Cervical Hernia: Symptoms and Diagnosis

Among the most disabling medical conditions in daily life, capable of compromising, if neglected, the body’s mobility and even the most basic physical activities, is cervical hernia.

It is a widespread and often very painful condition that presents a variety of symptoms. It is very common to manifest around the age of forty, but there are also situations where the condition occurs in younger individuals.

What is Cervical Hernia?

Cervical disc herniation is a condition caused by the compression of the vertebral discs located in the neck area, specifically the area between one of the first seven vertebrae. Vertebral discs act as “cushions” and have the precise function of reducing bone friction between the vertebrae and cushioning traumas. When the vertebrae come too close together or even crush each other, the disc undergoes unnatural compression. This compression results in a herniation of the pulpy nucleus, which spreads and compresses the spinal cord and nerves present in the column.

What Causes Vertebral Disc Compression?

The causes of vertebral disc compression can be varied:

  • Natural effect of gravity and age
  • Adoption of incorrect postures
  • Sudden and violent traumas (such as whiplash)
  • Excessive and prolonged exertion
  • Muscle tension in the shoulders
  • Individual predisposition due to genetic factors

What are the Symptoms of Cervical Hernia?

The symptoms of cervical hernia are complex. There can be various symptoms, which may also occur simultaneously, including:

  • Headaches
  • Neck pain radiating to the arms and fingers
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Numbness
  • Tingling in the upper limbs
  • Difficulty in movement
  • Muscle stiffness

What to Do in Cases of Mild Cervical Hernia?

If cervical hernia is in an initial stage and is diagnosed immediately at the first symptoms, it is possible that it may resolve on its own with spontaneous reabsorption of the pulpy fluid returning to its proper place or It can be treated with pharmacological or physiotherapeutic therapies. In some situations, patients have also found relief from acupuncture, ultrasound, laser therapy, iontophoresis, and electrostimulation treatments.

Furthermore, physiotherapy, combined with specific massages and rehabilitation, can in these cases lead to optimal and non-invasive and conservative results.

The Importance of Preventing Cervical Hernia

Regularly performing specific physical exercises under the guidance of a physiotherapist and adopting a correct posture, as well as strengthening the back muscles, can be a panacea and excellent prevention for cervical hernia.