Cervical Herniated Disc
Small, spongy discs cushion the bones, or vertebrae, that form the spine. These discs act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible.
However, when one of these discs is damaged, it may bulge or break open. This is called a herniated disc, or also called a slipped or ruptured disc. Physical therapy and our spinal rehabilitation program can help alleviate the pain associated with a herniated disc.
There are eight cervical nerves (C1-C8) that branch off from the spinal cord and control different types of body movements and sensations. Arm pain from a cervical herniated disc is one of the more common results caused by this condition. Most herniated discs occur in the lower spine and can be caused by injury or wear-and-tear due to aging. When a herniated disc presses on the roots of a nerve, it can cause pain, numbness and/or weakness in the area of the body where the nerve it affects is located. While a herniated disc most commonly results in sciatica, which is pain and numbness in the buttock and down the leg, in the cervical herniated disc the pain occurs down the arm.
Physical Therapy for Cervical Herniated Disc
Modalities: Manual therapy is widely used for this condition to increase joint mobility and reduce the risk of neck spasms. Patients also undergo education to improve posture. The traction table may be used to help alleviate cervical pain radiating down the arm.