I have had chronic neck pain for approx 13 years. I have had every treatment known (I think) Chiro, Physical Therapy, Acupunture, Massage Decompression Therapy. I see a pain managment doc (past 10 years) the epidural, facet and trigger point injections have not helped any this past year. I went to an Ortho Surgeon who has reveiwed my case and the progression of the MRIs I have had and has indicated that I need phyical therapy to try and get my shoulders back and my neck in allignment (6-8 weeks) then the first of the year (did not want to do any surgery during Christmas holiday) we are to discuss surgery. He is not sure which may be more effective the fusion or plates and screws. The problen is at the C5 and C6 level. My disc have simply dried up (no sponge like matter left) There is a bulge into the spinal canal which is limiting the spinal fluid flow. I have tingling in my right arm and fingers sometimes but most of the pain is literally in the neck and shoulders. The shoulder muscles are hard as a rock and I have limited motion due to pain. The Neuologist has indicated that there is no nerve root problems now but did state he would suggest seeing a surgeon for input. How long do you go before you say enough. I can't walk, lift or basically do anything without pain. I'm not one for pain meds (too afraid of them). After reading some of these post I'm almost afraid to move on with surgery. Any suggestions?? :'(