After losing strength in her left arm and having pain that keeps her up at night, my wife had an MRI of her neck. The doctor says she has a herniation of the discs between C5 and C6 and wants to operate. Are there options other than surgery?

Doctors generally prefer to begin with nonsurgical treatment. As long as the injured disc is not squeezing the spinal cord, the pain is tolerable, and any numbness or weakness is not getting worse, surgery may be avoided. If any or all of these symptoms worsen, surgery may be suggested.