Described below is one of the many approaches I've tried or considered trying for healing my chronic myofascial pain:

This content is not intended as and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. (See full Disclaimer.)


BOTTOM LINE:  Surgery fixed the neurological deficit from my ruptured disc but likely triggered my myofascial pain syndrome.  

When I ruptured a disc in my neck, I was in excruciating pain and began losing neurological function of my left arm. A month later, after drugs and physical therapy failed to relieve the horrific pain or reverse the neurological deficit, I had neck surgery—an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion—to remove the C5-6 and C6-7 discs in my neck and replace them with donor bone. The surgery resolved my acute nerve pain and gave me the use of my arm back. But I never got out of pain; it just changed.

The surgery, or the weeks of acute pain before the surgery, or a combination of both, triggered my chronic myofascial pain syndrome, which was apparently sitting dormant in my body waiting for something to finally expose my buried traumas. (See My Healing Journey.) 

I've since heard of cases where people with debilitating pain and neurological effects have recovered without surgery. Thus I wonder to this day whether my surgery was necessary. At the time, however, the acute nerve pain was so intense that it is hard to know if I could have withstood more pain while waiting for less invasive approaches to work. In addition, as soon as the doctors diagnosed my ruptured disc and neurological symptoms, they insisted that I needed the surgery as soon as possible.

Of course, it's too late now to dwell on what might have been. So I focus on taking action to heal the traumatic wounds that contribute to my pain through mind-body and self-treatment approaches. (See Treatments.)   

As for having surgery to cure chronic pain without neurological deficit, I don't think I'd choose surgery if I were in that position today because:

  1. Surgery is invasive and can trigger chronic myofascial pain, especially in people with past trauma like me (see Trauma & Chronic Pain).
  2. I have significantly reduced my chronic pain symptoms through non-invasive methods such as John F. Barnes myofascial release therapy [JFB-MFR treatment] and learning about healing and the mind-body connection (Reading about mindbody).
  3. There is no conclusive evidence that structural anomalies of the spine cause chronic pain (e.g., Mind over back pain” Harvard Health Publications, May 4, 2016).

  Healing from Chronic Myofascial Pain—Support for Chronic Pain Sufferers