Neck pain

Neck Pain – Is Surgery the Most Effective Treatment?

If you’ve been experiencing neck pain, you may think surgery is your only option for a chance at relief. Before undertaking such a serious decision, it’s important to determine whether surgery is actually the most effective option for treating neck pain. As medical technology improves and our understanding of cervical disc issues expands, more options for treating pain that may actually be more effective are brought to light, and they may be worth considering.

How do I know how serious my neck pain is?

First of all, it’s important to know when neck pain is a result of something serious, such as cervical disc degeneration or cervical disc herniation versus a normal sign of aging. In order to make the distinction, you need to know the major symptoms of these two issues.

Symptoms of cervical disc degeneration can include headaches, stiffness of the neck, shoulder pain, and inner ear and ocular dysfunction.1

In the case of disc herniation, symptoms include pain that radiates down to your hands and fingers, numbness or tingling in your shoulders, arms, and hands, and weakness of your hands and/or arms. Disc herniation symptoms can even resemble symptoms of carpal tunnel, rotator cuff issues, and gout.2

If your neck pain involves a combination of these symptoms, you may be dealing with cervical disc herniation or cervical disc degeneration.

Treatment Options

If you are suffering from cervical disc herniation or cervical disc degeneration, you may be wondering what your best option for treatment is. There are a variety of recommendations for treating neck pain ranging from self-care to surgery. Whichever treatment you choose will depend on your doctor’s recommendation as well as how you feel, but for an idea of what some of your choices entail, we’ll take a closer look at them. 

On the less serious end of the spectrum, self-care may include exercise or placing a heating pad on the affected area. Physical and chiropractic therapy are other conservative options worth considering if your neck pain is not debilitating. If neither of these options seems like the right fit, medication may be recommended. Depending on the seriousness of your neck pain, medication can range from over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to muscle relaxers, cortisone injections, or opioids.3  

Surgical options for treating neck pain include artificial cervical disc surgery, discectomy or microdiscectomy, and spinal fusion.

Artificial disc surgery is a procedure that involves replacing the movement and cushioning function of damaged cervical discs by removing and replacing the damaged discs.4

A discectomy or microdiscectomy procedure involves removing herniated lumbar disc material that is causing pain by pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord.5

Spinal fusion is a treatment for herniated discs that involves connecting or eliminating motion between two or more spinal vertebrae. This is done by placing bone or bonelike material between two spinal vertebrae. Metal plates, screws, or rods may also be used to hold the vertebrae together in order for it to heal into one solid unit.6

How effective is surgery for neck pain?

Surgery, especially in cases of severe and debilitating neck pain, is generally considered the most effective treatment option, but is that actually true?

In one scientific study, it was found that over time there is no difference between the results of surgical treatment versus non-surgical treatment. While this study doesn’t prove that surgery is definitively worse, the fact that there was no significant difference between the results of those treated by surgery and those who were not points to a lack of effectiveness.7 Another study showed that spinal fusion used with anterior decompression techniques provided no additional benefit in patients.8

In general, the long-term success of surgery for spinal issues is less than 50%. The evidence does not point toward surgery being an effective treatment for neck pain.

What is the Discseel® Procedure?

The Discseel Procedure is a non-surgical treatment that is proven to be effective in solving both cervical disc pain and lower back pain. 

Here’s how it works: concentrated Fibrin, an FDA-approved substance that is used off-label, is injected into the damaged disc’s tears and fissures, sealing them so that the disc can heal itself naturally. Because the disc tissue heals itself, pain relief is sustained and does not return as is prone to happen with other forms of treatment. 

The reason why the Discseel Procedure tends to be more effective than other forms of treatment for cervical disc pain is that it treats annular tears in the disc that cause leaky disc syndrome, rather than simply removing and replacing the disc or fusing discs together. Cervical disc degeneration, and disc degeneration in general, are caused by annular tears. Spinal fusions and other surgical treatments don’t identify the source of your pain, which leaves them unable to treat the root of the problem. Using Fibrin, an FDA-approved substance that is used off-label, that actually seals the disc and promotes the growth of disc tissue is a much more effective procedure for solving neck pain. 

The best treatment for neck pain caused by issues like cervical disc degeneration and cervical disc herniation is one that encourages the discs to heal themselves rather than removing discs or fusing them together. This is the function of the Discseel Procedure, and why it’s most likely your best option for treating your neck pain. The Discseel Procedure isn’t the right fit for everyone, so apply today and find out if you’re a candidate!

Featured image attribution: People photo created by jcomp –

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