When many people suffer from pinching of cervical nerve, it is a hectic experience and they fail to know how they can do away with this problem. This is what Berlin found herself into.

Berlin is a 24 years old lady living is Mississippi. She had just healed from an accident which saw her hospitalized for three weeks. Though she had no injuries in her spine or neck, this now posed to be a severe aftermath of the whole thing.

It was painful for her. She actually had pain from her lower back neck and the upper back. The pain was a sharp one and seemed to intensify with time.

Amazingly, her doctor had not mentioned about this during all the treatment. It was also evident some numbness and loss of sensation even in the upper arms. It was clear a nerve was pinched in the area but she did not know how to clear this problem.

3 Causes & Treatments of pinched cervical nerve

A cervical pinched nerve is one that is pinched in the cervical region of your body. You have seven cervical vertebrae i.e. C1-C7. In the middle space they house nerves and in between the disks they also house nerves which leave the spine to other body parts. One or more than one of these nerves here is likely to be pinched.

There the three main causes;

1. Bulged disc.

builging disc nerve pain
Bulging disc pressing on a nerve

Bulging of a disc is normal disc structure change. The spine is made up of interlinked vertebral discs which are named differently according to the region they are located and the shape.

In the spine is a hollow structure and it is through this hollow opening that some nerves are housed. However, some of them leave the spine through openings at the end of the discs. Where one disc connects to the immediate one so that it covers the parts of the body outside the spine.

A big cause and contributor of bulging is age. The same way parts of your car wears out, those of your body also tear and wear out due to age and continued use.  Over the years, the intervertebral discs tend to weaken and become misshapen. This will result in a bulge. It will protrude.

Another cause of bulging is trauma. Trauma can be as a result of physical injury on the neck. A car accident for example may lead to complete distortation of the cervical discs. This may lead to bulging.

When bulging happens on your disc, the nerves in this area will be pinched. This will increase the mass of the disc and this in return will trap the nerves that pass through the hollow opening of your spine. Alternatively it can trap the nerve at the nerve root. This will have an effect to even the arms and fingers.

To treat this, take some pain relievers to reduce the pain from bulging and that from pinching of the nerve. Then adapt to an anti inflammatory diet. This is a balanced one which will strengthen your body and fight the problems due to aging. Finally, you will need to perform regular body exercises to any pressure caused on the nerves and ensure proper alignment.

x-ray of a herniated disc in neck
How herniated discs occur along the spinal cord.

2. Herniated disc.

The bones that form the spine are cushioned by discs. They act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep it flexible. Discs are responsible for cushioning it from shock.

They also allow movements and that explains why you are able to move your head front and backwards. That is why you are able to walk normally. Otherwise were it not for the discs in the spine you would remain immobile.

A herniated disc occurs when the discs cushioning the spine breaks open in other words raptures. Discs suffer from tear and wear. However this is as age progresses. The older you are the more problems of tear and wear you will likely experience.

A herniated disc may also result from injuries in the spine or due to aging. Injuries in the spine are likely to be from diversified arenas. It may be that you had a car accident that affected your spine, it broke it or otherwise. It might also be that you had some bone spurs near the spine which may develop and finally lead to herniation of a disc.

When an injury occurs, there will develop tiny cracks on your discs and remember this is in the outer layer of the disc. The inside of the disc is made up of spongy material that is brought into compact by a jellylike material.  This will entrap any nerves present more so at their nerve roots.

So due to injuries, tiny cracks which may grow from being tiny to big cracks depending on the level of the injury develops. The jellylike fluid will be forced out through the cracks. As a result your disc will bulge, rapture or even break into fragments. These cracks may tear or hurt your nerves and the resultant bulging will lead to nerve entrapment.

Treatment will involve first using traction. This will pull your spine and remove any cause of herniation. Then brace the area. This is to immobilize it and hence allow the healing to take place. Finally perform physical exercises regularly to revert back to normal.

cervical disc slipping
Cervical disc slipping from the spinal column position

3. Slipped discs.

A slipped disc is a situation where one of the discs in the cervical vertebrae raptures and the gel inside it leaks out. When it raptures the nerves in your cervical region are trapped by the materials due to rupturing. Your nerve will therefore swell and you will feel a lot of pain.

Your discs consist of a tough outer fibrous layer which houses a gel-like material. Due to some reasons the fibrous outer layer can rapture after cracking and lead to a spill out of the jellylike fluid.

The level a disc has slipped is dependent on degeneration. Slipped disc is therefore common with people of age 40 and above. This is because during your youth you were very much active and hence a higher risk of degeneration of your discs.

The way the degeneration occurs is due to aging factor, the discs lose some of the fluids that help them to maintain flexibility. This fluid acts as a lubricant ground for the vertebrae. It also acts as a shock absorber hindering any shock that may affect the vertebrae. When the fluid dries away, the discs will be exposed to a lot of pressure and as flexibility lowers it is susceptible to more injuries than before.

A slipped disc may also result from injuries in the spine or the particular disc. Injuries in the spine are likely to be from diversified arenas. It may be that you had a car accident that affected your spine, it broke it or otherwise. It might also be that you had some bone spurs near the spine which may develop and finally lead to slipped disc.

Prolonged posture is also a cause of degeneration. People who work as receptionists or those who work in printing firms are exposed to this. They suffer from pinched nerves regularly.

Treatment will involve first using traction. This will pull your spine and remove any cause of slipping. Then brace the area. This is to immobilize it and hence allow the healing to take place. Finally perform physical exercises regularly to revert back to normal.

Other causes like tumor growth in the cervical region, this will press your nerve hence pinching it.