Described below is one of the many approaches I've tried or considered trying for healing my chronic myofascial pain:
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 losing neurological function of my left arm and had excruciating neck pain. A month later, after drugs and physical therapy failed to improve either symptom, 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 gave me the full use of my arm back. But I never got out of pain; it just changed.
Although the acute nerve pain in my neck and the associated neurological problems with my arm resolved after the surgery, that is when my chronic myofasical pain began. The surgery or the weeks of acute pain before the surgery, or a combination of both, triggered 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 a similar disc rupture and symptoms 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 havingsurgery to cure chronic pain without neurological deficit, I don't think I'd choose surgery if I were in that position today. Based on what I've learned and experienced since my neck injury in 2005, I'd likely forego surgery because: