Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
Without the ability to obtain a history from your relative and examine your relative, I can not comment on a formal diagnosis or treatment plan for his/her symptoms. However, I will try to provide you with some information regarding this matter.
Your symptoms may be a radiculopathy or pinched nerve in your neck. The spinal cord is encased by bones called vertebra. Nerves start to form as they come off the spinal cord and exit through holes formed between the vertebra. If a nerve is compressed on as it exits through these holes, particularly in an area called the nerve root, a radiculopathy results. The compression could be due to arthritis of the spine or due to a herniated disc or other lesions. The symptoms include pain at the level of the problem (i.e. neck or back etc) and pain that may radiate down the arm or leg (depending on where the problem is). In more advanced cases, muscle weakness or sensory symptoms such as tingling or numbness may occur. A radiculopathy is often diagnosed based on history, physical examination, and MRI of the spine.
In most people the pain associated with a herniated disc may resolve within 4-6 weeks. A minority of patients do not respond to medical/conservative management and require surgery. Symptoms suggesting the need for urgent surgery include muscle weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control, loss of sensation, and progressive pain.
A test called EMG/NCS can be performed to determine the extent a nerve is being compressed or damaged by a herniated disc. This test is performed by neurologist at most local offices.
I would recommend that your discuss this with your doctor. They may need to refer you to a neurologist for an EMG/NCS and also a thorough neurological examination to evaluate for other abnormalities.
Thank you for using the forum, I hope you find this information useful, good luck.
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