C4 & C5/C6 Herniated disk, should I consider Surgery?
I am 25 years old and was recently diagnosed with a C4 and C5/C6 Herniated disk. I first noticed it two months ago and was given anti-inflammatory drugs in addition to pain killers which made the pain go away after a few days. However I started noticing the pain again about three weeks ago and was told to go to PT. I have been to 4 PT session and do not feel any better and at times feel that PT is making things worse. I have shooting pain down my arm that does not allow me to do things like brush my teeth properly and of course the neck is stiff and i can barely move it. I do put cold/heat at times but that doesnt help too much and neither does the Vicodin. Is there certain other things I can do to help feel better?
I want know what others have done to alleviate the pain and if I should be considering surgery?? How long is the recovery time and how risky is it? How about acupuncture? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
Thank you for your question. Although without being able to examine you I can not offer you the specific advice on diagnosis and treatment that you need, but I would try to provide you some relevant information about your health concern.
Arm pain and neck stiffness may appear due to nerve irritation in the cervical (neck) spine because the nerves that supply the arm also start in the upper cervical spine. Mostly, this kind of pain aggravates after turning head and typically occurs in patients with herniation of cervical disc and in patients with marked arthritis of the upper cervical spine. In addition, this pain exacerbates with prolonged sitting in a stooped posture and when working on computers for long hours so this activity should be avoided. Since you are presently suffering from severe pain, please arrange an appointment with a neurologist right away for further assessment & treatment. Your doctor may suggest wearing a cervical collar or suggest some neck exercises as well. Hope this helps.
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