Have you been experiencing numbness in your shoulders? Do certain movements produce pain in your neck, shoulders, hands, arms, or chest? Do you experience sudden or ongoing weakness in these areas? If so you may be suffering from a condition known as a herniated cervical disc. This condition is treatable at all stages, with higher probabilities of success when its caught earlier. If you have been experiencing any of these conditions, it’s time to speak to your pain management doctor in Las Vegas, NV for care.
What Exactly Is A Herniated Cervical Disc?
To understand what a herniation is, first you must know something of the structure of the spine. The spine is comprised of a collection of alternating supportive bones known as vertebrae, and durable fluid-filled pouches known as discs. Discs play an important role in protecting the vertebrae from rubbing against one another and causing damage, but when time and wear have weakened them, or a sudden injury causes damage, they can develop a bulge known as a hernia. A herniated cervical disc occurs in the cervical vertebrae, those that make up the supporting structure of your neck.
What Symptoms Indicate I May Have A Herniated Cervical Disc?
Herniations often start off being relatively benign and can go unnoticed until they become severe enough. Strange tugging sensations in the spine or muscles, soreness, or a sense of ‘tightness’ in the muscles of the neck are often the first indicators that something may be amiss. Other symptoms that can identify a possible cervical herniation are as follows:
- Numbness in the chest, arms, neck, shoulders, or hands
- Weakness in the chest, arms, neck, shoulders, or hands
- Pain in the chest, arms, neck, shoulders, or hands
- In severe cases tingling in the legs or other parts of the body
These conditions can begin mild and grow in severity as the herniation becomes worse. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms its time to contact your physician for an examination.
What Causes Cervical Discs To Herniate?
This condition is typically caused by simple wear and tear. As we age the discs of our spine take damage and can lose the fluid that helps them remain flexible and resilient, resulting in a herniation, though injuries can also play a role. In both cases, the material inside the disc bulges out through the capsule, often through a tear or crack. In severe cases, it can fragment, or break open in a rupture. This condition is significantly more common in those who smoke.
How Will My Physician Diagnose My Cervical Disc Herniation?
Typically your physician will begin by conducting an examination of your medical history, often accompanied by a physical exam. During the exam, you’ll be asked about your symptoms, including appearances of numbness or pain that may indicate that the nerves in your neck may be being irritated. If your physician believes that you may have a herniated disc they’ll likely start by starting rest and rehabilitation before any further testing. Failing any improvement you may be sent to receive an MRI, X-Ray, or CT Scan to further examine the affected area.
How Will My Cervical Herniation Be Treated?
Non-surgical approaches are typically used in the beginning, to be following by medication that can help to subdue any inflammation or pain. In some cases you may be directed to see a physical therapist that will direct you to exercises that will help to strengthen your neck, protecting your cervical vertebrae and discs. Under certain circumstances traction will be prescribed, a treatment that involves the gentle stretching of the spine that helps the bones to spread.
Herniated cervical discs can cause lasting problems and significant impacts on quality of life, so if you suspect that you are suffering from this condition speak to the Khavkin Clinic and make an appointment with Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin immediately.