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Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease

About Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease

Once the discs in your neck at the top of your spine have degenerated to the point of reducing your mobility and causing you pain, you need pain management and new ways of moving to adjust. But don’t let your mobility become that impaired. The expert spine doctors at the Spine & Rehab Group offer a multitude of effective treatments to completely eliminate your neck, shoulder and back pain. Call one of the eight offices in NYC and northern New Jersey for an initial exam. Expert advice and effective treatment are available when you experience neck pain. The sooner you get treated, the better your odds of a successful recovery.

What Is Cervical Degeneration Disc Disease?

Cervical degenerative disc disease is a common type of neck pain. This type of pain also manifests as radiating arm pain. Cervical degeneration is especially prevalent in the aging population, so the longer you live, the more at risk you are of developing cervical degeneration. Many don’t experience any noticeable symptoms, however, making this an invisible disease.

You have six discs in your cervical spine and seven cervical bones, called vertebrae, in your neck. Your discs reduce the impact on these vertebrae and allow for fluid movement of your neck. The discs are made up of a gel-like substance surrounded by a thick shell. Discs act as shock absorbers, but tend to lose their fluidity over time as you age.

At the Spine & Rehab Group in New York City and northern New Jersey, Dr. Amr Hosny and the other spine specialists have the experience and expertise to reach a definitive diagnosis and provide the most effective cervical degenerative disc disease treatment in the region.

Who’s More Likely to Get Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease?

The likelihood of your contracting this disease increases as you age. Spine doctors cannot test for a degenerative disc disease cervical spine in a laboratory. But a cervical x-ray can show if there’s moderate to severe disc loss. Combined with a thorough exam and a medical history, the x-ray confirms a diagnosis of cervical degenerative disc disease.

“It’s an age-related problem,” is a phrase you may have heard often as your joints become more and more arthritic over time. Other reasons you may develop degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine include:

  • A genetic predisposition
  • A severe injury resulting in a crack or tear to the annulus, which is the disc’s outer shell
  • A bacterial infection
  • Fungus or a fungal infection
  • Tuberculosis in some cases
  • Cervical osteomyelitis, a rare disease that causes a spinal infection

What Are the Symptoms of Cervical Degeneration?

Since your cervical vertebrae are fragile, extra strain over time may weaken them to the point that the discs no longer serve as a cushion. Unfortunately, the disc cannot repair itself. When this happens, the spinal bones start rubbing against the adjacent bones, which produces pain. These flare-ups can last anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks. Other symptoms include:

  • Less flexibility
  • Increased neck pain while performing activities that force you to turn your head, such as playing certain sports or backing up while driving
  • Muscle spasms
  • Your neck locks up, making it hard to move your head
  • Radiating or traveling pain that produces sharp or tingling sensations in your hands or arms

After your first appointment, your spine doctor may advise you to try several home remedies, especially if your pain isn’t too severe and no other inherent risks are present. These treatments may be effective for treating mild to moderate pain. Home remedies include:

  • Applying a cold compress to reduce inflammation after exercising
  • Taking over-the-counter medications for more manageable pain
  • Applying heat to your neck
  • Resting and refraining from activities that exacerbate the pain

What Are Other Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments?

If you’re experiencing acute pain due to cervical degeneration, the Spine & Rehab Group has well-trained and experienced specialists to provide the best possible cervical degenerative disc disease treatment. Some treatments need to be dispensed by a qualified medical team, such as:

  • Cervical epidural steroid injections, administered into the cervical spine’s outer region, where they provide some pain relief so you can participate in physical therapy
  • Adjustments or passive physical therapy by a certified specialist
  • Physical therapy and exercises, including guided stretching and strength-building exercises
  • Trigger point injections that deliver relief directly to the affected joint

What Are the Objectives of Treatment?

Degenerative disc disease cervical treatment is predominately used for pain management. It attempts to reduce, and in some cases eliminate, periodic flare-ups of your pain. Treatment helps you maintain your lowest baseline levels of pain. Other goals of treatment involve:

  • Increasing the ease of performing activities of daily living
  • Increasing your range of motion
  • Improving stability
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving your quality of life

The earlier you contact the Spine & Rehab Group team, the sooner you can get effective pain relief. Visit them in NYC’s Financial District, Greenwich Village or Midtown Manhattan — or in their Bergen County, Morris County or Union County, New Jersey office locations. Early intervention also reduces your risk of further complications. Contact the Spine & Rehab Group today to get started.

Page Updated on May 11, 2022 by Dr. Hosny (Interventional Spine Specialist) of The Spine & Rehab Group
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