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MRI done. Having pain in back and shoulder. Will the herniated disk correct itself in time?

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Question MRI results state:

C6-7: There is a large left paracentral/foraminal disk extrusion flattening the left ventral aspect of the cord and causing high-grade left foraminal stenosis with exiting nerve root compression. Moderate central canal stenosis of 9mm is also noted at this level as a result XXXXXXX

I don't know what this means and have not seen my MRI. I had a second epidural yesterday. I am getting chiropractic and XXXXXXX tissue massage and doing home yoga and extensive stretching exercises, but no real improvement in tingling in left hand (thumb and first two fingers. I do not appear to have much muscle weakness or loss of mobility, but the entire left hand "flushes" when I extend it downward (as if to pick something up). After any prolonged actiivty, my upper back and should ache and, depending on what I have been doing (driving, for example), I get stabbing pains in the should and back of the upper arm.

My pain doctor is recommending me to a surgeon. What can I expect? How serious is this? Am I facing permanent nerve damage in the left arm,hand if I do not get it corrected? Will the herniated disk correct itself in time?

Thanks a lot for your time.
Posted Wed, 8 Aug 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 16 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The findings of your MRI are suggestive of cervical spondylosis with disc herniation and nerve root compression.
It happens primarily due to degenerative changes secondary to age in the cervical spine.
Treatment includes
1. Use of cervical collar helps in immobilisation and brings relief.
2. Medical drugs like pain killers - acetaminophen/ibuprofen and muscle relaxants like thiocolchicoside or chlorzoxazone might be helpful.
3. Methylcobalamin supplements are also recommended for nerve compression symptoms.
4. Cervical isometric exercises are beneficial to maintain the strength of the neck muscles. Neck and upper back stretching exercises, as well as light aerobic activities, also are recommended under the guidance of a proficient physical therapist.
5. Hot fomentation helps in relieving acute symptoms.
6. You can avoid using a pillow.

As you try these measures, I encourage you to consult an orthopedician for both evaluation and to avail stronger prescription medications like muscle relaxants.
The problem you have is not very serious and the symptoms are reversible with adequate treatment. The herniated disc might not show much correction but the further deterioration can definitely be prevented.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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