The cervical spine consists of the top seven bones of the spine, called vertebrae, located in your neck or the area between your skull and chest. The vertebrae that form the spine are cushioned by discs that act as shock absorbers and keep the spine flexible.
Over time as we age, discs can lose elasticity and ligaments around the discs can become brittle. When damaged, discs may bulge or rupture and cause what's called a herniated or slipped disc. Most herniated discs occur either in the cervical area or lower back called the lumbar spine.
When a herniated disc occurs, it puts pressure on spinal nerves or the spinal cord. The first symptom is usually neck pain.
Symptoms may include:
Your doctor will check your range of motion in your arms, shoulders and neck. Other tests may include:
Conservative treatment for cervical disc herniation includes:
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.
400 Parnassus Ave., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143-0332
Phone: (866) 81-SPINE or
Neuro-spine Fax: (415) 353-2176
Ortho-spine Fax: (415) 353-4047