What is a cervical disc?
The cervical spine is made up of 7 vertebrae, which are separated by discs. The discs are made of a jelly-like material. The cervical discs maintain the stability of the neck and on the other hand allow the person to easily rotate his neck left and right and front and back. Without these discs, the neck spine will be very stiff and dry.
Excessive movement or misalignment of the neck can damage the neck, known as a disc protrusion or disc herniation, commonly referred to as a cervical disc.
What causes a cervical disc?
Finding the true cause of cervical discs is not easy. Neck pain usually appears slowly and for no apparent reason. But sometimes it also occurs for the following reasons:
Age: Worn discs are more prone to protrusion. At a young age, discs contain a lot of water, but as time goes on, the amount of water in the discs decreases, meaning that the discs lose their flexibility. For this reason, when moving, bending the neck is more likely to rupture and protrude the disc. Older people are also more likely to have a ruptured disc with less pressure.
Genetics: Protruding discs may also be inherited.
Movement: Sudden movements can cause the disc to protrude.
Sudden pressure: If you lift a heavy object or bend quickly, you may damage the discs.
What are the symptoms of cervical disc?
A protruding disc in the neck can cause neck pain, arm pain, shoulder pain and numbness or burning in the hand or arm. The quality and type of pain in a cervical disc herniation is different from the pain caused by fatigue.
Pain in the arms as well as the neck itself are among the first signs that the patient’s nerve roots are being stimulated by a problem in the neck.
Symptoms such as numbness, burning, and especially numbness in the muscles of the arm are symptoms that should be taken seriously. Weakness in the arms is also a definite sign to see a doctor.
What are the effective symptoms of cervical disc disease?
The aging process and aging and wear of the discs may cause the cervical disc to protrude. The protruding disc can also occur due to repetitive activities or damage to the spine.
How is a cervical disc diagnosed?
The first step begins with a thorough physical examination of the neck and other organs, including the hands and fingers, to identify the cervical disc. Through physical tests, the doctor examines the flexibility of the neck, its range of motion, and the signs that the nerve roots are being stimulated by the protruding disc.
The patient is also asked which part of the body he or she is experiencing symptoms such as numbness, pain, weakness, or burning.
X-ray or MRI can also help in the rapid diagnosis of cervical disc.
How is cervical disc treated?
Treatment of cervical disc using non-surgical methods
Not all patients with cervical disc surgery need surgery. Often, the patient undergoes non-surgical treatment for 4 to 6 weeks to reduce pain symptoms. Patients should first be optimistic about their disease and not forget that less than 5% of people with cervical disc surgery need surgery.
Medication: Medications may contain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and muscle relaxants to reduce spasms or pain.
Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy includes gentle massage, muscle stretching and hot and cold compresses.
If the symptoms of pain do not decrease through non-surgical methods, cervical or spinal disc surgery is recommended as a last resort for treatment. The goal of spinal surgery is to release the nerves that have compressed the protruding disc. The most common surgery for this type of complication is a discectomy, in which part or all of the intervertebral disc is completely removed. This surgery is usually done through a small incision in the front (front) of the neck. Access to the protruding disc is sometimes done through the back of the neck by removing part of the lamina. The second method is called posterior laminectomy.