Cervical disc hernia
When you have a pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, head, or the back, a common cause is a protrusion or herniated cervical disc. Your cervical spine consists of bones (vertebrae) separated by small pads of cartilage, or discs, formed by a hard outer layer (annulus) and a soft inside gel (nucleus pulposus). These discs act as springs, absorbing shocks and allowing the flexibility of the cervical spine. The herniated disc is most often the result of a slow gradual wear and tear, and frank injury, recent or old. With age your intervertebral discs lose some of their water content, making them less flexible and more prone to tearing or breaking, even with a sudden movement or repetitive twisting. When there is a protrusion or herniated disc, a small portion of the nucleus pulposus extrudes through a tear in the annulus to the spinal canal. this can irritate the nerve tissue (the dural sac, spinal cord or spinal nerves) and cause pain, numbness or weakness among other symptoms.
Pay attention to normal postural activity when you have a cervical problem. Reduce movements and postural positions that aggravate symptoms. Any movement or postural position is capable of irritating the injured disc or nearby nerve tissues (dural sac, spinal cord and spinal nerves), causing spontaneous symptoms. Collaborate with your chiropractor to find the right combination of treatment, rest and activity. Eventually your activity level can gradually increase until you are back to normal daily activities.
It is important to follow your treatment plan to recover as quickly as possible. Talk to your chiropractor if you are unsure of any part of the plan, or if you need more information on the activities of self-managed care.
A cervical disc hernia often irritate the nerves that supply the shoulder, arm, wrist and hand.
Remember that self care does not replace the care of a professional. Pain in the neck, head, shoulder, arm, are caused by many different factors. Consult your chiropractor if you have pain or if you have been injured.