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Disc Prolapse Treatment

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A close-up image of a spine.

Cervical Disc Prolapse: An Overview

The cervical spine is the part of your spine lying between your cranium and the thoracic vertebrae. It is also identified by a group of small bones comprising that part of the spine supporting your neck.

A Cervical Disc Prolapse occurs when the central gel-like substance of a spinal disc bursts through a vulnerable section in the sturdy outer wall. Just imagine the filling being forced out from a jelly doughnut. This is precisely what happens during a cervical disc prolapse. When the oozing out material compresses a spinal nerve, it results in pain or tingling in the neck or arm.

Cervical disc prolapse is also known as ruptured/ bulging/ slipped/ herniated disc. It is a condition that not only causes pain and discomfort but, in rare cases, can also rip the nerve impulses, resulting in permanent nerve damage. Occasionally, the signs and symptoms of cervical disc prolapse may actually worsen over time instead of improving and resolving spontaneously. The condition can also deteriorate if left untreated or when involved in activities that aggravate it.

Neglecting a developing disk problem may result in long-lasting pain and decreased control or sensation in the affected area. A cervical disc prolapse problem that extends beyond 4-6 weeks requires immediate medical attention.

Spine 360 is one of the top Spine specialist hospitals in Bangalore, offering evidence-based, patient-centric treatments for disc prolapse issues. Our highly skilled doctors and knowledgeable therapists provide the most effective treatments to help you gain sustained relief and prevent further deterioration of the condition.

Cervical Disc Prolapse: Risk Factors

Although disc prolapse can occur at any age, those under 30-50 are more at risk. You are more likely to develop a disc prolapse if you:
Are obese or overweight, or a chain smoker
Remain seated in the same position for an extended period
Lift heavy objects without maintaining the correct posture
Engage in repetitive twisting or bending body movements in work or sports.

Cervical Disc Prolapse: Causes, Symptoms and Warnings


The following are the most common causes:

  • Aging – continuous wear and tear process that occurs at the joints
  • Improper ergonomics – prolonged strain on the cervical disc due to continued usage without any rest – such as prolonged mobile phone or computer usage in poor posture
  • Activities involving repetitive stress - physically demanding professions involving heavy weight lifting, athletes etc.
  • Smoking – accelerates degeneration process within the disc leading to easy damage
  • Sudden violent trauma – whiplash injuries, motor-vehicle accidents
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Hereditary and Genetic factors may also play a role
A doctor points to the disc of the spine model.
The image of a man with low back pain.


Cervical disc prolapse may present variedly depending on the location and extent of herniation:

  • Pain that radiates down your arm and possibly into your hand.
  • Pain on or near your shoulder blade,
  • Continuous or intermittent pain in the neck, especially while turning your head or bending your neck
  • Muscle spasms (meaning the muscles tighten uncontrollably).
  • Sometimes the pain is accompanied by numbness and tingling in your arm.
  • Muscle weakness in your biceps, triceps, and handgrip.
  • Sometimes, pain may have been first noticed pain in the morning after waking up, without any traumatic event that might have caused injury.
  • Some patients find relief by holding their arm in an elevated position behind their head because this position relieves pressure on the nerve.
  • Rarely, weakness of legs may occur, with problems in gait and balance,
  • Bowel and bladder disturbance (urgency, loss on control, straining- eek immediate medical attention)

Diagnosis for Disc Prolapse

At Spine 360, we treat your disc prolapse after an exhaustive discussion about your medical history, prior injuries, existing medical conditions, lifestyle habits, and current symptoms. This evaluation helps us ascertain the cause of pain. To determine the source of the pain, muscle weakness or numbness. Our doctors may recommend the following tests:

Non-Surgical Treatments for Cervical Disc Prolapse

The image illustrates a doctor explaining the skeleton model of the spine to another doctor.

Initial conservative management may be attempted depending on the nature of disc prolapse - most cases will get better within a couple days and completely resolve in 4 to 6 weeks.

  • Self-care - Restricting the activity, ice/heat therapy, cervical collar may help in restricting movement
  • Period of short bed rest - may help in relieving pain and inflammation – prolonged periods may lead to weak muscles and are counter productive
  • Over-the-counter drugs - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, Analgesic (painkiller), muscle relaxants such as Aspirin, Paracetamol, Diclofenac
  • Physiotherapy – Strengthening exercises following percutaneous electrical nerve simulation (PENS) and transcutaneous electrical nerve simulation (TENS) to reduce muscle spasm
  • No role of traction

Spine360: Our Surgical Options for Cervical Disc Prolapse

Indications for surgery include

  • Non-improvement of symptoms after a period of conservative therapy
  • Recurrent episodes of pain
  • Severe spinal cord compression with signal changes
  • Weakness or numbness of arms or legs and/or bowel and bladder disturbance

At Spine 360, surgery is always the last option when you do not find relief from conventional, non-intrusive methods or if the condition worsens. Our surgical options include:

  • Anterior cervical discectomy & fusion (ACDF)
  • Artificial disc replacement
  • Minimally invasive posterior cervical Laminoforaminotomy and discectomy
A doctor points to the disc of the spine model.
A happy doctor with a stethoscope.

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