse to subside. Intermittent cervical traction for not more than 30 minutes at a time. Physiotherapy: Once the acute phase of pain has subsided, Isometric strengthening exercises of the paravertebral muscles are started. Improving neck strength and flexibility with simple exercises may lessen discomfort and pain. Moist heat can be useful Epidural steroids: are useful for patients with severe radicular pains in the limbs. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory preparation and so its injections in the "epidural space" can decrease swelling as well as pain. If you don't find any symptom relief or if your symptoms are worsening despite the above measures, then surgery might be indicated. Hope I have addressed your query. Happy to guide you further Regards
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