Many patients that suffer from cervical disc pain, the portion of the spine located in the neck, may be experiencing symptoms that seem unrelated to neck pain, however, these symptoms may be a direct result of cervical disc herniation. Pain and symptoms from cervical disc herniations and tears can develop slowly over time and suddenly appear. The type of symptoms can vary from a dull, nagging pain, to pain that is quite debilitating.
Patients will often say “I have a crick in my neck”. This can be mild and only a little uncomfortable and stiff, or may grow to be sharp, stabbing pain. If moving your neck causes pain, but keeping it still causes the pain the go away, then there is a chance that pain is from a cervical disc herniation or tear.
Cervical disc herniations and tears can cause irritation of the spinal nerves, which means you may feel pain in the neck, as well as tingling or electric-shock like pains that travel from your arm and down to your fingers, and even cause discomfort between the shoulder blades. Other symptoms, such as pins and needles, numbness, or tingling may occur in the arms, hands and fingers, as well. These symptoms typically radiate on one side of the body, usually from the shoulder area and down the arm into to the fingers. Often, patients experience symptoms on one side of the body, but sometimes they have them on both sides. It’s important to recognize that cervical pain does not refer pain into the lower back and legs. It is, however, known to refer pain in the neck, arms, hands, fingers and shoulder blade area.
To prevent the condition from progressing into a chronic issue, it’s important to see a spine specialist, who will review your history and symptoms, plus perform a physical exam. The specialist may choose to perform certain diagnostic tests to pinpoint what is causing the pain. Once the problem is identified, action can be made to get you feeling better.