Do Pinched Nerves in the Neck Require Surgery?

surgery, upper cervical

You're probably looking for relief if you suffer from a pinched nerve in the neck. Sometimes pinched nerves in the neck affect your overall function and make it challenging to get through the day. In some severe cases, surgery may be recommended to help reduce its symptoms. For example, if a herniated disc is the cause of your pinched nerves, surgery usually has about an 80 to 90 percent success rate.

Some people, though, would first consider other nonsurgical and non-invasive options that can relieve and help them cope with pinched nerve symptoms. This may include upper cervical chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, steroid injections, or medications.

The most reliable way to know if surgery is necessary for your pinched nerve woes is by getting a proper diagnosis from your trusted healthcare provider. Through a thorough examination, your doctor may be able to identify the recommended option for your relief.


Types Of Surgical Procedures For Cervical Radiculopathy

Surgical options may vary depending on your case. Not all surgeries are similar, and if you know someone who had surgery in their upper cervical spine for pinched nerves in the neck, it's not a guarantee that you will have the same procedure. Below are three different surgical procedures used to address cervical radiculopathy:

Anterior Cervical Discectomy With Fusion (Acdf)

In this procedure, the surgeon approaches your cervical spine from the front as they remove the entire herniated disc. Then, by inserting a plastic, metal, or bone spacer, they maintain your normal disc height and fuse the adjacent vertebrae together.

Posterior Cervical Laminoforaminotomy

This procedure relieves pain or weakness caused by a pinched spinal nerve. This allows more space for your spinal nerves to pass through, reducing the compression.

Cervical Disc Arthroplasty

This is also called spinal disc replacement surgery, wherein a prosthesis designed for the shape and function of your natural disc replaces your damaged one. This procedure is recommended to address cervical radiculopathy, discogenic pain, and revision surgery. surgery, upper cervical

Non-Invasive Options For Cervical Radiculopathy

Surgery does not come without risks. Therefore it's not uncommon for people to feel apprehensive about it. If you're experiencing pinched nerves and not keen on getting surgery, don't despair. Other nonsurgical options can provide relief from your symptoms. Let's take a look at some nonsurgical options for pinched nerves:

Physical Therapy

This is usually done following an injury but can also be used to help with pinched nerves. Through repetitive stretching and exercises, the muscles around the affected area strengthen and can take the pressure off your nerve to reduce pain. You can combine physical therapy with chiropractic care or massage to enjoy optimal results.

Massage Therapy 

Many people seek massage therapy to relax. This can also help relax your muscles around a pinched nerve which can help improve blood circulation to the area. In addition, deep tissue massage can increase your muscle's flexibility and reduce inflammation, which can help ease your pain. However, an extra precaution is recommended during a massage to ensure you are not compressing the nerve more. 

Upper Cervical Care

One of the most common nonsurgical treatments for pinched nerves is chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments can help align your spine, relieve pressure on your nerves, and improve your overall range of motion. Most people see a significant reduction in their pain after just a few chiropractic sessions. Sometimes, a misalignment of your topmost bones in the neck area is the culprit behind your pinched nerves. Through a thorough physical examination and imaging tests such as X-rays, your attending chiropractic doctor can determine the severity of misalignment and recommend a series of adjustments that best fit your needs.You can visit our directory of experienced and board-certified upper cervical chiropractic doctors to find a reputable chiropractic doctor who can help address your pinched nerve issues.If you are apprehensive about going under the knife for cervical radiculopathy surgery, upper cervical adjustments are a promising alternative procedure that can provide lasting relief.


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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.