If you’re like many people, receiving a cervical herniated disc diagnosis gives rise to mixed emotions. On the one hand, it is likely a relief to finally know the cause of the neck pain and other forms of discomfort that you may have been struggling with for weeks or months. On the other hand, it can be scary to find out that you are suffering from a degenerative condition that has the potential to get worse over time.
The important thing to keep in mind when you do receive your diagnosis is to remain positive and patient. The treatment process many involve a certain degree of trial and error. It is unlikely that any one treatment will provide total relief, but a combination of conservative treatments like exercise, stretching, medication, and hot/cold compresses will probably help to alleviate your neck pain and other symptoms.
Another important aspect of managing your symptoms is to learn as much as you can about your condition. Be sure to ask your doctor questions about your herniated disc diagnosis. While you may feel overwhelmed when the diagnosis is confirmed, it may be a good idea to schedule a follow-up appointment for a few days or weeks later so that you have time to do research and formulate questions.
Below are a few things to discuss with your doctor:
- At what level of the cervical spine is the herniated disc located?
- Is nerve compression present? If so, which nerve or nerves are being compressed?
- How severe is the herniation?
- What might the cause of the disc herniation have been?
- Did imaging scans also reveal the presence of spinal arthritis?
- What treatments can I try?
- What is the likelihood that I will require surgery?
As you being a treatment plan after receiving a herniated disc diagnosis, be sure to pay close attention to what your body is telling you. Try to stay active, but don’t overexert yourself. Take notes about the efficacy of certain treatments so that you can start to tailor your treatment regimen to suit your unique needs. The majority of individuals who have a herniated disc in the cervical region of the spine will not require surgery for their condition.