In order to understand cervical herniation, some understanding of the anatomy of the spine is helpful:

The vertebrae (i.e., bones) in the neck region of the spine have discs in between them, tough shock absorbing pads.  Each disc has a rubber-like outer band called the annulus fibrosis that contains a gel like substance that is called the nucleus pulposis. In the spinal canal, there are nerve roots that exit through small spaces between the vertebrae and the discs.

Pain and other symptoms may occur if the a damaged disc pushes into and encroaches upon the spinal canal or nerve roots. Cervical herniation is when the annulus fibrosis cracks or breaks open, resulting in the escape of the nucleus pulposus. A herniated nucleus pulposis (i.e., HNP) is commonly referred to as a herniated disc.

The most general symptom of disc herniation is a pain or numbness in certain parts of the arm. While the injury itself occurs at a certain point and time, one may start seeing symptoms at random times unrelated to the actual occurrence of the injury. The reason the pain in the arm occurs is because the disc in question clamps down or presses on a nerve causing pain to strike the area of the arm that is correlated to that particular nerve. This pain will vary depending on the disc and can cause weakness to any part of the upper arm and shoot a numb and tingling feeling down to various parts of the hand.

Herniated discs can be caused by aging, disc disease (i.e., degeneration), or injury to the spine. A herniated disc can be caused by pressure placed upon the disk by the vertebrae above and below the disc. This can be the result of lifting, twisting, age-related weakening of the disc, and oftentimes traumatic injury.

Treatment options for cervical herniated discs may vary but the most common are medication and physical therapy, and sometimes invasive treatments such as spinal surgery are necessary. The surgical techniques we have in place today are not strongly correlated with more effectiveness than more conservative approaches. For more information on the available treatments for herniated discs, you are encouraged to read our article on herniated disc treatments.

With cervical disc herniation, an uninformed patient may overlook the possibility of having a more serious ailment because of the contraction of a cervical disc herniation. A patient who may have a cervical herniated disc should seek the advice of a physician or a pain specialist in order to properly treat the injury. Every injury is different and even though symptoms may point to one type of injury, they may in fact result from another.

Any type of spinal injury has the potential to be very serious and should not be taken likely. A physician should evaluate all such injuries.

If you or a loved one is suffering from spinal injury due to the negligence of another, you can find answers to many of your questions on this website. You can also use our “just ask” section to send us your question or our live chat for immediate response. For more information, download our FREE book, 10 Essential Steps You Must Take to Protect Your Personal Injury Claim.

For more information on the topics please contact Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys by calling (816) 471-5111. Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys has over 15 years of experience handling serious injury claims, including many cervical/neck injury cases, and any questions will gladly be answered.
James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.