First I want to say a big thank you for the videos about how to understand the MRI’s, they are extremely helpful.
I have a bulging disc at C6-7 that is pinching the right channel and nerve. Pain, however, has been presenting in the left shoulder/neck region. Is this possible? Or would the left-sided pain be from another source? I have spent almost a year trying to address the severe pain, including medication and injections, with no success. The follow-up MRI shows no change in the disc. The neurosurgeon I was referred to has suggested the bulge is not responsible, however the doctor/pain specialist had suggested it is possible that it could be pulling or stretching the nerve on the left side and causing pain there. I don’t know who to believe.
Many thanks for any insight you may be able to share!
Generally, the side of the herniation or spur is the side of pain. It would be highly unusual that the opposite side is painful only. I would first look for another pain generator before I would consider that level to be the cause if the symptomatic side has no root compression.
One way to test for the pain generator is to use a highly selective nerve root block (see website). A small amount of anesthetic agent placed on the nerve in question should give good temporary relief. No relief and the diagnosis is in question. Don’t forget that the shoulder itself can cause pain through dysfunction of the joint or the rotator cuff.