If you have been suffering from neck pain traveling down the arm and into the hand, accompanied by numbness and/or tingling… You most likely have a herniated disc.
People with herniated or bulging cervical discs, will find themselves suffering from neck pain, often with a past history of multiple bouts of neck pain. Arm pain, numbness, and weakness is usually the giveaway, although I will talk about other possible conditions that may cause similar symptoms in future blogs. Sometimes, pain in the medial aspect of the scapula (edge of the shoulder blade) is also noted.
The intense pain and feeling of numbness in the neck and arms is due to nerve irritation. These are the nerves that exit the cervical spine and travel down the arm. Compression from a herniated disc is often the cause of this irritation, which makes the solution simple… remove the source of compression on the nerve.
There are various ways to take pressure off a nerve and minimized a disc bulge. From mobilization of the joints in the neck, to stretches and exercises. In my fifteen years of experience, I found that the fastest and best option to treat this condition is through Active Release Techniques of the upper limb and cervical manipulation at the levels above and below the herniation. Surgery should remain the last possible option, as it is a very difficult procedure and could result in less than favorable outcomes.