Herniated Cervical Disc
Each of the vertebral bodies that make up the spine are separated by round, fluid filled soft discs that act like shock absorbers. As we grow older, these discs lose some of their fluid and their ability to serve as a shock absorber. In addition, tiny tears or cracks in the outer layer of the disc may occur as a result of injuries to the spine. If these discs become damaged, they may bulge abnormally or rupture. This is referred to as a herniated disc, which can press against the spinal cord or directly against spinal nerve roots. Pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots can lead to numbness, pain, or loss of strength in the neck, shoulders, arms, chest, hands, and legs.
Damage to a disc may be degenerative, meaning that it occurs over time with aging. It can also, however, result from a sharp bending or twisting movement or from improperly lifting a heavy object. Furthermore, trauma, such as a fall or car accident, can lead to disc injury.