The majority of neck pain is caused by muscle strain and is typically resolved without medical intervention within a few days. However, pain in the front of the neck that persists, or which is severe and acute, can be a sign of a serious health issue that warrants medical attention. Read more
Having undergone several neck surgeries to address a painful herniated cervical disc, Manning managed to return to form for the Broncos. He’s now waiting to hear if it’s still safe for him to play next season but has he already dropped hints that he’s set to retire? Read more
Oftentimes, a herniated disc causes discomfort that stems from damage to the outer shell of one of the flexible cushions that separate the stacked vertebrae of the spine. Each intervertebral disc has a tough outer covering called an annulus fibrosus, and this outer layer surrounds a soft inner core. The top one-third of the annulus fibrosus has nerve endings, and if there is a tear in the annulus fibrosus, the nerve endings can become irritated and painful. In addition, the tissues of a torn disc can impinge on a nearby nerve root, resulting in pain, numbness, weakness, or a pins and needles sensation in the extremities. So, you may ask, what causes a disc to tear in the first place? There are actually many factors that can lead to a herniated disc. While some causes, such as improper lifting techniques, are avoidable, others, like simple genetics, are not. Read more
A herniated disc in the neck is not as common as in the lower back, but it does happen. Interestingly, the causes of disc herniation in the lumbar region mirror those of the same condition in the cervical (neck) region. That is, the intervertebral discs in both regions are subjected to a great deal of wear and tear over the years. This wear and tear is exacerbated by the rigors of spinal movement and the challenge of bearing weight (of the head, in the case of the neck, and of the upper body, in the case of the lumbar spine). Another quality they share is that unless there is consistent compression of a nearby spinal nerve, a herniated disc could very well remain undetected. Read more
If you’re like many people, receiving a cervical herniated disc diagnosis gives rise to mixed emotions. On the one hand, it is likely a relief to finally know the cause of the neck pain and other forms of discomfort that you may have been struggling with for weeks or months. On the other hand, it can be scary to find out that you are suffering from a degenerative condition that has the potential to get worse over time.
The important thing to keep in mind when you do receive your diagnosis is to remain positive and patient. The treatment process many involve a certain degree of trial and error. It is unlikely that any one treatment will provide total relief, but a combination of conservative treatments like exercise, stretching, medication, and hot/cold compresses will probably help to alleviate your neck pain and other symptoms. Read more
A herniated disc causes many different types of symptoms, from shooting pain to muscle weakness to a pins-and-needles sensation. Depending on the location of the herniated disc, these symptoms can reach as far as the fingers and toes. Why? Because all of the nerves that provide muscle and sensory stimulation throughout the body are extensions of the spinal nerve roots that branch off the spinal cord. If an anatomical abnormality like a herniated disc intrudes on the spaces in the spinal column where the spinal cord and its nerve roots reside, and nerve tissue becomes compressed, pain signals may be sent along the entire path of the compressed nerve.
While most people wouldn’t automatically think that a herniated disc in the spine could cause headaches, it is important to remember that the spine and the brain comprise the body’s central nervous system (CNS), which regulates sensory and pain signals throughout the body.
Any type of anatomical abnormality in the spine has the potential to affect any of the 31 pairs of nerve roots that branch off the spinal cord. If this occurs, pain signals can be sent along the entire path of the affected nerve, including the nerve branches that extend from that nerve root to wherever it leads in the body. Pain that is felt in the extremities due to a damaged or compressed nerve root in the spine is called referred pain.
If you have a herniated disc in your neck, you may be experiencing a number of symptoms. A herniated disc is a deteriorating intervertebral disc that has a tear in its outer wall (annulus fibrosus) which can allow the release of its inner, gel-like core (nucleus pulposus) into the spinal canal. This extruded disc material can come into contact with the spinal cord or nerve roots, which is typically the cause of discomfort for patients with this condition. Whether you’re dealing with neck pain and an aching shoulder or numbness, muscle weakness, and shooting pains in your arm, you are probably looking for a way to relieve those symptoms. Read more
Identifying herniated disc symptoms can be difficult, as they can be quite similar to the symptoms associated with other spine conditions. Your primary care physician or a spine specialist are the only ones qualified to properly diagnose a herniated disc, but just because you’re experiencing lower back pain doesn’t mean he or she will automatically assume that you have a herniated disc. Physical exams and tests come first. Read more