Herniated Cervical Disc - Treatment Options
herniated cervical disc is
not as common as lumbar disc herniation due to two main factors – firstly, there is little disc material found
in the cervical spine and secondly, there is not much force applied along the cervical spine.
Most cases of aherniated cervical disc protrude on the side of the spinal
passage and will impinge the (foramen) nerve root. If the nerve roots’ space is compromised due to (osteophytes)
bone spurs or the collapse of the disc space, the impingement added to the disc can irritate the nerve root thus
causing radiculopathy (arm pain). If the nerve root is not compromised, the temporary pain in the arm may be
relieved by conventional treatments.
Aherniated cervical disc heals on its own or with minimal
conservative treatments and surgery is the last option and reserved only for severe cases of aherniated cervical disc. It is always best to trust your
If chronic pain is felt for more
that two weeks, doctor-prescribed oral steroids can be taken to lessen the swelling and pain. Oral sedatives can
be taken for extreme pain but only for a few days or a maximum of two weeks. Nevertheless, it should still be
under the supervision of your physician.
If the pain persists, conservative
treatments like the following should be taken:
• Physical therapy or exercise to
relieve nerve root pressure
• Chiropractic treatments to also
help relive pressure on the nerve root
• Manual traction to help open the
You may consider using epidural
injections if the pain is not relieved using physical treatments. The pain caused by aherniated cervical disc can be relieved effectively most of
the time. If in case the initial epidural injection does not work, continue with it every two weeks for at least
three months. If 2 to 3 months of physical and medical treatments fail then surgically removing the disc to
relieve the pain should be considered, but again only as a last resort.
scan or MRI can be used to confirm the level of the affected aherniated cervical disc. If the symptoms match the scan
results the surgery is definitely the best option because it can be reliable in relieving sciatica pain with very minimal risks of complication.
There are two types of surgery for
aherniated cervical disc. These are the
• Anterior surgery – This surgery
opens the foramen to give more space to the nerve root.
• Posterior surgery – This type of
surgery is advisable for patients with an enlarged disc located in the side of the nerve
Both of these surgeries are proven to be very effective. To know what type of surgery is best for your case of
aherniated cervical disc, talk to your