How to Diagnose Cervical Disc Disease

Degeneration of the discs, especially in the moving parts of the spine, such as the cervical and lumbar levels, is a normal process of “age.” When this “aging” period starts more quickly or prematurely, it is referred to as “degeneration.” To diagnose cervical disc disease Roswell, your physician will first conduct a medical history to determine when your symptoms began, how serious they are, and what causes them to alleviate or worsen. A neurological test will most likely be performed to assess your strength, reflexes, and feeling in your arm and hand if they are compromised. Moreover, X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and CT scans can assist your specialist in seeing your spinal cord and determining the source of your neck discomfort.

Symptoms associated with cervical disc disease

Most individuals have no symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they often include neck discomfort and stiffness. Cervical disc diseases can cause a spinal canal narrowing inside the spine’s bones (the vertebrae). The spinal canal is the opening between the vertebrae that the spinal cord and nerve roots pass through on their way to the rest of the body. If the nerve roots or spinal cord are pinched, you may suffer the following symptoms:

  1.     Neck pain: The most frequent sign of cervical degenerative disc degeneration is low-grade discomfort from a stiff neck. However, the discomfort can occasionally flare up and become severe, lasting a few hours or days.
  2.     Neurological symptoms in the hand, arm, and fingers: Tingling, numbness, or weakness might spread from the shoulder to the arm, hand, and fingers. These symptoms might make it challenging to do daily tasks such as typing, dressing, or handling items.
  3.     Pain in the nerves: This sort of pain is usually intense or electric shock-like, and it can spread down the shoulder into the arm, hand, and fingers. Nerve pain is often felt on only one side of the body.
  4.     The pain worsens with movement: In general, discomfort produced by the degenerative disc itself tends to be worsened by movement and reduced by rest.

Cause of cervical disc disease

The components that comprise the backbone and neck increasingly deteriorate as people age. These modifications may include:

  • Disks dehydrated: Disks serve as cushions between the spine’s vertebrae. Most people’s spinal disks begin to dry up and shrink by age 40. When the disks shrink, there is more bone-on-bone contact between the vertebrae.
  • Disk herniation: Cracks also form on the outside of the spinal disks. A disk’s soft interior can squeeze through these fissures. It can sometimes push on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
  • Spurs on the bones: As the disks degrade, the body may create more bone in an attempt to reinforce the spine. These bone spurs can occasionally encircle the spinal cord and nerve roots.
  • Stiff ligaments: Ligaments are tissue strands that link bones. With aging, spinal ligaments tighten, making the neck less flexible.

The degree of cervical disc disease determines the treatment. The objective of treatment is to ease pain, keep you as active as possible, and avoid irreparable damage to your spinal cord and nerves. Call Apex Spine and Neurosurgery to schedule your consultation today to learn more about cervical disc disease therapies.

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