People who suffer chronic pain in their backs or necks are often the victims of a herniated disc. Your spinal column is made up of bones – called vertebrae – that run down your back, connecting your skull to your pelvis. The purpose of your vertebrae is to protect the nerves that run from your brain, down your back, and then to the rest of your body.
Each of your vertebrae is connected by cartilage discs filled with a gelatinous substance that cushions the vertebrae along the spinal column. A disc becomes herniated when all or part of the soft, gelatinous central portion breaks through a weakened section of the disc. A herniated disc can happen for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is simply the aging process. Often as we get older, the center of the disc may start to lose water content, making it less effective as a cushion. Most herniation takes place in the lumbar (lower back) area of the spine, and occurs most frequently in middle-aged and older men, especially if they’re involved in strenuous physical activity.
Once a disc becomes herniated, it can press on the nerves in the spine, causing pain, numbness and tingling in the extremity.
Once a disc becomes herniated, it can press on the nerves in the spine, causing pain, numbness and tingling.
Herniated Cervical Disc (neck) symptoms include:
- Neck pain
- Radiating pain affecting shoulder, upper arm, forearm, and sometimes the hand and fingers
- Deep pain around or over shoulder blades
- Pain increases when bending your neck or turning your head
- Muscle spasms in the neck
- Arm muscle weakness
- Coughing or straining makes pain worse