Herniated Disc (Cervical)

 

 

Overview
This condition is a rupture of one of the vertebral discs in your neck. A herniated disc can allow disc material to press harmfully against the spinal nerves.

 



Anatomy
Vertebral discs are tough, elastic pads that act as
shock absorbers for the vertebrae. They cushion
the vertebrae and allow the spine to twist and bend.
Each disc has a tough, fibrous outer wall and soft
inner nucleus.

Herniation
A herniated disc can result from the normal wear
and tear of aging. It can be caused by heavy lifting
or by sudden, damaging motions. It can also be
caused by a traumatic spine injury. In a typical
rupture, small cracks or tears form in the disc’s
outer wall. The soft material in the nucleus pushes
through this weakened area. This disc material can
bulge into the spinal canal. It can press against the
spinal cord. It can also press against nerve roots.

Symptoms
A herniated cervical disc can cause pain when you
turn your head or bend your neck. This pain may
radiate down your arm to the hand. You may feel
burning, tingling or numbing sensations in your
shoulder, arm and hand. You may have muscle
weakness. This may affect your grip strength.

Treatment
Treatment options for a herniated cervical disc may
include rest and medications to control pain and
swelling in the neck. Your healthcare provider may
recommend a soft collar to support your neck. You
may benefit from injections or physical therapy. If
those options are not helpful, surgery may be
needed to remove the bulging portion of your disc.