Definition

What is cervical herniated disc?

A cervical herniated disc is diagnosed when the inner core of a disc in the neck herniates, or leaks out of the disc, and presses on an adjacent nerve root.

How common is cervical herniated disc?

Herniated discs can occur in any part of the spine, but they are most common in the neck (cervical) and lower back (lumbar) spine. cervical herniated disc usually develops in the 30-to-50-year-old age group. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of cervical herniated disc?

Herniated discs in the neck (cervical spine) can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the neck, shoulders, chest, arms, and hands. In some cases a very large herniated disc in the neck may cause weakness or unusual tingling affecting other parts of the body, including the legs.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes cervical herniated disc?

A herniated disc usually is caused by wear and tear of the disc (also called disc degeneration). As we age, our discs lose some of the fluid that helps them stay flexible. A herniated disc also may result from injuries to the spine, which may cause tiny tears or cracks in the outer layer (annulus or capsule) of the disc. The jellylike material (nucleus) inside the disc may be forced out through the tears or cracks in the capsule, which causes the disc to bulge, break open (rupture), or break into fragments.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for cervical herniated disc?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is cervical herniated disc diagnosed?

A doctor usually can diagnose a herniated disc from your history of symptoms and a physical exam. Your doctor will ask about pain and numbness that might be caused by irritation of one or more of the nerves in the cervical spine. If your symptoms suggest a cervical herniated disc, rest and rehabilitation (rehab) often are recommended before further testing is done. If other conditions are suspected, or if there is no improvement in symptoms after a period of rest and rehab, imaging tests such as X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computerized tomography (CT scan) may be done.

How is cervical herniated disc treated?

In most cases, cervical herniated discs are first treated with nonsurgical treatment, including rest or modified activities, medicines to relieve pain and inflammation, and exercises, as recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may recommend that you see a physical therapist to learn how to do exercises and protect your neck, and perhaps for other treatment such as traction. Traction is gentle, steady pulling on the head to stretch the neck and allow the small joints between the neck bones to spread a little. If symptoms continue, your doctor may try stronger medicine such as corticosteroids. Symptoms usually improve over time. But if the herniated disc is squeezing your spinal cord or nerves and/or you are having weakness, constant pain, or decreased control of your bladder or bowels, surgery will be considered. In rare cases, an artificial disc may be used to replace the disc that is removed.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage cervical herniated disc?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: October 31, 2017 | Last Modified: October 31, 2017

Want to live your best life?
Get the Hello Doktor Daily newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.