Cervical Disc Herniation
Cervical disc herniation is a condition similar to a bulging disc, yet far more painful, occurring when the soft padding (discs) between the vertebrae in the neck become misaligned and crack, causing the soft, gel-like material inside (nucleus pulposus) to rupture. This can be the result of a number of things such as age-related degeneration, trauma, injury, or strain. Though it typically happens between the fifth & sixth (C5/6) or sixth and seventh (C6/7) cervical vertebrae, pain can often radiate to other areas such as the skull, shoulders, arms, and hands.
In most cases, cervical disc herniation can heal on its own, sometimes with assistance from physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medication (NSAIDs), or epidural corticosteroid injections to provide temporary pain relief. If pain from the herniation is severe or persistent, or causing serious leg weakness, bladder problems, or loss of bowel control, surgery can be a useful option.