Cervical Disc Disease Follow-up

Updated: Feb 08, 2017
  • Author: Michael B Furman, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Dean H Hommer, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

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  • Most cervical spine disorders are treated successfully with conservative measures on an outpatient basis. Refer to the Physical Therapy and Other Treatment sections for discussion.
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Deterrence

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  • Maintaining proper cervical posture and cervicothoracic strength and flexibility, avoiding cervical trauma and repetitive cervical stress, and adhering to a healthy lifestyle that advocates proper nutrition, physical activity, and smoking cessation may help to prevent cervical disc disease.
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Complications

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  • Complications of cervical spine disorders may include the following:
    • Intractable axial or radicular pain
    • Myelopathy with associated weakness, hyperreflexia, and neurogenic bowel/bladder dysfunction
  • Radiculopathy with associated upper extremity weakness and numbness
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Patient Education

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  • Educate patients to avoid aggravating factors (eg, vibrational stress from driving, cervical flexion, Valsalva maneuvers) that may exacerbate discogenic pain.
  • Additionally, instruct patients on correct posture and a home exercise program (eg, cervicothoracic stabilization, aerobic conditioning).
  • For excellent patient education resources, see eMedicineHealth's patient education articles Shoulder and Neck Pain, Neck Strain, Whiplash, Chronic Pain, and Pain Medications.
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