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Doctor insights on: Herniated Disc In Cervical Spine

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How necessary is it to take a MRI when x Ray has been done to see reverse lordosis & possible herniated disc in cervical spine?

How necessary is it to take a MRI when x Ray has been done to see reverse lordosis & possible herniated disc in cervical spine?

Different tests: Plain X-rays of the spine only show bones structure, an MRI is needed if you are looking for soft tissue pathology like a herniated disk. ...Read more

Dr. Thomas Dowling
836 doctors shared insights

Bulging Disk (Definition)

Wear and tear can cause degeneration in the vertebral column, and cause discs to deteriorate. The supportive basket, nucleus fibrosis develops small tears. A bulge is minimal perhaps a few millimeters, and is clinically insignificant, but additional disc displacement such as protrusion or herniation may compress ...Read more


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Might it be possible that a cervical herniated disc be pain free in the neck but have mid-back pain instead?

Might it be possible that a cervical herniated disc be pain free in the neck but have mid-back pain instead?

Very unusual: It is much more likely that you have a primary cause in your mid-back than having the pain come from an asymptomatic cervical disk. ...Read more

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Should I have surgery on my neck or injection? I have a herniated disc at my c5-6 cervical that is compressing a nerve that is givin me right arm pain and numbness.Should i choose to have surgery instead of the injection to asure that i want have issues w

Should I have surgery on my neck or injection? I have a herniated disc at my c5-6 cervical that is compressing a nerve that is givin me right arm pain and numbness.Should i choose to have surgery instead of the injection to asure that i want have issues w

Surgery : Surgery and injections are not interchangeable options- they work in completely different ways. The decision is made typically on what symptoms you have, what your examination shows, and what your MRI demonstrates. Injections are typically done under x-ray guidance (fluoroscopy) to direct a needle, under local anesthesia, into either the spinal canal (for an epidural injection) or into the small canal through which an individual nerve leaves the spine (a selective nerve root block, into the foramen). Typically, both a numbing medicine (local anesthetic) and a steroid are injected together. A diagnostic block may only use the local anesthetic without the steroid. The local anesthesia gives you temporary relief of the nerve pain, and the steroid may give you longer relief. To be clear, injections do not make the disc herniation resolve or heal any faster. However, as the majority of disc herniations will heal without surgery, injections often help control the pain while the body is trying to heal itself. I always prescribe physical therapy with injections. In my experience, injections do nothing for numbness, or for weakness- only for pain relief. The advantage of an injection is that it can be done without general anesthesia, in the office, and with quick recovery. The disadvantage is that it does not remove the herniated disc, or take the pressure off of the nerve, so the injection relief may be short-lived. Surgery is much more invasive, but does involve direct decompression of the pinched nerve, with complete removal of the herniated disc. This treats both pain, weakness, and numbness. However, surgery is also much more involved, with an overnight stay in the hospital, general anesthesia, and recovery over several weeks. It is a more permanent treatment, however. I send lots of patients for injections and operate on many others. The patient who responds best to injections is one whose primary complaint is pain (little numbness and no weakness), who has a smaller disc herniation, with recent symptoms, and who has no signs/symptoms of spinal cord compression. Patients with larger herniations are less likely to improve with conservative treatments, and typically do better with surgery. Patients with signs/symptoms of spinal cord compression, or those with progressive weakness of the arm/hand, or with severe pain, often do better with surgery. Patients with long-standing symptoms (more than 6 months) likely have a disc herniation that is not healing, and are less likely to have long-term relief with injections. ...Read more

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Can a cervical herniated disc in the neck cause slurred speech, difficulty talking, and swallowing? Sometimes choking on thin liquids?

Evaluation needed: Swallowing problems are most commonly related to neurological disease. The most common reason for these symptoms would be a stroke in the brain stem but other reasons need to be investigated for an appropriate treatment plan to be set. ...Read more

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I have three herniated disc in my neck. I have constant disabling pain in my spine between my shoulders. What can I do to be pain free?

I have three herniated disc in my neck. I have constant disabling pain in my spine between my shoulders. What can I do to be pain free?

Be seen: I would definitely consider being seen to discuss treatment options. Rest and medications and non-invasive onterventions such as physical therapy/ traction are the more conservative options; epidural steroids and surgical intervention are more powerful options, but clearly more involved. ...Read more

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Neck herniated disc and spondylosis. Feel pounding when i walk unless on tiptoe or support neck with hand. Does it mean spine is unstable? Serious?

No: It would be very rare for your neck to be unstable. The pounding you feel must be related to the pain due to the herniated disk or degenerated disk in your neck. There are treatment options for this so i recommend that you see a physician for this. ...Read more

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Why is My left index finger tingling&numbness.have herniated disc in neck &moderatedisc bulge inlumbar spine &sciatica.

 Why is My left index finger tingling&numbness.have herniated disc in neck &moderatedisc bulge inlumbar spine &sciatica.

