While age may bring wisdom, it can also bring discomfort. A life’s worth of twisting, poor posture, or injury can takes its toll on a person's neck:
This deterioration is referred to as cervical disc degeneration, or cervical degenerative disc disease.
Healthy Cervical Disc
Cervical Disc Degeneration
Degenerative disc disease in the neck (the cervical spine) causes:
A doctor will determine whether you have degenerative disc disease in the neck by:
If degenerative disc disease is present, the images will often show a narrowing of the spaces between your vertebrae, which indicates that one or more discs have thinned or collapsed. The x-rays may also show bone spurs. Sometimes disc deterioration and bone spurs can compress nerve roots.
Pain and discomfort may be a natural part of ageing or may result from injury, regardless, something can be done about it. The treatment for cervical disc degeneration depends on the extent of the deterioration.
Nonsurgical treatments. If there is no evidence of nerve root compression with muscle weakness, a doctor may recommend:
Surgical treatments. If rest, medication, and physical therapy don’t help or if tests show nerve root or spinal cord compression, a doctor may advise surgery to lessen pain, weakness, and tingling:
The best treatment depends on the unique situation. Always discuss treatment options with a healthcare professional.