Last year I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in my neck. It wasn't bad then, but now I can pick up anything over 5 or 10 lbs up because a dull pulling pain in my left forearm.
Yes it does seem the herniated disc is the most likely culprit. It sounds like you're experiencing ulnar nerve pain - this results from a trapped or pinched ulna (a nerve running from the neck down the arm). Even if it's not ulnar related, the back of the neck is where a major collection of nerves are located that affect all areas of the body. It may be a good idea to see if there's any change in your bulge, but if you're more looking for some pain relief a physical therapist who does manual manipulation (and dry needling is also a plus!) or a chiropractor may be able to identify the nerve(s) and help with your pain.
I use this type of physical therapy for my Fibromyalgia pains (it's not specific to only one condition) and most people are confused by my daily PT appointments because most days I have to use a wheelchair to safely get around and people seem to thing PT is about exercise and muscle strength training--- when I go to a session I change into a gown and the session begins with ultrasound on the back of my neck and upper to mid-back, the wavelengths used by the ultrasound help to break through any excess connective tissue making it more pliable for the PT to work on. After the ultrasound therapy (about 10mins) I lay on a table with my legs supported with a big square cube and the PT performs gentle manual manipulation of my cervical spine. Initially it was pretty painful but now it's a huge pain reliever. I also like gentle forms of yoga like Restorative and Yin as these help give the body nice easy stretches and you can ask a knowledgeable yoga teacher for moves to help with your specific pains. Even just gently lowering your chin-to-chest and slowly turning left, then slowly back to center, then slowly to the right and repeating can help over time, BUT never fully roll your neck in a circle from front to back as that can cause damage and pain.
Best wishes on your pain relief!
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