Cervical Disc Herniations are a common problem that often leads to cervical neck pain and associated symptoms of numbness, tingling, weakness, or pain that radiate down the arms into your fingers.
The cervical disc acts as a shock absorber between two cinderblocks (vertebrae) to help decrease the stress between the bones and allows for movement of the neck.
In most cases, these discs wear out, weaken, and become arthritic over time “wear and tear”. When the discs continue to weaken, they eventually tear or rupture outward. If the disc bulge rupture extends outward far enough, this in turn pushes on your nerves and spinal cord – causing a disc herniation. This herniation further causes either numbness, tingling, weakness, or a combination of all three.
Remember that nerves have two main components – sensory and motor function. Either one, the other, or both can be effected and cause severe symptoms that limit strength, reflexes, sensation, and pain. These can each range from mild symptoms to severe which can ultimately lead to nerve damage if the pressure is prolonged and severe enough.
The good news is there are a number of different treatment options for you depending on what you are experiencing. Usually most cases of disc herniations are treated conservatively at the beginning through anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, and other medications.
For the most part, these conservative measures can take care of the majority of these signs and symptoms without ever having to go to surgery. However, depending on the severity of your signs, symptoms, and how long this has been ongoing, more aggressive measures may be indicated.
Surgical intervention is usually reserved for when all conservative measures including possible steroid injections have failed. This surgical procedure has a high success rate and can usually take care of the majority of your signs and symptoms related to your disc herniation(s).
Please see your physician to determine what treatment course is right for you.