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Causes, symptoms and treatment of herniated discs of the cervical spine


herniated cervical disc is characterized by the bulging or loss of pieces of the intervertebral disc into the spinal canal. This leads to compression of the nerve fibers, resulting in a number of different symptoms. It is believed that this disease is one of the most severe degenerative changes.

The Trouble is that the Department itself is small, but pass through a great many blood vessels, and nerve endings. Impair the functionality of the cervical spine may lead to serious consequences, greatly complicating the patient's condition. According to statistics, suffer from this disease 5 people 10,000, mainly men. Otherwise, this pathology can be called a syndrome or prolapse of the intervertebral disc, hernia of nucleus pulposus.

Herniated discs of the cervical spine is an extremely dangerous disease

Why is there a hernia?

Herniated discs can occur due to injury of the spine (primary), or on disk, defective (secondary).

Primary a herniated disc occurs as a result:

  • Great physical exertion;
  • Abrupt bends or curves;
  • Strong blows to the neck.

Secondary herniated disc occurs by reason of:

  • Neglected diseases of the spine;
  • degenerative disc disease.

How is the condition?

The True cause of herniated discs in the cervical spine is related to the physiology of the body. Since the nutrition of the intervertebral disc is not through the vessels, and with its own deep muscles, their defeat leads to the development of the disease.

If the muscles do not work for a long period of time (no regular exercise), they begin to spasm. In the neck there is a feeling of pain, but many do not attach any importance to this, continuing to lead a normal lifestyle. Develops over time, degeneration of muscle fibers: they atrophy and cease to work. The intervertebral discs starts to get power, they dry up and become brittle, losing its functionality.

Signs of a herniated cervical disc

Picture of cervical disc hernia

Click on image to enlarge

To begin treatment, it is necessary to recognize the disease. To cope with this will help the list of symptoms. However, to confuse the disease with other very easy, so many patients long treated with other articular pathology that does not lead to the desired result. The best solution is to go to the doctor, as soon as the first complaints or symptoms of cervical Grigi.

Early signs of herniated discs of the cervical spine:

  1. Pain that occurs suddenly, due to sudden or traumatic movement
  2. neck Pain is non-permanent, aching, radiates to the shoulder joint;
  3. get headaches.

In the future, the condition worsens, the pain becomes not only intolerable, but also constant. There is a numbness of the limbs, disturbed gait. Muscle atrophy and end the disease by respiratory paralysis that leads to death.

There are more detailed division of symptoms. As mentioned earlier, the neck undergoes a lot of nerve endings and blood vessels. Therefore, the signs can be divided into symptoms of compression of nerve roots and vascular disorders.

Symptoms of nerve root compression

the Location and relationship of the vertebrae of the cervical spine with the other organs

the Location and relationship of the cervical vertebrae with other bodies. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Compression of the nerve root at the intervertebral disc C4 – C5:

  • shoulder Pain
  • Feeling of weakness in the upper arm (deltoid muscle).

C5 – C6:

  • Weakness of the muscles in the front of the shoulder (biceps), wrist
  • the Pain extended from shoulder to of the thumb, accompanied by a burning sensation, numbness, tingling.

C6 – C7:

  • Weakness of the muscles of the rear shoulder surface (triceps);
  • covers the Weakness of extensor muscles of fingers and forearms
  • numbness, tingling, pain from the triceps to the middle finger of the hand.

C7 – D1:

  • Weakness of forearm muscles, finger flexors (grip brushes);
  • Pain, burning, numbness, tingling and other similar symptoms from shoulder to the little finger.

Most Often, a hernia in the cervical spine is localized in the zone of the 6th and 7th joints between the vertebrae.

Suddenly appears pain, sometimes piercing. Expressed muscle weakness, paresthesia (“tingling”, reduced sensitivity and other symptoms). Can often be seenloss, a sharp weakening of the group of tendon reflexes. To move the hand, turn the neck, to tilt her is very hard because it hurts. In the upper back can be detected spasserovannye reflex the muscles.

Symptoms of vascular disorders

Compression of vertebral arteries – is a dangerous manifestation of a hernia in the cervical spine. This artery feeds the posterior region of the brain (the occipital lobe, inner ear, brainstem, medulla and upper spinal cord). Hypoxia (lack of oxygen), Central nervous system, violated the centers regulating blood pressure, swallowing, breathing, thermoregulation, and others. Depending on the extent of damage, the formation of these or other symptoms:

  • pressure Changes
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness;
  • tinnitus
  • fainting;
  • front sights before eyes;
  • Decrease field of view
  • Eyes are blinded by a fog;
  • Blurred image
  • Decreased hearing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Appear stagger when walking;
  • eyeballs twitching;
  • the Patient is disoriented in space.

As a hernia of the spine leads to a violation of cerebral circulation, decreased performance, change the rhythm of life. Damage to the cervical spine can lead to strokes, not only in persons older than 50 years, but much younger.

the Treatment of hernia of the cervical spine


Treatment of a hernia of the cervical spine can be conservative (non-surgical) and surgical. In the last resort if drugs and correction of lifestyle not led to the successful cure of this disease of the spine.


  1. Limit sudden head movements;
  2. wearing a soft cervical corset;
  3. Eliminate awkward postures.
  • non-Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which relieves muscle tension;
  • Bed rest (few days).

In the early stages of treatment to relieve pain is the main task of the doctor. In the future you need to prevent the progression of the disease, this medication is not necessary – massage and physiotherapy will be the best preventive measure. The muscles and ligaments will be restored and will work as it should.

Physical therapy and proper diet from this moment should become an inherent part in the life of the patient. It is a comprehensive exercise coupled with a healthy diet will protect humans from the development of new hernias of intervertebral discs of the cervical spine.


In some cases, conservative treatment is not enough. Then a hernia of the cervical spine requires surgical intervention (removal). For example, if you are not able to quit the pain, or when the lesion of the internal organs very much.

To avoid surgery, you need to take care about your body, to be careful and to seek help immediately. Remember, a hernia of the spine is the danger and risk which is best avoided, and if it did not work – treatment to last.