Though a slipped disc in the neck is not as common as a slipped disc in the lower back, cervical slipped discs do account for a large number of neck and back problems.
Contrary to its name, a slipped disc in the neck does not actually slide or fall out of place. Instead, it is an intervertebral disc that has become torn, ruptured or herniated. The resulting displaced disc matter can place pressure on adjacent nerves in the spinal column, causing symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the neck, arms, shoulders and hands. Slipped disc symptoms can range from dull to sharp, depending on the severity and location of the disc herniation.
There are measures you can take to decrease your chances of developing a slipped disc in the neck. Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight will help your spine stay strong and flexible, and practicing good posture and body mechanics can prevent injury to the spine. Since cigarette smoking can block the flow of oxygen and vital nutrients to spinal discs, refraining from smoking also can help.
If you have been diagnosed with a cervical slipped disc, the good news is that there are several treatment options. Most cases can effectively be treated with conservative therapy such as rest, light exercise, medication and physical therapy. If the pain is more severe, your physician may recommend prescription pain medication or steroid injections. None of these therapies provide permanent relief, however, and some treatments come with potential side effects. Typically, physicians will recommend conservative slipped disc treatments to help relieve symptoms while the condition heals on its own, but sometimes healing never takes place and patients are left with chronic, unrelenting pain.
Other options for relief of slipped disc neck pain are the minimally invasive procedures offered at Laser Spine Institute. Performed in an outpatient setting using state-of-the art technology, our procedures come with significantly lower infection rates and quicker recovery times than traditional slipped disc surgery. To learn more about how Laser Spine Institute’s innovative procedures can help you find relief from neck pain, contact us today.