Herniated disc — cervical (upper back and neck) herniated disc
A herniated disc occurs when a disc in the spine becomes compressed and cracks, leaking inner disc fluid into the spinal canal and, sometimes, impacting a nerve root. Herniated discs often occur in the cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) portion of the spine. Patients who suffer from a herniated disc in the cervical spine may experience symptoms of local pain in the neck and radiating pain in the head and/or arm and hand.
If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc in the cervical spine, you understand the chronic pain that can be debilitating. The pain in your neck can become so severe that your quality of life begins to decrease.
At Laser Spine Institute, we want to help you reclaim your quality of life. As you research herniated discs in the cervical spine, we encourage you to reach out to our Care Team for more information about your condition and the treatment options available to you. We want to help inform you so you can make the best decision for your spine care needs.
Causes of cervical herniated disc
Herniated discs in the cervical spine are often caused from years of repetitive motions gradually deteriorating the components of the spine.
The cervical spine is responsible for stabilizing and supporting the neck and head, as well as allowing movement. For this reason, years of repetitive motion can slowly degenerate the vertebrae in the spine, causing the vertebrae to compress and squeeze the disc found between them. As the disc becomes more compressed, the hard outer shell can begin to crack. If the herniated disc worsens, the inner jellylike fluid may leak into the spinal canal, impacting a nerve root and causing severe pain.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should consult your physician about determining the cause of your pain. Your physician may require you to get an MRI test to better diagnose your condition. If you are diagnosed with a herniated disc in your neck, there are several conservative and surgical treatment options available to you.
Treatment options available for a herniated disc
Patients diagnosed with a herniated disc typically begin conservative treatment to find pain relief from their spine condition. Conservative treatment is any form of treatment that is not surgical, and can range from physical therapy to pain medication and steroid injections. Conservative therapy is effective for most mild herniated discs.
However, if you have a severely herniated disc, you may be recommended to undergo spine surgery to treat your condition. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. Our minimally invasive spine surgery offers our patients a more precise surgery with a shorter recovery time^ than traditional open back surgery.
We offer several types of minimally invasive surgery, including:
- Facet thermal ablation
- Minimally invasive spinal fusion
For more information about the treatment options available for your herniated disc, contact our Care Team. We are here to help guide you through the treatment options available to you so you can make an informed decision about your spine care treatment.