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What is Cervical Disc Disease?

Cervical Disc Disease occurs when discs between the vertebrae become damaged, therefore limiting mobility in the neck and back. It is often caused by long-term damage to your neck and is a common cause of neck and back pain. Overtime, repetitive stress and on your neck and back, such as lifting heavy objects, can lead to Cervical Disc Disease. Cervical Discs separate the vertebrae in the spine. The purpose of these discs is to stabilize the neck and allow you to easily turn your neck and head. Children tend to have more water in their cervical discs, making it easier to move around. By the time a person reaches age 70, it is estimated that cervical discs lose about 70 percent of that water which makes them prone to more wear and tear.


What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of Cervical Disc Disease include:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Neck pain
  • Stiffness in neck
  • Numbness and weakness in the shoulders, arm, and hand
  • Loss of mobility in shoulders, arm, and hand

All or some symptoms of Cervical Disc Disease may be present.


How is Cervical Disc Disease diagnosed?

For a proper diagnosis, visit your doctor to go over your medical history to determine when symptoms appeared and the proper treatment plan. MRIs and CT scans can also be used to pinpoint where the pain is originating from.


How is Cervical Disc Disease Treated?

Often times, surgery is not needed to treat Cervical Disc Disease. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications are the first steps in treating Cervical Disc Disease. Physical therapy is another common treatment used to regain range of motion and alleviate pain. Surgery may be performed if other treatment options are ineffective. The most common surgery used to treat Cervical Disc Disease is a discectomy. The purpose of a discectomy is to remove herniated disc material in the lower back that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Cervical Fusion is another surgery performed to relieve neck pain that involves removing a damaged disc.


Please talk to your physician or schedule a consultation at Baylor Scott & White Neurosurgery Associates ​to determine what approach is best for you.