A member asked:

I have a cervical herniation between c5-c6. i have had severe pain in my neck, arm, shoulder for over a month. when can i expect it to heal, if ever?

9 doctors weighed in across 4 answers
Dr. David Dechellis answered

Specializes in Pain Management

Disc herniations: Once occured, disc herniations do not "heal". They may improve over time or they may herniate to a further extent.How they r managed depends on symptoms and clinical signs they cause. This is best discussed with a specialist who deals with spine or pain, after they examine you and review your imaging.Many nonoperative treatments may serve you if surgery is not clinically warranted. Get formal eval!

Answered 12/20/2014

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Dr. Marshall Bedder answered

Specializes in Pain Management

Variable: More than 90% of disc herniations heal on their own and never go to surgery. However the symptoms may drag on for months with out therapy. Conservative therapy includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory type medications and in some cases a course of oral steroids ( a Medrol (methylprednisolone) dose-pack). You may need to see a pain specialist for a cervical epidural steroid injection, if your symptoms persist.

Answered 6/27/2014

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Dr. Chaim Colen answered

Specializes in Neurosurgery

Depends: What do you mean by heal? A herniated disc is likely not going to go back into it's original place. Pain can resolve over time as the herniated disc desiccates, "drys up and shrinks". Anti inflammatory medication may help by decreasing the inflammation, and hence the pain. Would see a specialist for thorough evaluation.

Answered 10/4/2016

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Dr. Jimmy Bowen answered

Specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Disc Herniation: The pain from a disc herniation can be from the disc itself or from compression or chemical reaction of the nerve. Treatment includes posture principles, cervical traction, anti inflammatories including oral steroids, medication for nerve pain such as gabapentin. The saal brothers of san fran demonstrated improvement of disc herniations and amount of herniation seen on MRI with conservative care.

Answered 6/18/2018

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