A herniated disc in the neck is most commonly known as cervical disc herniation. Pain is commonly reported in the shoulders, arms, and neck because a herniated disc pinches the cervical nerve. Tingling can also be present down the arm and into the fingertips. The discs in the vertebral bodies of the cervical spine are not very large, however, the gap for the nerves is also not that great, which means that even a slight herniation can impinge on one of the nerves. Acute cervical spine injury has been associated with sports such as gymnastics, American football, ice hockey, driving, and rugby. However, this type of herniated disc usually develops in the 30 to 50 year age group. They can also be caused spontaneously by simple activities.
There are 4 areas where a Cervical Herniated Disc can occur. It is important to note, in the bottom list, that every patient is different and some people will not experience the same symptoms.
C4-C5 (nerve root C5) – Weakness in deltoid muscle in the upper arm. Does not normally cause tingling and numbness. May cause shoulder pain
C5-C6 (nerve root C6) – Weakness in the biceps and wrist extensor muscle. Tingling and numbness can radiate into the thumb side of the hand. This is a fairly common cervical disc herniation.
C6-C7 (nerve root C7) – Weakness in the triceps and finger extensorÂ muscles. Tingling and numbness can radiate down the triceps and into the middle finger. This is also a fairly common cervical disc herniation.
C7-T1 (nerve root C8) – Weakness with handgrip. Tingling and numbness can radiate down the arm into the pinkie finger side of the hand.