Contrary to popular belief, most doctors would rather you explore non-surgical treatment options first before going under the knife. Therefore, you will likely be provided a list of cervical herniated disc treatment options to try at home before more serious means such as therapy and surgery are suggested.
What exactly is causing your pain?
A herniated disc in your cervical spine can cause pain in the neck, loss of movement and even muscle weakness. In some cases, sharp pains, prickly sensations and numbness could radiate down your shoulder, arm or hand. The disc in between your vertebrae acts as a cushion, absorbing the impact of movement. However, arthritis, injury or even repetitive motion of your neck (perhaps on the job) can cause the disc to rupture or bulge into the spinal canal, pressing against nerves in the process.
Home Treatment Options
Once your doctor has diagnosed your pain and the cause of it, they will likely prescribe some self-treatment first to see if the pain resolves itself. Several home cervical herniated disc treatments exist that can help alleviate the pain. For instance, you can ice your neck immediately when pain occurs. The icy cold helps to numb the area and reduce swelling to decrease pain levels.
A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory should be taken when the pain starts as it can reduce pain and inflammation caused by the herniated disc. It is important, though, to not go over the daily-recommended amount. After one day of ice packs, you can rotate ice packs with moist heat such as a hot shower or soaking in a hot tub. Part of the pain you experience may actually be the muscles in your neck seizing up due to the herniation. Moist heat can help relax the muscles and ease pain. In addition to these self-treatment methods, restricting activities that involve full neck movement is important.
When Cervical Herniated Disc Treatment Needs the Doctor’s Help
If the pain continues in your neck after about a week of self-treatment, the doctor may run more tests including x-rays and range of motion. Physical therapy may be the next step before other treatment options such as prescribed pain medication and muscle relaxers or even steroid injections. Surgery is only considered after other cervical herniated disc treatment options have failed.
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