Herniated Disc in the Cervical Spine
A cervical disc herniation occurs when a small portion of a disc ruptures and causes pressure on spinal nerves in the neck. Small herniations are sometimes called bulges or protrusions, and people experiencing pain from the herniation may describe it as a pinched nerve.
Symptoms of cervical disc herniation
Depending on which cervical disc has herniated, the specific pain symptoms may vary. In general, pressure on a spinal nerve causes discomfort in various sites along one or both arms, frequently down to the hand. There can be shooting, burning pains, weakness and numbness. In some instances, a cervical herniation can cause pressure on the spinal cord, a condition called cervical canal stenosis and a related condition called myelopathy. Myelopathy symptoms can include neck stiffness, numbness or heaviness in the arms and hands, or a shock-like feeling down the arms or legs. In severe cases, there can be difficulty using the arms and hands or difficulty walking.
Causes of cervical disc herniation
Cervical disc herniations are most frequently caused by degeneration due to the normal aging process. As small tears in the disc’s outer layer develop and enlarge over time, the jellylike inner layer may bulge outward, causing pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Occasionally, trauma or an episode of heavy lifting can contribute to a rupture of the disc resulting in symptoms.
Treatment options for a herniated cervical disc
Arm pain and discomfort from a disc herniation can often be resolved with medication and nonsurgical treatments, such as injection or physical therapy. When these treatments are successful, arm pain tends to disappear first and it may take longer for weakness or numbness to improve. If weeks or months of nonsurgical therapy does not improve symptoms, surgery can become a serious consideration.
Learn more about cervical disc herniation today
If you're living with a herniated disc in the cervical spine and are searching for relief, reach out to USA Spine Care for help. Our caring team is passionate about helping people develop an individualized care plan to achieve lasting relief for a return to a better quality of life.
Contact us today to learn more. Call toll free 1-866-249-1627.
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