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Cervical Disc Herniation

If you’re experiencing neck, shoulder and/or arm pain, it may be due to a cervical disc herniation, which occur in the upper part of the spine. Cervical disc herniations can also cause numbness and tingling in the arm and fingers. You might have also heard this called a “pinched nerve” or a “herniated disc/ruptured disc.

Understanding The Cervical Spine

The cervical spine is the upper most region of your spine and supports the weight and motions of your head. It is made up of seven vertebrae, labeled C1 to C7 from the top down to the bottom. They are separated by intervertebral discs, which are made up of fibrous tissue (the annulus) and a malleable nucleus at the center. Together, the annulus and nucleus of each disc act as a shock absorber and distribute pressure evenly. When functioning normally they keep your vertebrae separated.

When there is a tear in the annulus, the nucleus can pop from the center of the disc through the tear. This reduces the discs’ ability to separate the vertebrae and leads to compression of spinal nerve roots which come off the spinal cord and travel between the vertebrae.

This compression and irritation of the nerve root is what leads to the pain, numbness, and tingling.

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Causes of Cervical Disc Herniation

Herniated discs are usually caused by general “wear and tear” over the years but can also be caused by trauma like heavy lifting or a sudden intense twist. It’s more common to occur if you’ve had a job that requires a lot of heavy lifting or overhead activity.

Symptoms of Cervical Disc Herniation

Cervical disc herniation can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms. Some of the symptoms you might feel are:

  • Pain, discomfort, or burning starting from the neck region and continuing down one or both arms
  • Pain resulting from turning your head
  • Pain in the area of your shoulders
  • Numbness or tingling in the arm
  • A feeling of weakness and fatigue of the arms
  • A reduced range of motion or difficulty using your arms or hands

Diagnosis of Cervical Disc Herniation

During a consultation at Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics, Dr. Rovner will:

  • Review your medical history and any test results you bring with you.
  • Determine the cause of your symptoms through a physical exam.
  • Order any necessary tests, e.g. x-rays or MRI scans.
  • Educate you on your diagnosis.
  • Provide and discuss treatment options with you, including risks and benefits.
  • Together, you will decide on the treatment option that works best for you.

Treatment of Cervical Disc Herniation

Dr. Rovner recommends surgical treatment only as a last resort. If your diagnosis is a cervical disc herniation, the treatment options he’ll discuss with you are

  • Modified activity
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery: anterior cervical discectomy and fusion or disc replacement

Your New Jersey Spine Surgeon for Cervical Disc Herniation Treatment

As an award-winning New Jersey spine surgeon, Dr. Joshua Rovner delivers comprehensive treatment for Cervical Disc Herniation, with both surgical and non-surgical options. Board certified to practice in New York and New Jersey, Dr. Joshua Rovner is among few spine surgeons in NJ with depth of experience and expertise for treatment of spinal conditions along with advanced and minimally-invasive spinal surgery. Schedule a consultation today and contact us.

If you are suffering from back or neck pain, it is crucial for you to receive a professional diagnosis as soon as possible. Dr. Rovner is one of the best spine surgeons in NJ who has the experience and expertise necessary to help patients actualize successful outcomes with orthopedic spine surgery.

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