Tingling finger: A tingling finger can be from anywhere in your central nervous system, including your brain and spinal cord, or peripheral nerves, impinged anywhere from the spinal cord to the finger itself, including in the wrist. A full exam is necessary. Given your history of a herniated disc in your neck, you may have radiculopathy radiating from that level to a particular dermatome in your hand. Call your MD ...Read more

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Can cervical spondylosis or a pinched nerve or a herniated disc cause a discomfort or pain to the touch at the back of the head? If yes, why?

Can cervical spondylosis or a pinched nerve or a herniated disc cause a discomfort or pain to the touch at the back of the head? If yes, why?

Nerve pain: Yes any of these can if there is pressure on the nerve. This causes the nerve to malfunction so that touch, cold, heat, pressure feel very different and can be very painful. ...Read more

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Back pain for several years the scans have revealed cervical laminecteomy needed, herniated disc. I need pain meds. How? Did pt, did shots, did all,

Back pain for several years the scans have revealed cervical laminecteomy needed, herniated disc. I need pain meds. How? Did pt, did shots, did all,

Surgery if neuro def: If you have paralysis ( weakness) of the arms or signs of pinching of spinal cord in the neck on neurological examination then you should get the surgery. Otherwise pain management with opiod medications could be an alternative. ...Read more

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Every disc n my cervical spine is herniated, can't take the pain anymore, pain dr says no more "lysis tx's", had 2 many..What is something else close ?

Every disc n my cervical spine is herniated, can't take the pain anymore, pain dr says no more "lysis tx's", had 2 many..What is something else close ?

Where is your pain?: What does lysis trx mean, epidural lysis of adjesions or rf ablation of facet iinnervation? Cervical disc herniations cause arm pain generally how many is too many? Its good to abandon failed treatments and move on to next suspected pain generator theory it is unlikely that all disc herniations are similtaneously symptomatic too many targets to be effective. ...Read more

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I have a herniated disc in my neck and mid back, I sometimes get brief pain in my shoulder blade and chest area.Is that my back or maybe my heart?

I have a herniated disc in my neck and mid back, I sometimes get brief pain in my shoulder blade and chest area.Is that my back or maybe my heart?

Hard to say: It can be hard to say as both conditions can cause similar symptoms. It would be a limitless unusual for a 21 year old to have cardiac disease, but I would not hesitate to be seen, particularly if you have any associated shortness of breath or jaw pain with it. ...Read more

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Pain down the back of left leg and into my calf muscle. I am currently on workers comp.I have a work injury, its 3 herniated disc in my neck.Over the past 2 weeks I have been having pain in lower back side and pain in my left calf muscle.I woke up 2 nites

You : You could have a cord compression or myelopathy but this is not very common. This type of problem is more common with pinched nerves to the low back. Another possibility with calf pain is a blood clot in the area which should be evaluated immediately. Tell your doctor right away. After examination he may request a doppler test for further evaluation. ...Read more

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My husband went to a chiropractor for upper back neck pain. He performed a neck adjustment and my husband has been dizzy 24/7 since. MRI and CT show no arterial dissection. He has a herniated disc at C6-C7. He's seen an ENT and orthopedic surgeon, and no

Needs further evalua: Does he get dizzy when he turns our bend his neck? He may have instability. He needs a full cervical xray exam including bending views to check for instability. What did the MRI of the cervical spine show? Is there stenosis or cord compression? He should not have any manipulations on his neck any more. If his surgeon can not figure out what is going on, does not hurt to get a second opinion. ...Read more

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My doc told me i need mri. The scaitic nerve was inflamef. I have a bed back with degenerative changes & herniated disk in neck & back. What do u th?

My doc told me i need mri.  The scaitic nerve was inflamef.  I have a bed back with degenerative changes & herniated disk in neck & back. What do u th?

Back MRI: The use of MRI in nowdays practice is way over than needed. For back issues, it is only good if surgery is considered, the diagnosis is unclear or there is suspicion for malignancy. If you know you have sciatica, conservative measures would have to be exhausted before MRI is considered unless history and physical suggest another reason for your pain. ...Read more

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Can a herniated disk in the low back area cause numbness and tingling in the arms and hands? Mri of neck was neg, no abnormalities shown.

No: Herniated disc of the low back can cause numbness and tingling in one leg (rarely both), but not in the arms. 25% of americans have herniated disc in the lumbar spine without any symptoms. Seek the help of a rehabilitation physician who can sort out the nerve, muscle and soft tissue problems that can produce your symptoms. ...Read more

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Dr. Thomas Dowling
203 doctors shared insights

Cervical Spine (Definition)

Cervical spine is the segment of spine found in the neck. Because damage to the cervical spine can cause paralysis of the arms, legs, and respiratory muscles, the cervical spine is often the first area protected in ...Read more


Cervical (Definition)

Cervical relates to the first seven vertebra of the spine. It is related it the neck. Also it refers to the muscular opening/exit of ...Read more