A herniated disc in the neck can be a very frightening ordeal for any patient, especially if they are suffering considerable pain and neurological symptoms as an apparent result. While some cervical disc conditions can certainly produce intense pain, there is usually no cause for alarm, since the majority of painful herniations will resolve in a short time frame.
This resource section will provide an overview of cervical herniations. We will look into the causes and symptoms of bulging discs in the neck and provide some educational articles for additional research opportunities.
Cervical Herniated Disc Causes
There are 2 main causes of cervical herniated discs:
The first possible source is spinal degeneration. Cervical degenerative disc disease is a normal occurrence and usually affects a great percentage of adults. It is usual for the cervical discs to experience significant degenerative changes by the time most people reach about 30 years of age. These changes are an expected part of the aging process and usually do not produce any symptoms.
Cervical discs will dry out and shrink, allowing osteoarthritic processes to enact normal changes to the spinal bones. Additionally, dried out discs will be more prone to herniate, or even rupture, than moist young discs. While this might sound scary, it is actually all quite uneventful in most patients. In fact, most herniated discs which occur due to spinal degeneration are not painful at all and most are never even diagnosed for many years, if ever.
The second major cause of a herniated disc is trauma. In the neck, this is generally caused by a whiplash type injury, such as a fall, car accident or sports injury. In these instances, the neck is whipped forward, suffering hyperflexion and then snapped back sharply, causing hyperextension. Either one of these forces can produce a cervical disc herniation, but both together are a deadly combination.
Significant rotational force can also cause a disc injury anywhere in the neck. Luckily, most of these injuries affect the muscles and ligaments in the neck more often than the actual spinal structures.
A herniated disc in the neck due to injury is likely to cause pain and the symptoms might be severe for some time. Most disc pain conditions will last for weeks and will taper off over the course of 2 months. Long-term herniated disc pain is rare, but does occur in a minority of patients.
Read more about a cervical herniated disc injury.
Neck pain caused by a herniated disc is just one of many possible sources of misery. Learn all about the cervical spine, including ways to successfully end neck ache, from Neck-Pain-Treatment.Org.
Herniated Disc in the Neck Symptoms
Cervical herniated discs might cause pain immediately in the neck and this pain might radiate into the upper back, head, shoulders, arms or hands. Tingling, weakness or numbness in the arms or hands are likely to be signs of neurological involvement. However, these exact same symptoms are often created by an ischemic process, as well, and a great number of cervical herniated discs are misdiagnosed as being the source of ongoing pain, when all along oxygen deprivation is the real culprit. Be sure to consider this possibility if you are suffering chronic neck pain and related symptoms from a diagnosed herniated or degenerated disc.
Read why suffering cervical herniated disc symptoms is quite rare.
Cervical herniated disc treatment comes in many forms and typically escalates in level of invasiveness as therapies fail to provide a cure.
Exercises for a cervical herniated disc are often part of a preliminary conservative treatment program. However, there are some interesting facts about exercise therapy that most patients, and even many doctors, do not know.
Treating a Herniated Disc in the Neck
Looking past the diagnosis of a cervical herniated disc is the key factor which almost always differentiates a recovered patient from a suffering patient. Once diagnosed with a herniated disc in the neck, a person has to realize that their body is designed and built to heal and heal it will.
Those who suffer the nocebo effect of the diagnosis are prone to experience exaggerated fear and anxiety, which will only make their symptoms worse. Likewise, patients who have no pain, bur receive the diagnosis of a herniated disc are likely to begin to experience symptoms if the treating doctor creates concern for an ongoing health condition. Putting down the burden of psychological consternation over a disc injury is easy. You simply have to learn the real facts about herniated discs.
Knowledge therapy is a great asset in overcoming disc related concerns or any chronic pain condition. Best of all, it is risk free and very effective for some varieties of symptomatic expressions.
For patients considering cervical herniated disc surgery, I always advise you to think twice. You can always have surgery in the future as a last resort, but you can not undo the damage caused by many operations, once you go through with the procedure. Make sure to exhaust every possible option prior to even thinking seriously about surgical intervention for a herniated disc in the neck.
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