Achieving accurate cervical herniated disc diagnosis can be a problematic process, since structural issues in the neck can enact symptoms throughout the body, yet many anatomical scapegoats in the cervical spine are mistakenly blamed for sourcing pain and related neurological effects. In these cases, the actual underlying condition may be ischemic or soft-tissue related.
These complicated scenarios make back and neck pain concerns which are theorized to exist in the cervical spine ever more difficult to accurately diagnose. Meanwhile, many major medical organizations have now advised against using diagnostic imaging as a sole means of making a diagnosis, regardless of the discovery of herniations visualized on imaging tests.
This fact finding essay examines the problems inherent to the diagnostic process for cervical spinal disc abnormalities.
Chemical radiculitis is rare and is diagnosed in many patients incorrectly. It seems that only some people are actually susceptible to neurological irritation from nucleus proteins, due to particular sensitivities in their nerve tissues.
Spinal stenosis rarely causes neck pain, but may enact symptoms in the lower body, including sciatica-like conditions, incontinence and balance issues. To complicate matters, these concerns are often misdiagnosed as stemming from lumbar spinal issues rather than the true cervical sources.
Foraminal stenosis, also called a pinched nerve, is the most common of the cervical herniated disc pain mechanisms. This diagnosis is used to explain a wide range of symptoms in the neck, upper back, head, arms, shoulders, wrists, hands and fingers. While this scenario can and does occur, the symptoms will be easy to recognize, since clinical research has shown true nerve compression to enact eventual objective weakness and numbness. This is contradictory to the usual patient complaints of chronic pain, as well as subjective tingling, numbness and weakness, making most diagnosed pinched nerves open to speculation about other possible causations.
As previously mentioned throughout this website, many herniated discs are not symptomatic or harmful in any way. Although herniated discs are typically blamed for pain, the symptoms often do not correlate to the expected clinical pathology. The fact that most of these conditions are diagnosed as the source of pain, despite overwhelming evidence of the contrary, clearly demonstrates the profit-driven mentality of many care providers, as well as the antiquated and unenlightened ideology behind modern medicine's Cartesian model.
The denial of the mindbody connection in back pain patients is the number one reason why so many patients have become doomed to a life full of never-ending pain. After all, if the diagnosis is wrong, all subsequent therapy attempts will fail.
However, the tide is turning, with medical education now stressing that physicians must be wary of assuming that a structural irregularity is the source of pain. After all, research has conclusively shown virtually no evidence to support this outdated theory and new recommendations for diagnosis via a more combined and well-rounded process are still being developed.
Identifying a herniated disc in the neck is easy. Diagnostic testing will visualize it clear as day. However, discovering what effects, if any, are caused by the disc is not so crystal clear. Most people with herniations have no pain. Meanwhile, people with classic herniated disc symptoms often do not have herniations.
Improper diagnosis is rampant in medicine and is a huge problem in the orthopedic community in particular. This is the single most important factor in explaining why so many of you can not find a real cure. You might be chasing the wrong demon, since the pain may not be due to that coincidental and innocent herniated disc. Keep this in mind as your continue your research.