Dr. Daniel Albright, an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina, describes a the symptoms and treatments for a cervical disc herniation. A cervical disc herniation can cause pain down your arm. Treatment usually does not require surgery, but if the nerve pain cannot be relieved, it can be a last option. Watch the video for more information:
If you have any questions about cervical disc herniation, contact Dr. Dan Albright at 919-863-6808.
Transcription of video:
Hello. Cervical disc herniation symptoms and treatment. My name is Dr. Dan Albright. I’m an orthopedic spine surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina.
So, cervical disc herniation. First of all cervical means the neck, the cervical spine. The disc is the mobile piece between the bone (the vertebrae). It’s like a tire between the hard bones. A herniation is a rupture, it means a blowout. Think of the disc like a jelly doughnut and it’s the soft part between the bones. There’s the outer part and then the inner part is the jelly. Occasionally that jelly squirts out, that’s a disc rupture. That’s a disc herniation.
It’s very inflammatory. It hurts. If you have a disc rupture on your nerve you get an awful, toothache-like pain down your shoulder blade. It can be pretty tough. So that’s the symptom. A symptom is what you feel.
A sign I look for is weakness and reflex changes. First thing we want to know is what are your symptoms. Typically for a disc rupture it’s neck pain, shooting to the shoulder, the shoulder blades, the scapula, then down the arm. Then again many people say it’s like a toothache. A toothache is nerve pain. That’s what a disc rupture does, it causes nerve pain.
Pressed nerves, pinched nerves all the same thing. Our medical term is radiculopathy. You might see that if you are reading about this.
So, what do you do about it? What’s the treatment for this? Usually it’s not surgical. Surgery can be terrific, but not the first treatment. For a ruptured disc exercise is bad. This is not a muscle pain it’s nerve pain. Nerve pain gets worse with exercise. You can walk. Walk a lot, but don’t do any upper body exercises. Don’t lift weights – nothing over the weight of a gallon of milk.
Take some Advil. Take some Aleve. (If you are allowed to from a medical viewpoint.)Stay out of a car. Riding or driving a car can aggravate it (the vibrations can get to you). Therapy can help sometimes. Sometimes a traction can help.
A cervical epidural steroid shot can help. We’d send you to a pain clinic for that.
A ruptured disc will heal with time. With these non-surgical treatments we’re trying to buy time. If we can get the patient through a week, two weeks, three weeks. Usually nature just calms this down. Nature cures disc ruptures. They absorb. They dissolve. They go away. Those are the main things for treatment. Not everyone gets better with non-surgical treatments.
Surgery takes pressure off the nerve. You wake up and go “aaah” the pressure is just gone.
If you’d like to know more. I’d be happy to see you anytime. My website is www.danalbrightmd.com. Our appointments line telephone number is 919-863-6808.