Regis W. Haid, Jr., MD, Spine Surgeon
The most common symptom of cervical disc herniation is neck pain that radiates (spreads) down to the arm in various locations. Although a cervical herniated disc may be caused by trauma or injury to the cervical spine, the symptoms, including arm pain, often start spontaneously.
The arm pain from a cervical herniated disc results because the disc material “pinches” or presses on a cervical nerve, causing pain to radiate along the path of the nerve pathway down the arm. Numbness and tingling may also be present down the arm and into the fingertips. Additionally, the patient may suffer muscle weakness as a result of a cervical herniated disc.
The specific location of the arm pain or symptoms depend on which disc is involved. The two most common levels in the cervical spine to herniate are the C5 - C6 level (cervical 5 and cervical 6) and the C6 -C7 level.
The impact of a herniated discs is often as follows:
As with most spinal problems, the first line of treatment typically involves medications and/or physical therapy. Surgical treatment for cervical disc herniation may involve foraminotomy or artificial disc placement.