Neck Disc Injury

Intervertebral Disc Injury

• Once you have a tear in the disc, positions of losing the lumbar lordosis (eg. gardening, cooking or sustained slouched sitting/driving) cause the neck to protrude forward, which then allows the nucleus to move down the internal tear in the disc. Looking down as in reading, writing or using your phone or ipad is another common movement that causes the nucleus to displace down the tear, again deforming the shape of the disc to create disc bulging.

• This deforms the shape of the disc and the disc bulges (disc protrusion), causing stiffness of neck movement and pain into the neck/shoulder blade region.
If the disc bulges far enough to compress the nerve behind it symptoms in the arm such as aching, burning, sharp pain, pins and needles, numbness or weakness can be felt.
• In about 30-40% of cervical disc problems, the disc bulges backwards but also significantly more to one side.

This sideways component must be addressed with a specific LATERAL BIASED McKenzie exercises

• A lateral disc bulge can contribute asymmetrical symtoms in the neck or shoulder blade/shoulder region. 
• These lateral (more one sided) disc bulges often result in asymmetrical symptoms (eg. Pain going down one arm, or neck pain that is only on one side)

 

Neck disc problems can cause pain in the shoulder/elbow or wrist, and may present WITHOUT NECK PAIN hiding the clue that the neck is the source of the problem 

  • Neck disc problems can cause the nerves behind the disc to become entrapped, when can present as shoulder pain (with limited shoulder movement mimicking a shoulder problem), elbow pain (mimicking tennis elbow), wrist/forearm pain (mimicking carpal tunnel) WITH OR WITHOUT NECK PAIN BEING PRESENT!! 

iStock_000004834717Small3