The goal of the treatment is to:
- Relieve pain and other symptoms due to nerve compression
- Prevent permanent spinal cord or nerve root damage
- Prevent further degeneration.
These can be achieved by the following measures:
Exercises to strengthen the neck muscles may prove beneficial but should be done only after consulting the doctor. Exercises maybe learned from a physiotherapist and practised at home regularly.
Cervical collar : Restriction of neck movements by means of cervical collar may relieve pain.
Analgesics or muscle relaxants can be helpful in reducing pain (administered only after consulting a doctor).
Short wave diathermy or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) may provide pain relief.
Neck traction in which a halter-like device is placed on the head and neck, attached to pulley and weights to reduce pain, may be advised by the doctor. Neck traction can be done intermittently whereas in severe cases, it may be recommended daily for 1 to 2 weeks along with bed rest or hospitalisation.
Surgery may prove beneficial in severe cases if there is significant loss of muscle strength, sensation, or when there is severe pain that does not respond to other non-operative measures.