Cervical disc prolapse is the medical term for herniated disc in the neck. Treatment for herniated disc in the neck is somewhat similar to the other treatments for herniated disc located in the thoracic and lumbar regions. The spinal column has several vertebra.
This vertebrae has a soft gel-like cushion which facilitates movement of our spine. When one of these cushion or discs bulges and ruptures due to an injury, trauma, or old age, it causes pain.
Every movement that we make puts pressure on these discs which in turn presses the nerve endings that’s why pain is felt. The pain felt depends on the severity of the case. Treatment for herniated disc in the neck will depend on the pain felt by the patient.
Treatment for herniated disc in the neck would include non-surgical and surgical treatments; doctors will try to manage treatment for herniated disc in the neck in a conservative manner.
Different Types of Treatment For Herniated Disc in the Neck:
- Neck Traction – for stretching the neck muscles; traction neck pillows may be used to provide comfort at night
- Positioning Pillows and Bolster – for the patient to be able to sleep and rest comfortably
- Pain relievers and analgesics – will be prescribed to minimize the pain being felt; in severe cases of pain, narcotics may be administered but for a short period only
- Corticosteroids/ epidural injections – may also be administered to manage the pain and to lessen the inflammation in the affected area
- Hot and Cold Compress – to relieve the pain; these are applied alternately and not to exceed 20 minutes per area at any given time
- Physical Therapy – you and your therapist will be working together to modify your activities; you will be taught how to move so as to minimize the pain being experienced; heavy lifting and actions which involves the neck will be avoided; once the condition improves, the therapist will recommend activities and exercises to bring back the usual activities done by the patient
- Chiropractic – spinal manipulation performed by a chiropractor to lessen the pain felt by the patient; ask your doctor for a professional chiropractor to perform the spinal manipulation for you
- Bracing – to give rest to the spine, a cervical collar is sometimes recommended
Conservative treatment for herniated disc in the neck would normally be resolved in six to twelve weeks. Once the pain has been managed it usually never comes back again. In the event that after this period there is still pain and the tingling and numbness felt in the shoulder traveling to the arms and fingers are getting worse, the doctor may suggest a spine surgery.
A spine surgeon will do the surgery and the operation will give the patient a very quick relief from pain. Most spine surgery has a very low risk of failure or complications and there is only a minimal amount of pain after surgery.
- Spine surgery complications would include:
- Damage to the trachea or esophagus.
- Hoarseness of voice – but will also disappear in two or three months
- Nerve root or spinal cord damage
- Cerebrospinal fluid leak
The complications may happen but to a very few; the ratio of complications is 1 to 10000 cases. Treatment for herniated disc in the neck may still vary from person to person and on the severity of his case. Nevertheless, if it is badly necessary, you must not take it for granted and do whatever you can do to receive the appropriate treatment.