Is it possible for a disc herniation to get worse?
I was wondering if it's possible for a disc herniation to get worse/bigger after the inital injury. The reason I ask is that my symptoms are not improving, they are worsening. My migraines are getting more frequent and starting from the back of my neck(about every 3 days I'm getting migraines), neck pain is much worse then before, my arm and shoulder go numb just by doing simple activites. My neck jerking/tics are more frequent. I haven't done anything that would put stress on my neck. I have a herniated c5-6 that is compressing against the spinal cord.
Disc herniations can cause neurological symptoms such as numbness, back pain, leg pain, tingling, weakness etc in the limbs. Pain is the most common symptom of a herniated disc. The symptoms may aggravate with progress of the disease. The majority of herniated discs do not require surgery. Initial treatment for a herniated disc is usually conservative and non-surgical.
Epidural steroid injections are generally are acceptable for herniated disc patients. Though they may not be as effective as surgery (discectomy/ laminectomy) in reducing symptoms and disability associated with disc herniation, yet they are beneficial in providing medium term improvement in symptoms in patients with not much relief after noninvasive methods.
The injections are administered directly in the area of disc herniation. Before proceeding to surgery, one may try epidural injection, after consulting the doctor regarding the relative benefits and risks of the procedure in the individual case.
I would advise that you should consult a neurologist who can advise on further management of your condition. You should take rest and avoid lifting any weights for the next few days.
Thank you so much for your reply. I do have an injection set up for next week. I'm currently seeking treatment with a neurosurgeon. I've done all the other conservative treatments with no success with a sports medicine doctor. I'm just a bit surprised how bad the pain, weakness, numbness and the migraines are progressing. The NS says that we need to take care of this herniation as soon as possible. It's been 5 weeks since my inital injury.
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