My husband has been diagnosed with acute cervical disc prolapse at c6-c7 level. Initially he had severe pain which had stopped him from doing his daily activities. We had seen a neuro surgeon first, he advised MRI and the MRI report says "small to moderate disc prolapse at c6-c7 level causing right foraminal nerve root compression and NO cord compression". He just had severe pain in his neck and a shooting pain in his right arm and mild weekness at the elbow. Surgery was doctors advise to get rid of the pain. I had read many articles and no where I found that the surgery is the only option to get rid of the pain. Please let me know the non surgical treatments for this case.
We have seen a neurophysician lately, he had prescribed a hard collar and some pain killers. My husband is doing much better with the medical treatment, though he gets shooting pain down his right arm when he tries to work on computer and he has not tried driving the car but otherwise he is quite normal now. Can we continue with the medical treatment?
I asked doctor about how the nerve can be relieved from compression as the medicines are only pain killers and they do not relieve the nerve from compression? His answer to this question was "in the course of time the disc that has prolapsed can shrink back to its normal place". This sounded very very relieving for me. Just wanted to reconfirm if it really works that way? if the disc really shrinks back to its normal place?
Any information or help on this would be much appreciated.
Thanks for writing in.
You will be relieved to know that 60-70% of the cases of cervical disc prolapse can be managed by medical treatment alone with no need for surgery.
Please continue with the medical treatment and also check with his doctor about physiotherapy along with medical treatment. Pain killers are anti-inflammatory agents which can reduce the disc swelling although it is difficult to tell if the disc will go back to its normal position.
Thank you very much doctor!! My husband has been advised physiotherapy and is taking ultrasound treatment. He is better with that, he was also advised neck traction but am a bit skeptical whether to go for a neck traction as I am not sure of the pros and cons of it. Would you be kind enough to explain me how safe is a neck traction for a person with c6-c7 disc prolapse?
Thanks for writing back.
Neck traction is usually given to relieve neck pain. Force is applied to part of the body to relieve the spasms of paravertebral muscles by stretching the soft tissue. It has been found to be useful in treatment of cervical disc prolapse.
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