What is a Herniated Disc in the Neck?

A herniated disc in the neck, known medically as cervical disc herniation, is a condition that can lead to significant discomfort and impairment, affecting daily activities and overall quality of life. Dr. Tim Johans, a neurosurgeon in Boise, frequently encounters patients suffering from this condition, providing conservative and surgical treatment options tailored to their specific needs.

This blog aims to shed light on the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for a herniated disc in the neck, offering valuable insights for those seeking relief.

Dr. Johans is a Diplomat and Fellow of the American Board of Neurological Surgeons, board certified in Pain Management and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. He began his neurosurgical career in 1988 and has been practicing in Boise since 1993. With these credentials, you can trust that Dr. Johans has the specialized knowledge and experience to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.

He is a dedicated family man who is heavily involved in his community, is involved in several hospital boards and committees and takes pride in being a faith-driven person. Dr. Johans has had a 3 level neck fusion and can discuss options from his vast personal experience.

We also work closely with other non-surgeons if necessary so that our patients can access all available resources when making decisions regarding their treatment plans. Additionally, our team is always prompt in responding to inquiries and addressing patients' concerns throughout their recovery process. Reviews on Google and Healthgrades show that many individuals who have sought treatment from Dr. Johans have found success in his treatments while feeling comfortable and supported throughout their experiences at our office.

What Causes a Herniated Disc in the Neck?

Cervical disc herniation primarily results from age- or trauma- related wear and tear and is medically known as disc degeneration. Over time, spinal discs lose their flexibility, making them susceptible to tearing or rupturing with even minor strain or a sudden twist.

Risk factors for herniated discs include engaging in activities that involve repetitive neck motions, maintaining poor posture, or performing heavy lifting - challenges often faced by individuals in construction work or other physically demanding jobs. Additionally, traumatic injuries to the neck, such as falls or sudden impacts, can also lead to disc herniation, highlighting the importance of taking preventive measures to protect the neck from injury.

There is almost nothing you can do to prevent cervical disc herniation. This blog is to help guide you on what to do when you unfortunately have one.

What Is A Herniated Disc?

medical figure of vertebrae and disc

What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc in the Neck?

The symptoms associated with a cervical herniated disc can vary widely, depending on the disc's location and the severity of the herniation. Commonly reported symptoms include neck pain that may be sharp or burning, often extending down the arm, shoulder, or fingers, suggesting nerve involvement.

The most common complaint is pain numbness or tingling in the arm or hand, indicating nerve irritation or compression. In severe cases, patients may experience muscle weakness in the arms or hands, compromising their ability to perform everyday tasks or work-related duties, particularly those in labor-intensive occupations. Weakness means that you have serious, potentially permanent damage and you should see Dr. Johans as soon as possible.

Neck pain is an issue that can have multiple causes, such that surgery may not successfully alleviate. On the other hand, surgery can offer significant, if not total removal of any pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness being felt in the shoulders, arms, or hands. If you feel these sensations in your extremities that last more than six weeks, contact Dr. Johans for an appointment immediately.

doctor pointing to cervical spine

What Type of Doctor Can Treat a Herniated Disc in the Neck?

Treating a herniated disc in the neck will begin with a visit to a primary care physician, who may recommend initial conservative treatments such as rest, physical therapy, or medications to alleviate neck pain and inflammation. If these measures fail to provide adequate relief, or if symptoms persist or worsen to include arm pain, any numbness or weakness, referral to a neurosurgical specialist like Dr. Johans will be necessary.

Dr. Johans, with his expertise in neurosurgery, is well-equipped to handle cases that involve nerve compression or require surgical intervention. It is worth noting that patients can directly seek out Dr. Johans for consultation; while some insurance plans may require a referral from a general practitioner, individuals in pain looking to explore their treatment options are always welcome to contact our office.

What To Look For In A Spine Surgeon

Contact Dr. Johans for Disc Replacement in Boise

If cervical disc replacement is a procedure you're considering, Dr. Johans is here to guide you every step of the way. His commitment is to provide personalized care that aligns with your lifestyle and health objectives.

Reach out directly at (208) 327-5621 or start your journey to recovery by completing our patient questionnaire. Together, we'll explore the best treatment options for you and your lifestyle.

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