Cervical Herniated Disc
This is also known as a slipped disc in the neck. The spine is made up of bones called vertebrae that are separated from one another by joints called discs. Discs are made of a soft, squishy center surrounded by tough outer shell. When a disc herniates, or bulges, the soft center is forced into or through the outer shell which can cause pain. Disc herniations occur as a result of damage to the disc. Disc damage can result from the aging process and/or a traumatic event.
The most common symptoms for a disc herniation in the neck are neck pain, and/or arm pain. Patients can also feel numbness and tingling in their arms and hands. Less frequently, patients can experience weakness in their arms.
Treatment Options Available
The vast majority (90%) of disc herniations in the neck will get better on their own in a matter of 2-3 months. Physical therapy and different medications including anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, and pain medicines can help ease the pain. If these treatment options do not provide adequate relief, then epidural steroid injections may be necessary.
If these conservative care measures of time, rest, pills, therapy, and injections fail, and the patient is not able to tolerate the pain, then surgery is an option. Surgery in the neck typically consists of an artificial disc replacement or a fusion type of surgery.