Cervical herniated disc refers to a condition when the gel-like center of the cervical disc ruptures. It occurs due to a neck injury or trauma. Pain is felt when the inner core of the disk leaks out and touches against the adjacent spinal nerve.
The article will shed light on the cervical herniated disc. You will learn about the symptoms as well as the treatment options available for the condition.
Cervical herniated disc occurs when the herniated disc material leaks out and presses on a cervical nerve. This results in a pain that radiates along the nerve pathway from the neck down the arm. Apart from the pain, the individual also experiences a tingling sensation and numbness in the arm and the fingertips. In addition, the individual may feel muscle weakness.
The space available to nerves in the cervical spine is limited. As a result, even a small herniation of the cervical disk can result in serious pain. The pain is the most significant when the nerve becomes pinched due to a herniated disc for the first time.
An individual can experience a variety of symptoms due to a cervical herniated disc. The symptoms can be experienced in the arm, neck, shoulders, hand, and fingers. The exact pain patterns depend on the location of the herniated disk.
The cervical spine is located around the vertebrae â€” a stacked building blocks in the spine. The vertebrae are numbered C1 to C7 from top to bottom. In a cervical herniation, the affected nerve is one that exits the spine at a particular level. At the C4-C5 level, for instance, the C5 nerve root is affected.
Doctors initially prescribe anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID) such as Advil, Motrin, or Celebrex for pain relief. In case of medications do not help in resolving the pain, non-surgical treatment options are used such as:
Generally, the pain due to a cervical herniated disc tends to subside after a few weeks. However, in case the problem persists after a couple of weeks, surgery may be a recommended option. Common surgical treatment option for the cervical herniated disc include cervical artificial disc replacement, posterior cervical discectomy, and anterior cervical discectomy and spine fusion (ACDF).