Prior to a neck hernia
Pain radiating down an arm
Patients often suffer neck pain before the onset of a neck hernia. Neck hernia symptoms include pain radiating down an arm, possibly accompanied by numbness or tingling. These symptoms will present more or less in the service area of the nerve that is being pressed upon, although this is not as obvious with neck hernias as it is with low-back hernias. The pressure exerted on the nerve may cause nerve function loss.
Loss of strength in one or more muscles
Nerves serve a dual function: they serve the muscles, but also an area of skin. In other words, each nerve comes with its own muscle and area of skin. Neck hernia patients may suffer a loss of strength in one or more muscles, and may or may not experience tingling or numbness. Since coughing, sneezing or straining causes the pressure in the spinal canal, and therefore the pressure exerted on the arm nerves, to increase, the pain radiating down the arm may become more intense while a patient is coughing or sneezing.
If a patient suffers a larger hernia located towards the middle of the spine (possibly near an already constricted spinal canal), a great deal of pressure may be exerted on the spinal cord, which may result in a loss of strength and/or sensation disorders in the legs, in addition to the arm and neck pain already present. This, in turn, may result in a changed gait.