The cervical spine is made up of seven vertebrae stacked in the back of the neck. The cervical spine helps you hold up your head and move your neck. It also helps protect the upper part of the spinal cord. Unfortunately, like other parts of the spine, it can experience herniation, referring to a disc bulging, slipping, or rupturing, which moves it out of its intended place.
Here are the causes and treatments of cervical disc herniation:
Causes And Symptoms of Cervical Disc Herniation
A herniated disc can develop due to continued stress on the spine. It can also result from the breakdown and eventual rupture of a disc between vertebrae.
Disc herniation is a wear and tear condition, which means the risk of it developing increases with age. Discs in the spine become more inflexible and easily damaged over time, which elevates the risk of disc herniation.
Some factors that increase the risk of a herniated cervical disc are:
- An occupation requiring repetitive movements
- Poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking
- Traumatic and sudden accidents
Symptoms of a herniated disc may include:
- Numbness or tingling in the upper extremities or neck area
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness and inflexibility
- Sharp or burning shoulder or arm pain
- Weakness and loss of general mobility and movement
Treatment And Recovery for Cervical Disc Herniation
It is essential to seek a medical opinion and treatment if you suspect you have a herniated cervical disc.
In addition to a physical examination, your physician may employ diagnostic imaging and nerve testing to determine the affected parts. They will also ask you to provide your medical history during your consultation, as well as information on your lifestyle and accident history.
Once your doctor diagnoses your condition, they may recommend surgical and non-surgical treatment options.
Conservative treatments, including pain medication and rest, can relieve pain in mild cases of disc herniation.
Types of medication that your doctor may prescribe for herniated disc treatment are:
- Non-prescription pain medications, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen
- Neuropathic drugs that aim to relieve pain by affecting nerve impulses, such as pregabalin, gabapentin, duloxetine, or venlafaxine
- Muscle relaxers
- Short-term use of opioids
- Cortisone injections
Wearing a back or neck brace can also alleviate stress in the affected area. In addition, physical therapy through guided exercises and positions can provide pain relief.
When non-surgical options are no longer working or fail to improve your condition, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a common option. It removes the damaged cervical disc to lessen the stress in the spine.
Another example is cervical disc replacement surgery, which aims to remove and replace the diseased disc with an artificial one. This procedure allows more movement and less stress on the rest of the neck vertebrae.
Most people stay a day or two in the hospital after their surgery. Your healthcare team will have detailed and specific instructions for your at-home recovery, which could take several weeks.
Cervical Disc Herniation Treatment in Rochester Hills, MI
Do you need cervical disc herniation treatment? We are devoted to treating spinal injuries and conditions at Ahlgren Spine Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr.Bradley Ahlgren and his team utilize state-of-the-art technology and techniques to diagnose and treat all spinal injuries, including disc herniation.
Call our friendly staff today at (248) 215-8080 if you have any questions about our orthopedic services. You may also request an appointment with the best spine surgeon near you through our convenient online request form.
We look forward to serving you!