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Herniated Cervical Disc - Managing The Pain

Aug 9, 2008
Pain in the arm, shoulder or neck is often a clear indication of a herniated cervical disc. In specific these symptoms may involve any of the following: dull or severe pain between your neck and shoulder blades; pain that shoots down your arm towards your fingers; and a tingling sensation in the shoulder or arm. Turning the neck certain ways and angles can also induce the pain.

A herniated cervical disc is a result of the breaking open of the outer layer of the disc (annulus), which then allows the inner jelly like substance to protrude resulting in the herniated cervical disc. A herniated cervical disc does not always have instant symptoms- it may take time for the pain to be felt, and often the problem is diagnosed by X-ray when patients have a different problem. When the pain of a herniated cervical disc takes hold, patients will want to see a doctor as soon as possible.

There are various aspects and information your doctor or physician will request to aid diagnosing a herniated cervical disc, these include: a physical examination, neurological examination, medical history review, evaluation of your symptoms and breakdown of previous treatments you may have tried. The doctor will also most likely request an X-ray to see if such conditions as osteoarthritis are a related cause. Further to this the doctor may also ask for a CT or MRI scan to locate the herniated cervical disc and to further isolate the extent of the damage. A Myelogram may also be requested if the case is severe.

If the doctor proves that you have a herniated cervical disc, surgery will not be the first treatment option. Your doctor or physician should immediately recommend cold and heat therapy to combat the inflammation in combination with anti inflammatory medications. Physical therapy would also be advisable, under the strict guidance of a physical therapist. Some physical therapy methods include stretching, gentle massage, neck traction, and ice/heat therapy.

The majority of sufferers of a herniated cervical disc will notice a considerable improvement in their symptoms within 4 to 6 weeks. For this reason, conventional treatments usually work, and surgery is not likely to be appropriate nor required, so the news is generally good.

However, it is wise to be prepared for surgery in the event that your herniated cervical disc is a severe case, wherein there may be some compression placed upon the spinal cord. If surgery is recommended as the best treatment option for your herniated cervical disc, try to understand why it is being recommended and possibly seek a second opinion. Surgery on the spine is serious, and need only be performed if all other treatments for a herniated cervical disc have been exhausted.
About the Author
Want further information on herniated cervical disc treatment and symptoms? Please visit: http://www.herniated-disc-advice.com (Visitors receive a FREE eBook on herniated disc exercises)
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