What is a neck hernia?

A bulging intervertebral disc

A neck hernia is a bulge in an intervertebral cervical disc. This bulge presses on a nerve attached to an arm, thus possibly causing pain radiating down a shoulder or arm. Other symptoms may include tingling in the patient’s hand or fingers, and occasionally a loss of strength. If the latter occurs, an arm nerve will have stopped functioning. Generally speaking, symptoms will present in either the left arm or the right arm (not both).

The cervical spine has 7 vertebrae, with intervertebral discs between them. These discs serve as shock absorbers, so to speak, and they increase the spine’s elasticity. Along with the neck muscles, they allow the neck to move.

The spinal canal houses the spinal cord. Arm nerves branch off the spinal cord on both the left- and right-hand sides of the spine, very close to intervertebral discs. The most common type of neck hernia is located between the sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae, but hernias also occur between other vertebrae.

Normal person

Normal person

Person suffering from a neck hernia

Person suffering from a neck hernia

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