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Cervical Herniated Disc – Factors of Pathology Development

Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

An intervertebral hernia is often the reason for headache and hand insensitivity. It causes compression of the spinal nerve roots at their exit from the cervical disc; you feel pain and irritation or compression of the corresponding nerve fibers. As a rule, these changes are accompanied by muscle spasms, edema, inflammation, and impaired vascular circulation at this level.

The compression of the spinal nerves can cause dangerous complications, which leads to the loss of their function and the displacement of the vertebral hernia towards the spinal cord.

The incidence of cervical disc herniation is in second place after the lumbar spine.

Every fifth patient who goes to the doctor with complaints of neck pain suffers from this disease. The first signs are pain, discomfort, and a feeling of tightness in this part of the spine. Gradually, the intensity of pain increases, the following complaints appear:

  • increasing headache, especially while turning the head
  • instability of blood pressure
  • frequent dizziness
  • soreness.

The most vulnerable and weakest part is the area near the seventh vertebra, where there are many blood vessels.

The most common cause of pain in the neck, shoulder, and upper extremities is a herniated disc. Certain positions or neck turning can make the pain worse. In some patients, a herniated cervical disc can compress the spinal cord. Symptoms of spinal cord compression include:

  • gait disturbance, 
  • difficulty performing accurate arm movements, 
  • insensitivity and tingling sensations in the body and legs, 
  • pelvic dysfunction.

symptoms of cervical disc herniation

Factors of Pathology Development, Symptoms and Treatment

Those who have a couch-potato lifestyle are likely to develop the disease; teachers, car drivers, office workers, and academic staff often complain of it.

Cervical herniated disc can be developed because of: 

  • metabolic disorders,
  • lack of fluids,
  • bad habits (smoking, drinking alcohol),
  • heredity,
  • the pathological processes in the spine (osteochondrosis, Schmorl’s hernia, and other degenerative changes),
  • keeping the head down constantly,
  • changes in the spinal column associated with human aging,
  • sports injuries,
  • overweight,
  • congenital pathologies, on which the number and location of the vertebrae depend.

 

Symptoms of the Cervical Herniated Disc

It is possible to suspect a hernia of the spine when weakness and periodic attacks of numbness of the hands appear. Later, there is stiffness of the neck and limited movement up to the inability to tilt the head. The following symptoms also indicate the disease:

  • frequent migraine-type headaches,
  • increased fatigue,
  • dizziness,
  • body weakness,
  • pain in the neck, aggravated by sudden movement.

As the disease progresses, there is a disruption in the functioning of the nervous system, manifested in a visual deterioration, constant head noises, and impaired coordination.

If you have some of these symptoms, then you should consult a specialist. Do not self-medicate; often, uncontrolled drug-taking only worsens the situation and causes inflammation. There is a risk of symptoms onset, but the consequences may be more threatening.

 

Treatment of a hernia

A doctor examines the patient; the necessary diagnostic methods are carried out to determine the tactics of treating a hernia.

For the treatment of cervical hernia, a wide range of medical procedures is used, including drug treatment, paravertebral blockade, traction, massage, spinal correction, physiotherapy, kinesitherapy, and physiotherapy exercises.

One of the new directions in the treatment of intervertebral hernias is the use of a shock-wave therapy apparatus specifically designed to treat spine diseases. The peculiarity of the use of this device is the dosed local impact of shock waves on the segments of the spine, controlled by the device’s sensors. At the same time, an improvement in blood supply at the site of exposure is achieved, tissue elasticity is restored, and muscle tension is eliminated.

 

How Does Disc Herniation Grow?

A healthy intervertebral disc consists of endplates, an annulus fibrosus, in the center of which is the nucleus pulposus – a very strong elastic formation that can withstand significant loads. Therefore, with a spinal injury, its fractures are more often observed than damage to the IVD. 

Over the years, degenerative processes (nutritional disorders) develop. They start with the intervertebral disc and move to other elements of the spinal motion segment. It defines as osteochondrosis of the spine. It is a chronic, multifactorial recurrent disease; a genetic predisposition is observed in 80% of people. It is important to note that degeneration of the disc and its natural aging is the same process, but at different rates, complicated by the herniation. Early age-related deterioration of the spine expresses the lack of human biological perfection – as a tribute to nature for the transition to an upright position.

Initially, intradiscal changes (protrusion) of the IVD are observed, then the fibrous ring cannot withstand the load, and the nucleus pulposus ruptures it, forming a true IVD hernia (prolapse). Kernel drops can have different directions. When fragments of the nucleus fall into the epidural space of the spinal canal and often lead to disco-radicular conflict. In this case, the degenerative process spreads up and down to other IVDs and even parts of the spine – more often the lumbar (up to 30%), and less often the thoracic (less than 1%).

 

 FAQ

  • How to get rid of an intervertebral hernia without surgery?

The methods of non-surgical therapy include drug treatment, physiotherapy, exercise therapy, massage, manual therapy, kinesiotherapy, reflexology, traction of the cervical and lumbar spine.

  • How should I sleep with a herniated disc in my neck?

If you have a herniated disc, the best sleeping position is lying on your back. In this position, your spine will be held in a neutral position, and thus, you will be less likely to pinch a nerve.

  • Is a herniated disc in the neck serious?

It is a pretty serious disease; if you ignore the symptoms, it can have severe consequences. It may cause spinal cord compression in some patients; this is a more serious condition and may require more intense treatment.

  • How long does the cervical herniated disc take to heal?

Many hernias disappear on their own. Research shows that the patient’s condition improves after 4-6 weeks, although symptoms may not go away for longer.

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Lone Star Neurology
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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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