Cervical Disc Herniation

Cervical disc herniation is a condition that occurs when the soft, gel-like centre of a spinal disc in the neck ruptures through a weak spot in the disc’s exterior. This can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands.

The spinal column comprises a series of bones (vertebrae) stacked on top of one another. Between each vertebra is a cushion-like disc that acts as a shock absorber and allows the spine to bend and flex. Each disc has a soft, jelly-like centre (nucleus) surrounded by a tough, fibrous outer layer (annulus). If the annulus tears or ruptures, the nucleus can push through the tear, causing a herniated disc.

Symptoms of Cervical Disc Herniation

The symptoms of cervical disc herniation can vary depending on the location and severity of the herniation. Common symptoms include:

  • Neck pain
  • Pain that radiates down the arm and into the hand and fingers
  • Numbness or tingling in the arm, hand, or fingers
  • Weakness in the arm, hand, or fingers
  • Muscle spasms in the neck or shoulders

Causes of Cervical Disc Herniation

Cervical disc herniation can occur due to a variety of factors, including:

  • Age-related wear and tear on the discs
  • Injury or trauma to the neck
  • Repetitive stress or overuse
  • Poor posture
  • Smoking
  • Obesity

Diagnosis of Cervical Disc Herniation

If you are experiencing symptoms of cervical disc herniation, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests to confirm the diagnosis:

  • Physical exam
  • Neurological exam
  • X-rays
  • MRI or CT scan
  • Electromyography (EMG)

Treatment of Cervical Disc Herniation

Treatment for cervical disc herniation may include:

  • Rest and activity modification
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medication
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery (in severe cases)

If you are experiencing symptoms of cervical disc herniation, it is important to see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. With proper care and treatment, most people with cervical disc herniation can find relief from their symptoms and return to their normal activities.

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