Cervical disc herniation involves a rupture of the jelly-like substance from the area between the cervical vertebrae. The cervical discs are circular cushions that prevent bone crunching on bone. A herniated disc can occur anywhere on the spine but usually occurs in the cervical and lumbar regions.
What causes cervical disc herniation?
Most cases of herniated disc are the result of the wear and tear on the discs—a condition called disc degeneration. It happens in older ages, when the fluid level in the disc decreases. Injuries to the spine, such as from a motor vehicle accident, can cause a burst of the disc and resultant pressure on the spinal canals where the nerve roots exit or on the spinal cord itself. Smokers are more likely to have a herniated disc.
Most people can’t place the exact time of their herniation but in cases of heavy lifting or cases of motor vehicle accidents there can be a popping sensation associated with pain in the neck and shooting pain down the arm or arms.
If multiple discs are herniated or herniation is associated with fractures of the cervical spine, a cervical fusion can be done to keep the bony and soft tissues in place and to reduce inflammation of the area.