Diagnosed with cervical herniated disc? No need to panic.
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It’s very common for patients to become overwhelmed with fear and anxiety after learning that they have a cervical herniated disc (CHD). Anxiety is a natural reaction that generally occurs before a patient has become educated about what CHD is and how it is treated. Understanding the difference between the perceived risk of CHD, which is likely the source of your fear and anxiety, and the actual risk is the first step toward healing.
What’s the difference between perceived risk and actual risk?
- Perceived risks: You’ve been in pain for a while, and have been taking pain medication. As a result you are not sleeping very well and your thinking is cloudy. You’re not feeling like yourself. Your daily routine has been disrupted so that you can’t do many of the activities that you enjoy. You’ve become nervous that you’re going to need surgery, and fearful of becoming paralyzed from surgery (or worse).
- Actual risks: ~ 90% of individuals diagnosed with CHD do not require surgery. For the ~10% that require surgery, the success rate is very high and the risk of paralysis is very low.
Reverse the cycle of fear with knowledge
It is very important that you begin to think logically and clearly about your condition because your state of mind can affect the healing process. Knowledge and understanding about your condition will help you feel more confident about your future decisions – whether you need surgery or not.
Listen to other patients like you
Read up on what CHD is, and discover the actual risks involved with surgery. This entire website, and each of the videos it contains, is dedicated to helping you understand your condition and the various treatments available for it. Listen to patients who were diagnosed with CHD and had similar experiences as you, and find out how they’re feeling after surgery.