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Years ago I sustained an injury resulting in numbness down my right arm/hand and pain into my upper right shoulder/arm. My family physician eventually ordered an MRI which revealed a herniated disc and then referred me to a neurosurgeon for a consultation. I underwent physical therapy, was prescribed a steroid and eventually underwent a C6-7 laminectomy and microdiscectomy. The surgery was a success in relieving all of the pain symptoms and most of the numbness and weakness sensation. I subsequently ran many races including a marathon.
My symptoms and outcome may be different then yours so let's take a look at the most commons symptoms of a cervical disc injury.
Symptoms of cervical herniated disc may include:
• Pain that radiates down the arm to the hand and/or fingers • Numbness and/or tingling in the shoulder, arm, or hands• Weakness of hand and/or arms • Difficulty with fine motor skills in the hands and arms • Tingling or "shock" type feelings down the torso or into the legs
You may have one or all of these symptoms. I had them all to some degree before the surgery.
Certain positions or movements such as looking up and down or left and right of the neck can intensify the pain. Often the symptoms of a cervical herniated disc often resemble other disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome injury to the rotator cuff. I have actually had clients misdiagnosed with both CTS and rotator cuff injuries who actually had cervical disc injuries.
Direct trauma such as hitting your head, lifting heavy objects, sudden jarring of the neck and/0r head or repetitive actions over time can result in injury to the cervical disc. These injuries can cause a cervical herniated disc or spinal cord compression, where disc material pushes on a "foraminal nerve" the spinal cord. This is a much more serious condition and may require a more aggressive treatment plan. Spinal cord compression symptoms include:
• Awkward or stumbling gait
There are many methods to attempt to treat these conditions which I have discussed in other blogs including physical therapy, traction, chiropractic care, medications and even various types of surgery. You and your doctor will have to determine what is the best protocol for you. I am happy to share my personal thoughts on what I experienced and what hundreds of my clients have done over the years. Visit our website or call today at 651-333-3636. We are work comp experts who recover millions of dollars of benefits for our clients every year and unlike many firms we have decades of experience in workers compensation. We represent clients across the entire state of Minnesota.