Cervical disc pain

Cervical disc pain is pain that occurs in the neck due to a damaged disc in the cervical spine (neck). Often, discs in the cervical spine can become damaged due to years of natural wear and tear with every pivot or movement of the head.

What may begin as a slight discomfort in the neck may eventually progress into other chronic symptoms if left untreated. A damaged disc in the cervical spine could impact a nerve root in the spinal canal. These nerve roots are responsible for sending signals between the brain, head, neck, shoulders, arms and hands. When one of these nerve roots is pinched, the pain and symptoms may extend along the nerve pathway and affect the nearby extremity.

Symptoms of a pinched nerve due to a damaged cervical disc include:

  • Pain and discomfort in the neck
  • Radiating pain into the shoulder, head, arm or hand
  • Numbness or tingling into the shoulder, head, arm or hand
  • Limited mobility in the neck

Because cervical disc pain is often caused by a degenerative disc disease, which is a disc that becomes damaged over time as the spine naturally ages, the symptoms of this condition will often start mildly and worsen over time. If you notice pain and discomfort that lasts more than a week, you should contact your physician or a spine care specialist to determine the cause of your symptoms and the best approach to find pain relief.

Treatments for cervical disc pain

There are several treatment options to try once a damaged cervical disc has been diagnosed. These treatments often begin as nonsurgical options, such as rest, pain medications, physical therapy and chiropractic care. These treatments help to realign the spine to relieve pressure on the pinched nerve root, and lengthen the spine to reduce pressure on the damaged disc so it can begin to heal.

If cervical disc pain does not subside after several months of treatment, there are surgical options. Surgical approaches include disc removal, the fusion of vertebrae and possibly artificial disc replacement. These surgeries are major undertakings, however, and the patient should expect a large incision, months of recovery time and the chance that the surgery does not help the pain.

A safer treatment alternative for cervical disc pain

At Laser Spine Institute, we understand that spine surgery is not a decision that should be taken lightly. That is why we offer patients a safer and effective surgery option than traditional open neck surgery. Patients with cervical disc damage can find relief through our minimally invasive discectomy, sometimes coupled with a stabilization surgery, depending on the amount of damage to the disc.

During our minimally invasive discectomy, the damaged part of the disc is removed through a small incision. We are able to perform this procedure with the latest minimally invasive methods, which means the muscles and ligaments surrounding the spine are not damaged during the surgery. This is a technique not used during traditional open neck surgery, which often requires muscles to be cut and torn in order to reach the spine.

In some cases, if the disc is severely damaged and must be fully removed, the surgeon will replace the disc with an artificial disc and bone grafts to stabilize the spine. This is called a minimally invasive discectomy and stabilization, and is often used to treat patients with severe disc damage in the spine.

Our minimally invasive method allows us to perform all of our procedures on an outpatient basis, so our patients experience a shorter recovery time^ and no required hospitalization.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today for more information about cervical disc pain, and for a review of your MRI or CT scan. Take the first step to finding meaningful relief from neck pain.