Treating disc-related neck pain

Neck disc pain, or symptoms caused by a displaced disc in the cervical (upper) spine is common, but often goes untreated. Some people may ignore their neck pain because they think it’s caused by an acute condition that will eventually pass. It’s also easy to believe that radiating symptoms like numbness and tingling in the hands has nothing to do with a condition in the neck. When neck pain and other upper body symptoms persist, however, a trip to the physician may be required to determine if a disc in the neck is causing nerve compression and damage.

Causes of neck disc pain

Neck disc pain is usually caused by age-related deterioration or injury to one of the discs in the upper spine. Although the upper spine does not support nearly as much weight as the lumbar (lower) region of the spine, the head and neck support a range movements that puts stress on the spine. The cervical spine includes seven vertebrae, labeled C1 to C7, that are cushioned by spongy discs that allow for bending and flexing.

With age, the discs weaken and dehydrate, which makes them less able to hold their shape, potentially leading to degeneration and breakdown. Conditions like herniated discs, bulging discs and degenerative disc disease can pinch major nerve fibers in the spinal column, causing pain and radiating symptoms that travel to the shoulders, arms and hands.

Treatment options for neck disc pain

Upon diagnosis of a disc-related spine condition, most physicians will prescribe a course of conservative treatments to manage symptoms. Methods that many patients find effective include rest, pain medication, physical therapy, use of hot and cold compresses and exercise. Surgery can become an option if weeks or months of conservative treatments do not bring relief.

If you’re considering surgery to treat cervical disc pain, but are concerned about the risks and difficulties involved with a traditional open back procedure, reach out to the dedicated Spine Care Consultants at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is an alternative to traditional spine procedures and offers the following advantages:

• An outpatient procedure in a state-of-the-art facility
• A less than 1-inch incision to avoid unnecessary muscle disruption
• A shorter recovery time§
• Less risk of complication

If you’ve spoken with your physician and you feel that you are ready to undergo surgery for your neck disc pain, contact us today. We’re happy to offer a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a potential candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient procedures.