The cervical spine, also called the cervical spine, is a bone structure that refers to the uppermost part of the spine made up of 7 vertebrae. It plays a role in maintaining and supporting the body’s balance through muscles and ligaments from the skull to the spine. And the function of protecting the spinal cord, which is a part of the central nervous system, while enabling the movement of the spine can also be said to be the role of the cervical spine. Neck disc is a disease that occurs when the inner nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral disc, which is located between the cervical and cervical vertebrae, which acts as a shock absorber, comes out and compresses the nerve shoulder. It is known that the water content of the nucleus pulposus, a component of the intervertebral disc, is reduced and elasticity is lost, causing cracks in the intervertebral disc wall. The official diagnosis is cervical disc herniation, but it is commonly called a cervical disc.
The main cause of neck discs is when a shock is applied to the neck or accumulated due to the habit of sitting in the wrong posture for a long time and trauma. It is known to be caused by several factors, such as sitting for a long time in an improper posture, the habit of protruding the head and neck while sitting for a long time, and damage to the neck bones and joints due to trauma or impact. In addition, if you use a pillow that does not fit your body type or high, if you have flat feet or keep wearing shoes that do not fit your feet, or if you lift a heavy object to one side, it is said that the body is out of balance. In addition, it is said that the C-shaped curve of the cervical vertebrae is deformed to a straight shape due to excessive use of smartphones and computers, which causes the muscles around the cervical spine to become stiff and slouched.
Due to degenerative changes due to aging and incorrect posture, the incidence of cervical disc was high in the middle-aged and older age groups and occupational groups working with a fixed posture. However, in recent years, due to the increase in the use of smartphones and computers, it is occurring a lot in young people regardless of aging and occupational groups, and it is reported that the number is increasing every year. In addition, as the body temperature is lower, blood vessels constrict to maintain proper body temperature, and the muscles and ligaments around the spine are stiff. Now, let’s learn more about the various symptoms that appear when a herniated disc occurs, as well as various information about treatment and prevention.
Main symptoms of herniated disc
The main symptom that occurs when neck disc symptoms occur is that the nerve root is stimulated and pain occurs in the back neck and upper shoulder. And depending on the location of the compressed nerve, pain appears in various areas such as arms, shoulders, palms, and fingers. In addition, there may be a numb feeling as if electricity is coming and sensory abnormalities such as loss of strength in the legs may occur, the ability to grip objects may decrease, and paralysis symptoms may occur that make it difficult to lift the arm.
If such symptoms of neck disc are not treated properly, the symptoms related to pain and paresthesia, which will be mentioned above, become more severe. , tinnitus and other symptoms may occur. And paralysis of the central nervous system due to worsening of a herniated disc can lead to paralysis of the lower body and the whole body, including shortness of breath. Therefore, it can be said that it is important to receive early diagnosis and treatment without delaying treatment when symptoms suspected of occurrence appear.
Neck disc treatment and prevention
1. Accurate diagnosis and treatment
In order to diagnose a cervical disc, clinical symptoms are performed to check the pain level, muscle strength, and sensation in the arms and hands, and at the same time, various tests such as simple radiography, electromyography, MRI, and CT are performed to determine the structure of cervical vertebrae and disc The condition of the patient, the degree of compression of the spinal cord and nerves, etc. will be precisely checked. And according to the diagnosis result, it is divided into conservative treatment and surgical treatment to reduce pain and improve body functions. Conservative treatment consists of several treatments such as drug treatment, physical therapy, injection therapy, and exercise therapy. has been known. However, even with these conservative treatments, if pain occurs enough to interfere with normal daily life, an incision in the neck to remove the disc and bone fusion surgery, or surgery to insert an artificial disc, or an endoscope to remove the nucleus pulposus There are several treatment options, including surgery to remove it.
2. Correcting bad posture that makes symptoms worse
In order to prevent and manage a herniated disc, it is most important to maintain a correct posture without being fixed and bent for a long time. In particular, sitting for a long time due to work or work causes spasms of the muscles around the neck and applies a strong load to the disc, which is the main factor in the occurrence and worsening of symptoms of a disc in the neck. It is important to improve the working environment. When sitting in a chair, it is a good idea to put your hips deep into the chair and lean back so that your buttocks touch the backrest, starting with your shoulders. And if you work for a long time, it is recommended to stretch the back of the neck and shoulder muscles gently by stretching once an hour.
3. Regular aerobic exercise
In the prevention and management of neck disc, it is also important to continue regular aerobic exercise. In particular, walking has the advantage of not only moving the whole body evenly, but also balancing the spine, so it is said to be very helpful in preventing neck disc and alleviating symptoms. However, exercise that increases abdominal pressure is known to cause disc rupture by increasing internal pressure of the disc, so caution is advised.
4. Correct your smartphone posture
Excessive bending of the shoulder or bowing the head to look at a smartphone causes weakness of the muscles that support the neck, which is a factor that greatly affects the occurrence of cervical disc. Therefore, when viewing a smartphone, it is recommended to use it at an appropriate eye level, and it is recommended to move the body little by little to relieve the burden of the weight of the head supported by the neck. In addition, it is recommended not to use a smartphone as well as reading a book or newspaper while lying face down and using a high pillow can cause strain on the neck and shoulders.
In addition, when the weather gets cold, the body shrinks unknowingly. If this state of withdrawal continues, it causes contraction of the muscles and ligaments around the neck, which affects the occurrence of a neck disc. Therefore, in order to prevent neck disc in winter, it is very important to pay special attention to keeping warm when going out to maintain an appropriate body temperature.