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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for herniated discs

Answered by
Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 11991 Questions

Posted on Thu, 19 Feb 2015 in Brain and Spine
Question: I have bulging discs in C5 & C6. I have tingling and numbness in my left arm traveling into my fingers. I am receiving PT w/light traction 2x per week. I also had an steroid epidural injection which did not eliminate the discomfort/pain. I am seeing an orthopaedic spinal specialist and would like to know what questions I should ask? Thank You. XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 32 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You have nerve compression symptoms.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting your query.
The herniated discs compress spinal nerves or spinal cord. Symptoms are experienced along the area of distribution/path of that particular nerve. This has happened at level of C5-C6 in your case. The tingling and numbness of the fingers is due to the nerve root compression.
You can ask your spinal specialist regarding the chances of improvement in case a surgical treatment is considered since the steroid injections have not helped you much.
The symptoms that suggest that surgery is needed. Alternative methods like IFT - if they can prove helpful. You can also get medicines like Gabapentin and methylcobalamin prescribed to reduce the nerve related symptoms.
Hot fomentation helps in relieving acute symptoms. You can avoid using a pillow/ watching TV or working on computer.
Avoid prolonged sitting / leaning forward/ 2 wheeler driving for long distances.
A course of Muscle relaxants, interferential therapy (IFT) and/or Intermittent Cervical Traction (ICT) for a week followed by exercises will help you.
If you don’t get better with these treatment , then you might need surgery, by which the nerves are decompressed by removing the protruded disc (discectomy), which would significantly improve your symptoms.
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.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Praveen Tayal 11 minutes later
Thank you for your detailed answer. If the nerve involvement eases, what are the chances that I can return to running, mountain biking, splitting wood, aerobics and cross training? I really miss these things. Thanks, XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 36 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It is possible.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing again.
If the nerve involvement eases and the pain decreases then there are chances that you can return back to all these activities. Regular aerobics and neck exercises after the symptoms reduce will make it possible.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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