Pinched nerve at the C6-C7 Level
If you lead an active lifestyle that includes the occasional game of pickup basketball, the last thing you need is a pinched nerve in your neck at the C6-C7 level. How are you supposed to shoot with pain radiating down your arm and into your thumb or index finger? The good news is, no matter what the cause, symptoms associated with a pinched nerve in the cervical (neck) region of the spine generally can be managed using conservative, non-surgical treatment methods. However, if chronic symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness persist after several weeks of conservative treatment, surgery might become an option.
How can a pinched nerve at the C6-C7 level be treated?
The degenerative spine conditions that lead to a pinched nerve at the C6-C7 level are a natural result of the aging process. Spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis of the spine are extremely common among people in their 40s and early 50s. These conditions don’t always produce symptoms, but when an adjacent nerve root or the spinal cord becomes irritated because of a spinal abnormality — such as bone spurs — symptoms can arise. Depending on the severity of your symptoms (and your own ability to tolerate them), your physician will likely prescribe a course of pain medication, physical therapy, exercise, behavior modification or other non-surgical treatments. For more than 90 percent of people who experience a pinched nerve, these methods of treatment are adequate.
A minimally invasive alternative
If your physician recommends that you consider surgery, research all of your options. If you’re concerned about the length of recuperation, it’s important to know that patients who undergo traditional open spine surgery may need a year or longer to return to normal activity. At Laser Spine Institute, orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons perform minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that require a far shorter recovery period^ than traditional open spine surgery. Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more.