Herniated disc in the neck — symptoms and treatment options
One of the most frequently diagnosed causes of chronic neck pain and related discomfort in the shoulders, arms and hands is a herniated disc in the neck. This happens when a disc in the cervical (upper) part of the spine ruptures and material from the center is pushed out, potentially pinching a nerve. The pain you experience from this condition can be very debilitating. If you are seeking relief from this condition to regain the quality of life you deserve, the following can help you better understand this condition and the treatment options available.
Symptoms of a herniated disc in the neck
While a herniated disc in the neck, or a cervical herniated disc, is less common than a herniated disc in the lower back, or a herniated lumbar disc, cervical discs are still prone to injury and age-related deterioration. The pain experienced from a herniated disc in the neck is usually due to disc material compressing a nerve. Common specific symptoms described are shooting pain, numbness and muscle weakness in the different parts of the body. Since the spinal nerve roots exit at different vertebrae and travel out to the upper body a herniated disc in the neck can cause symptoms in the following locations:
Treatment options for a herniated disc in the neck
Depending on the severity and specific location of the herniated disc, many effective treatments are available. Doctors typically first suggest a conservative approach to relief. Common methods include hot and cold compresses, anti-inflammatory or pain medication, physical therapy or lifestyle changes like posture improvement or weight loss.
If weeks or months of these methods have not brought you needed relief, you and your doctor may then begin to discuss surgery. The surgeons and staff at Laser Spine Institute perform minimally invasive spine surgery to relieve the pain caused by a herniated disc in the neck. They can even perform minimally invasive stabilization procedures in the neck as an alternative to fusion surgery. Our outpatient procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery, offering our patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time.^