Areas of frequent movement in the spine, such as the cervical (neck) and lumbar areas, are prone to disc degeneration later in life. When the process of degeneration due to aging occurs more rapidly or earlier in life than usual, the degeneration is classified as degenerative disc disease. The desiccation or dehydration of the disc can reduce the size and flexibility of the disc, causing pain and nerve pressure. Disc degeneration in the neck is referred to as cervical degenerative disc disease.
Pain caused by degenerative cervical discs is typically most prevalent when the patient is upright and moving the head. Often, reclining and relaxing the neck offers relief from this pain. cervical degenerative disc disease can also be characterized by other symptoms, such as reduced movement, tingling, numbness, or burning in the neck. These sensations may even extend into the patient’s arms and hands. Headaches may also occur as a result of cervical degenerative disc disease.
Diagnostic imaging can be a key tool in the diagnosis of cervical degenerative disc disease. X-ray, MRI, or discography/CT scans can help a doctor diagnose disc degeneration in a patient. Nerve blocks, cervical facet radio frequency neurotoxin or epidurals may be used to help determine pain levels associated with the cervical disc. Once diagnosed, a pain management doctor can develop a treatment plan that suits the patient’s needs. The physicians at Center for Pain Treatment offer treatment for patients suffering from cervical degenerative disc disease.
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