Cervical torn disc

A cervical torn disc, also called a ruptured or herniated disc, is located in the cervical (upper) region of the spine and occurs when the tough outer layer of a spinal disc tears. This can allow the soft inner layer to be pushed out into the spinal canal. There are a number of causes for a cervical torn disc, from injury to age-related degeneration, but if symptoms develop, they can be debilitating.

If you have been diagnosed with a cervical torn disc or if chronic neck pain is affecting your life, educating yourself as a patient can be an important step in your treatment. Understanding your condition and treatment options can help you make an informed decision with the best chance of finding lasting relief.

Symptoms of a cervical torn disc

There are nerves near the outer layer of spinal discs that can cause local pain and irritation if affected by a tear. Symptoms can also result from nerve compression. If escaped disc material puts pressure on nerve roots or the spinal cord, a cervical torn disc can cause pain, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness and muscle spasms. These symptoms can travel along the length of the compressed nerve throughout the body. Nerve compression in the cervical spine can affect the following areas:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Hands
  • Upper back

Treatments for a cervical torn disc

In many cases, a torn disc can heal on its own with rest and light treatment. Doctors will usually prescribe a course of nonsurgical options to manage symptoms and improve overall health and movement. Common methods may include:

  • Hot and cold compression therapy
  • Stretching
  • Physical therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Pain medications
  • Exercise

However, some people continue to experience debilitating symptoms even after weeks and months of conservative treatment. In these cases, surgery may be recommended. If you are exploring surgery but are concerned about the risks and difficulties of traditional open spine surgery, contact the dedicated team at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive outpatient procedures are performed using a less than 1-inch incision to access the spine. These muscle-sparing techniques offer our patients a lower risk of complication and a shorter recovery time^ than traditional open spine surgery.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.