A cervical ruptured disc is located in the neck area of the spine. It is marked by pain that starts in the neck and travels to the middle back, shoulders, arms, and hands. Symptoms also may include tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness in the same areas. In addition, you may notice that certain activities or positions cause your symptoms to become worse.
A cervical ruptured disc originates in between the bones, or vertebrae, of the cervical spine, where round discs provide our neck with cushioning and support. Each disc contains a tough outer layer called the annulus fibrosus, which encases a gel-like substance called the nucleus pulposus. Aging, degenerative disc disease, poor posture, stress on the spine, or injuries can cause a disc to rupture, pushing the nucleus into the spinal canal or nerve roots. Pain and other symptoms can develop as a result.
Treatment for a cervical ruptured disc can include:
- Over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications
- Heat packs
- Ice packs (cryotherapy)
- Cervical traction
- Mild stretching exercises
- Massage therapy
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
A ruptured disc can occur anywhere along the spine. In addition to a cervical ruptured disc affecting the upper spine, a lumbar ruptured disc (in the lower back) and thoracic ruptured disc (in the middle back) also are possible.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a ruptured disc, contact your doctor. He or she can determine if you are suffering from a cervical ruptured disc or if your neck pain is caused by another condition.
On occasion, some patients require surgery to treat severe ruptured disc symptoms that do not respond to conservative treatments. Fortunately, there are gentle surgical options available for pain relief, including the state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute. With a much faster recuperation period than other treatments like open-back surgery, LSI’s pioneering procedures can help you regain your quality of life in as little as one week. Contact us today for a free MRI or CT scan review, and to receive more information about our institute.