Neck pain is very common. Chances are, you’ve hurt your neck more than once. In some cases, neck pain can be caused by strained neck muscles. However, neck pain is one of the symptoms of cervical disc herniation, which cannot and should not be treated with home remedies.
In this article, we will talk about cervical herniation, such as its causes and how it is treated. We will also let you know where to get expert treatment for cervical disc herniation in Rochester Hills.
How Do Cervical Discs Become Herniated?
Cervical disc herniation is a condition in which the sponge-like discs between the vertebrae of the neck weaken with age and tear or rupture, causing the gel-like material in the center to herniate and irritate the surrounding nerves. This can lead to pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling in the arms and hands.
While there are many potential causes for this condition, including the already mentioned age risk factor, other common reasons for disc herniation include:
- Trauma – Accidents or injuries that involve direct trauma to your neck can also lead to cervical disc herniation. Traumatic injuries can damage your spinal discs directly, which could eventually lead to the inner nucleus pushing out through an opening.
- Poor Posture – Poor posture can cause disc herniation because it puts greater stress on the front of the cervical discs, accelerating their weakening and causing them to break down.
- Osteoarthritis – The lack of protective cushioning provided by the cartilage over the joints increases friction between the bones and speeds up the wear and tear of the cervical discs.
- Obesity– The extra weight weighs on your spine, which accelerates the breakdown of structures, including the cervical discs.
How Is Cervical Disc Herniation Treated?
Treatment for cervical disc herniation depends on how severe it is and may include physical therapy, medications to reduce inflammation, steroid injections, or even surgery.
- Physical Therapy – Physical therapy helps strengthen weak muscles around the spine, which can help relieve pain caused by cervical disc herniation. A physical therapist can work with you to develop an exercise program tailored specifically to your needs that includes stretching exercises and strengthening exercises. They may also use other modalities, like ultrasound treatment, to reduce muscle tension associated with nerve compression from cervical herniated discs.
- Medications – Your doctor may prescribe pain-relieving medication to reduce pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter medication usually works for symptoms of cervical disc herniation.
- Corticosteroids – Steroid-containing injections can be injected into specific spots near where there is nerve compression caused by a herniated disc. These injections can provide relief for a few months at a time.
- Surgery – In some cases, surgical intervention might be required if symptoms don’t improve with conservative treatments. A procedure called an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) involves the removal of the herniated disc material and a fusion of the two vertebrae into one bone with the use of a graft held in place using a metal plate and screws to prevent the bones from collapsing or rubbing together. Anterior means the surgeon accesses the damaged disc from the front of the spine. This procedure is minimally invasive and uses only smaller incisions and cutting-edge technology, which allows the patient to return home on the same day as the procedure and have a shorter recovery.
Cervical Disc Herniation Treatment in Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, and Lapeer, Michigan
Dr. Bradley Ahlgren of Ahlgren Spine is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in cutting-edge spine treatments to help patients with disc degeneration, bulging discs, disc herniation, and spinal stenosis that are causing neck and back pain. Dr. Ahlgren treats every patient with compassion, and the entire team at Ahlgren Spine is committed to your relief and recovery.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Ahlgren to find out what your treatment options are. Call our main office in Rochester Hills today at (248) 215-8080, or use our convenient online request form.