You might think of an orthopedic surgeon when you need back pain relief in Rochester Hills or when you have a herniated disc or disc degeneration in your back. However, you may develop a herniation in the upper portion of your spinal, specifically known as your cervical spine. Fortunately, a specialist in orthopedic care can help. You just need to recognize the symptoms.
Cervical Spine and Disc Herniation
Your cervical spine consists of vertebrae in your neck. These seven vertebrae provide stability in your neck. Just like the rest of your spine, your cervical spine also has discs in between the vertebrae that act as shock absorbers.
A herniated disc occurs when the contents of the disc push out through a tear or rupture in the shell of the disc. The contents then place pressure on the surrounding nerves and tissue. Disc herniation tends to happen over time because of degeneration. However, an injury can trigger herniation, as well, but this isn’t as common.
Symptoms of a cervical disc herniation directly affect your neck but may also cause symptoms in your arms. Sometimes, the disc herniation will cause no apparent symptoms because the contents of the disc don’t irritate the area around the spine. Nevertheless, some of the most common symptoms include:
Pain can occur from a disc herniation because the contents of the disc irritate the surrounding area of the spine. The pain may occur in your neck, which may be tender to the touch, and be a dull, sharp, or burning pain.
Due to the location of the cervical discs, you might also have pain in your shoulders, and the pain can also extend down your arms. In some cases, the pain may even reach your hands and fingers. You might notice that the pain develops on either side or the back of your neck. The pain may worsen when you turn or bend your neck.
Since the herniation may impact nearby nerves, you could also develop numbness in your neck, shoulders, or arms. It is possible to have numbness in just one extremity or both, depending on the location of the disc herniation as well as its severity.
If you have a herniated disc, you may have tingling in your neck, shoulders, arms, or fingers. As with the pain and numbness, tingling occurs when you have pressure on surrounding nerves due to the contents of the disc pushing out. The tingling tends to resemble a “pins and needles” sensation.
You might also experience muscle spasms from a herniated cervical disc. Spasms are involuntary muscle movements. The muscle spasms may feel like a minor twitch or a painful cramp, depending on the location and severity of the disc herniation.
Loss of Range of Motion
A herniated cervical disc can also cause a limited range of motion in your neck. This loss in function and flexion may also arise in your shoulders as well as your arms.
Choose Our Spinal Experts in Rochester Hills, MI
At Ahlgren Spine Orthopaedic Surgery, our surgeon has board certification in spinal conditions and orthopedic surgery of the spine. Besides his extensive training and education, he genuinely cares about patients and how their spinal conditions, such as disc degeneration and disc herniation, affect their lives. He takes the time to look at both conservative and more intense herniated disc treatment options to specifically tailor treatment for each patients’ needs.
Make an appointment today by calling 248-215-8080, or fill out our convenient online form today.