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How to Diagnose and Treat a Neck Herniated Disc

May 29

Depending on where the disc is and whether it is irritating any nerves, a herniated disc in the neck can produce varying degrees of pain and suffering. This can be a severe problem since we use our necks all day, making significant and little motions.


A physical examination, an MRI, an x-ray, or a CT scan are some of the testing choices available. There are also numerous non-invasive therapy alternatives for a herniated disc in the neck that can provide quick relief. Chiropractic and physical therapy are two examples.


Who is at Risk for a Neck Herniated Disc?


Anyone can develop a herniated disc in their neck. However, older persons are more likely to experience it. This is because our spinal discs lose part of their suppleness and volume as we age. These discs are located between our spinal vertebrae and assist in distributing weight from the head and neck. As a result, when those discs begin to break down, they are more likely to herniate, rendering middle-aged and older persons more vulnerable.


A disc herniation in the neck can also be caused by trauma. The discomfort in the neck, shoulder, and down the arm might range from mild to severe in either case. Numbness, tingling down the spine, and loss of bladder control are two rare but severe symptoms.


Getting A Cervical Herniated Disc Tested


The tests will most likely be the same whether you seek chiropractic therapy for a herniated disc in your neck or visit your family physician. Before you can be treated for a disc herniation, your doctor must first confirm that a herniation is the source of your suffering.


1) Medical Background

You won't need to provide a complete medical history if the chiropractor or physician already has your information on file. However, you will be asked some questions regarding when the discomfort began and what you believe caused it (trauma). In addition, you will be asked to describe your symptoms.


2) Physical Examination

The chiropractor or physician will then conduct a physical examination. They'll look for muscle weakness, range of motion, and the location and severity of the discomfort.


3) Imaging Examinations

After that, you may be taken for imaging testing. MRIs, CT scans, or x-rays are the most typical diagnostics performed if the chiropractor suspects a problem with the spinal vertebrae.


4) MRI

The most straightforward technique to find a herniated disc in the neck is to use a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan, which provides a clear image of the spine's soft tissue.


5) CT

Using a two-dimensional image of the neck, a computed tomography scan is frequently utilized to confirm which disc is ruptured.


With these non-invasive tests, your chiropractor or physician can establish which disc is herniated and to what extent and then devise a treatment plan. But, before we get into which therapies are most commonly utilized for herniated discs, let's look at some research to see how effective they are.


Treatment for a Herniated Disc in the Neck Research


The type of treatment you receive depends significantly on where you have your herniated disc fixed. As you can expect, some therapies are more effective than others, so you want to be able to make the best selection for your neck discomfort. The papers below demonstrate the effectiveness of several non-invasive approaches. We'll also discuss a specific therapy option to stay away from.


80% Effective Disc Herniation Treatment


The effects of chiropractic therapy for herniated discs in the cervical spine were studied in a private practice study of 27 individuals. Before beginning treatment, all of the patients experienced symptoms of a herniated disc, which MRI validated.


Spinal manipulation, flexion-distraction, physical therapy, traction, and exercises were all part of the treatment plan. Eighty percent of patients said their symptoms had improved, and 63 percent had partial or total disc resorption. Following treatment, 78% of patients were able to return to work.


The more we understand the best treatments for neck pain, the more obvious it becomes that non-invasive procedures should always be tried first before resorting to potentially dangerous treatments. Injections, medicine, and over-the-counter remedies can be harmful and should be carefully examined.


Most cervical disc herniations can be treated with chiropractic or physical therapy (or both).


At Peak Potential Family Chiropractic - Houston Heights, we've had great success in treating herniated discs with chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy exercises, and massage.


If you or someone you know is suffering from a herniated disc in the neck, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We'll develop a treatment plan customized for your needs so you can start feeling better!