What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Cervical Disc Herniation?
Cervical disc herniations can cause neck pain, upper back pain, arm pain, numbness and tingling in the arm and hand and headaches. Large disc herniations can cause weakness of the wrist and arm. You have a worse prognosis if you have any arm symptoms. Weakness in your legs occurs on rare occasions from a disc herniation that cause spinal cord compression. Pain that radiates down the arm is called a cervical radiculopathy. Numbness and tingling is often referred to as parethesias. Each individual disc herniation location and nerve impingement has their own specific pain patterns, muscle weakness and areas of numbness.
How Do Chiropractors Diagnose Your Specific Disc Herniation ?
The following is a breakdown of the signs and symptoms of the most common cervical disc herniations. This helps your chiropractor diagnose the specific disc and nerve root involved in each case.
C4-C5 disc herniations usually effects the C5 nerve root. This causes neck pain, shoulder pain and weakness of the deltoid muscle. This disc herniation can cause the biceps reflex to be decreased.
C5-C6 disc herniations usually compresses the C6 nerve root. This can cause weakness of the biceps muscle and wrist extensor muscles. Numbness most frequently effects the thumb. Neck pain and the pain down the arm often shoots down the arm on the same side as the thumb. The C6 reflex is the brachioradialis and it will be depressed if the nerve has been compressed for a while.
C6-C7 disc herniations most commonly impinges on the C7 nerve root and can cause weakness of the triceps muscle and weakness of wrist flexion. Numbness most commonly occurs in the middle finger. The arm pain is usually described as going down the back of the arm to the middle finger area. The C7 reflex is the triceps reflex. Damage to the C7 nerve root will cause a weaker triceps reflex.
C7-T1 disc herniations will cause the C8 nerve root to become inflamed. This often cause weakness of the grip and tingling in the ring and little finger. The arm pain shoots down the arm on the same side as the little finger.
Below are some links to learn more about cervical spine disc herniations and their signs and symptoms. Consult your doctor of chiropractic if you have any questions about disc herniations ,back pain , neck pain, headaches or extremity problems.