Cervical Disc Pain: What YOU Can Do About It

You may notice that as you grow older, you begin experiencing more and more pain in your neck and shoulders region. Most adults are unaware of the constant stress that is placed upon the cervical discs of the neck and spine over the years as result of constant twisting, turning, and lifting. There are several diseases that can cause chronic neck and shoulders pain due to the degenerative cervical discs. While approximately two-thirds of the population will suffer from neck pain in their lifetime, many may not be aware of how cervical disc pain is affecting their life.


Your neck is comprised of seven bones separated by gel-like discs for cushion in a structure known as the vertebrae. These discs allow for agile movement of the neck and spine, as both of these areas would be stiff otherwise. However, as stated earlier, years of constantly straining this area leads these discs to degenerate and weather down. As this erosion process occurs the nerve fiber that exist in this area become pinched, often resulting in radiating pain that can affect the arms, shoulders, and neck. The process that causes the neck to lose flexibility is called degenerative disc disease. The most common symptom of this disorder is neck stiffness, however once pressure is applied to your nerves, you may experience any number of the following:

·      Pain;

·      Radiating tingling sensation in your arms, hands, or shoulders; or

·      Numbness

If you feel that you may be affected by degenerative disc disease, you should talk to your doctor about performing a physical to see if your symptoms fit. Be prepared for your physician to ask about your medical history, or even ask to conduct a neurological exam to see if your disc deterioration is affecting your reflexes. You may be required to undergo X-rays, MRIs, and/or CT scans in order to inspect your spinal region and vertebrae.

If you should happen to suffer from degenerative disc disease, there are several options available to you that involve minimally invasive solutions. These examples include: over the counter medications such as Tylenol, Motrin, or Aleve; or physical therapy that may involve the use of cervical traction techniques. If it’s deemed necessary by your doctor, a discectomy to remove the worn out disc may be needed; but paying attention to and taking care of your spine health can prevent this extreme course of action. As always talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or show any symptoms of degenerative disc disease, and follow our blog for more news and information on spine care and minimally invasive solutions!