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Cervical disc disease results from damage, disease, or wear and tear to the discs between the bones (vertebra) in your neck. The discs act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. When a disc is damaged, it can bulge out and press against the nerve roots or spinal cord. This is sometimes called a herniated or "slipped disc." This pressure can cause pain and numbness or tingling in your arms and hands. It can also cause weakness in your legs.
An injury can damage a disc and cause it to break open (rupture). Aging and hard physical work can also cause damage to cervical discs.
The first treatments for cervical disc disease include physiotherapy, special neck exercises, heat, and pain medicine. If these fail, your doctor may inject steroids and pain medicine into your neck. Surgery is usually done only if other treatments have not worked.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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