The cervical spine or neck consists of seven vertebrae and five disc which allow the spine to be flexible. When the discs become irritated they can begin to migrate posterior or backwards and cause pain. When the disc migrates it can become a bulge or herniation.
A herniated disc usually is caused by wear and tear of the disc. Today, we speed this process up due to postures such as rolled shoulders and forward head pos-ture. These positions place a large load on the lower neck and place the disc under in-creased pressure. Herniated discs are much more common in people who smoke.
Herniated discs in the neck can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the neck, shoulders, chest, arms, and hands. Early signs are pain in the neck, shoulder and shoulder blade. It is often described as sharp, deep pain that mas-sage can not get to. On the other hand, many people experience no symptoms from a herniated disk. Most people who have a herniated disk don’t need surgery to correct the problem.
Treatment for cervical disc injury or irritation consists of a combination of corrective exercise, posture restoration, and myofascial release. Releasing the tissues in the neck with Active Release or Graston can take strain off of the disc and allow the rehab exercises to be more effective. Since a disc injury involves inflammation, anti-inflammatory nutrition may help reduce the pain while undergoing treatment.