Signs and symptoms of Cervical Disc Herniation

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There are several types of discomforts or clinical scenarios that can manifest isolated or superimposed:

Person on his back with his hand on the back of his neck due to torticollis

Neck pain. It is characterised by episodes of neck pain as a consequence of any type of effort or maintaining a poor posture. In each new episode, the pain lasts longer and episodes are more frequent. To prevent the increase of pain, the person may adopt an antalgic position in which they contract the muscles (torticollis or stiff neck).

A person on his back with his hand on the back of his neck and pain in his arm

Cervical-brachialgia. After an effort or without an apparent trigger, the person suffers a very intense pain that radiates towards one of the arms. The pain increases with any movement, particularly on stretching the arm or with coughing or sneezing. This pain can even be extended to the fingers. The area may feel numbed by the affected nerve, cork-like, or with strange sensations or discomfort on being touched. In severe cases, the person also losses strength or ability in the hand, and they are unable to pick up objects. Both the neck pain and the cervical-brachialgia usually occur in younger or middle-aged people.

A person with his back on the back of his neck and the damaged vertebrae drawn in transparency

Myelopathy. This is produced when the vertebral column in the neck area is compressed. Myelopathy is more common in older people and can occur isolated or together with other symptoms. The presence of bone proliferations that seem to be associated with an osteoarthritis process or joint wear (osteophytes) is usually the trigger for this disease instead of just a disc herniation. When the size of these osteophytes increases, they start causing a restriction in the lumen of the vertebral canal (canal stenosis) at the level of one or several vertebral segments. The chronic or maintained compression by these osteophytes affects the spinal cord or the small vessels that supply blood to the cord. It manifests by having difficulty in moving the upper limbs, and later by walking disorders.

Información general de Back pain

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Substantiated information by:

José Poblete Carrizo
Salvador Fuster

Published: 25 October 2019
Updated: 25 October 2019

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