OPTIONS FOR TREATING A HERNIATED DISC
"What Should You Not Do With A Herniated Disc In Your Neck?"
by Dr. Benjamin Geddes
Yeah, in general, the whole point of the conservative treatments, in particular, is to really try to decrease the inflammation of the nerves. And the disc that is herniated, is pushing on the nerve. The nerve gets inflamed, it gets swollen. It's already in a smaller space and now you have a bigger nerve. And so, although you're not going to do likely permanent damage, if you are doing more activities, typically if you can limit more significant rotation, flexion, extension. We don't want you to get stiff where we immobilize you and don't let you do anything. But in terms of heavier activity, it typically just sets you back in kind of the inflammation, or it kind of kicks back up, if you will.
That being said, we certainly do want you to continue to move. And it's important that you're not in a brace for a prolonged period of time, something like that. We do want you to continue to move. Sometimes physical therapy is helpful in patients. We don’t prescribe it for everyone. It is probably a little bit less predictable, if you will, than maybe the lumbar spine. But I still think for some patients, especially if they have been guarding and have been trying to protect their neck in their stuff, I do think there's value in trying to get a range of motion back,
But avoiding any really strenuous activities where you're going to be doing a lot of straining in terms of flexion-extension. Again, it’s a little bit different than your lower back because you don't use your neck in the same way. So there are many things you still can do with a pinched nerve in your neck. It's a little bit up to what you can tolerate.
But I definitely think that maintaining motion, even in that part of the process, is important and sometimes therapy can be a helpful adjunct.
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Dr. Benjamin Geddes
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