Disc Problems in Neck

Before knowing about the disc problems in neck, we need to know about neck. The neck, also known as the cervical is the portion of the body that is made up of vertebrae. 6 Discs, 7 vertebrae and 8 nerves- this is all about cervical spine. Vertebrae are the interlocking bones that form the spinal column. Discs are soft spongy tissue which works as shock absorber between these bones and from level of the discs but one above the C1 and one below the C7. These C1-C2-C3-C4-C5-C6-C7 are the names of the bones in neck. These all vertebrae expands from the skull to the upper torso. They are responsible to bear the load of the head and protect the spine.

A number of disorders can be responsible for neck pain. Any abnormality or injury can cause neck pain or serious illness. Examples of common condition of the neck pain are declined disc problem, neck injury, stiffness, painful pressure on the nerve, muscle spasm, ruptured disc, etc. If the condition gets serious, it seeks medical attention seriously. Basically it might be a small herniation or the bulge in neck with discs- it can prove fatal for the whole body. We should take care of disc problems in neck properly.

Disc Problems in Neck

There are 6 discs in the neck. C2-C3, C3-C4, C4-C5, C5-C6, C6-C7 and C7-T1. These 6 discs have chances of all types of disc problems, whatever happens in the other parts of the spine. These all 7 vertebrae of the neck gets support from the muscles, which hold and hang the neck on the shoulders. Because in today’s era we are more into desk jobs and we are regularly working with raised shoulders that impacts the base of the neck. When this base strains- it exerts pressure on the central column- which we know as cervical spine. This pressure disturbs the lordosis of cervical spine, which reduces the intervertebral spaces. This is where disc problems in neck start taking place.

Neck pain occurs due to disc herniation of the cervical spine. The cervical disc in the neck is very significant as it supports the weight of our neck and controls the movement. The intervertebral disc in our body is like flexible pads and act as shock absorbers. Cervical disc herniation occurs most frequently at the levels of C5-C6 and C6-C7. The disc gets ruptured and pushes into the spinal canal which then puts pressure on the spinal nerve. The pinching of the nerve causes unbearable sudden pain in the neck and the arms. Numbness and weakness are some of the initial symptoms.

Impact of Disc Problems in Neck

The spine in the neck comprises seven vertebrae. They surround the spinal column where from the nerves of the neck passes through. Cervical spinal nerves travel through neck, shoulders, and arms. The cervical discs are small. Due to this, even the initial level of disc herniation may press the nerves badly and causes notable pain in the neck. A pinch in the nerve radiates the pain from the neck to the end of the arms and the wrists.

A bulge in the cervical disc is diagnosed when the inner layer of the disc herniates. In this condition, the protective outer layer slits and the pulpy like substance in the inner core leaks out. This causes infection in the nerves and impinges the nerves adjoining the affected area.

What causes neck pain?

Neck pain can be caused due to a number of reasons. Doctors may diagnose the reason by evaluating the symptoms. Some reasons for the neck pain leading to cervical disc problems are:

  • Degeneration of the spinal disc in the neck
  • Neck injury
  • Age factor. It usually starts at the age of 40-50
  • Excessive growth of bone
  • Dehydration in the inner layer of the spinal disc
  • Injury in the disc
  • Carrying massive weights
  • Severe compression in the spine
  • Lifestyle adaptations such as lack of exercise and inadequate nutrition

Symptoms associated with neck pain

  • Painful pressure on the nerve
  • Facial pain and shoulder pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Transmitting pain starting from neck to the shoulders, the arms, and the wrists.
  • tingling, neck discomfort, or burning sensations
  • Muscles weakness
  • Numbness