What is Neck Hernia?

Neck hernia or as we doctors express it, cervical disc herniation is a disease characterized by neck pain. Dear patients, today I will give you detailed information about the most curious subjects about neck hernia. First of all, I would like to say that the perception that the neck hernia problem, which has become widespread among the people, can only be solved by surgery is quite wrong and that people with this problem should not act in a hurry for surgical intervention.

Neck hernia is a disorder that occurs as a result of the wear and tear of the discs, which facilitate the movement between the 7 vertebrae in the neck region, which provide movement, due to various reasons. Although neck hernia usually occurs as a result of a trauma, accident or injury, neck hernia symptoms start spontaneously.

Beware: Neck pain that lasts more than 4 weeks can be a sign of neck hernia. For this reason, I recommend that you consult a specialist for long-lasting pain.

How Does Neck Hernia Occur?

When we look at the basic structure of the spine, we see the spinal nerves and the vertebrae surrounding these nerves, which also ensure the upright posture of our body. Our spine consists of 24 moving bones, which we call vertebrae. There are 7 vertebrae and 6 discs between these vertebrae in the neck part of our spine, which I can describe as the cervical spine in its medical name. Thanks to the gel structure they have, the discs prevent the vertebrae from damaging each other during movement. However, in some cases, the disc comes out and puts pressure on the nerves. Dear patients, we describe the condition of the discs pressing on the spinal cord and nerves as disc herniation, and we call the problem caused by herniated discs in the neck region as neck hernia.

What Causes Neck Hernia?

There must be some special conditions for disc herniation to occur, which causes neck hernia. Dear patients, before giving detailed information about neck hernia symptoms and neck hernia treatment, I would like to explain why this problem arose.

When we look at the causes of neck hernia, we will see that we can reduce the risk when we do our best for a healthy life. Regular exercise and a life without smoking are very important in terms of reducing the risk of neck hernia.

  • Trauma: Trauma can commonly cause neck hernia. Depending on the sensitivity of the area, neck hernia may occur due to trauma as a result of any accident or injury.

  • Don’t act wrong:Sudden and adverse movements can cause neck hernia.

  • Age: Our body loses its youth with the effects of time. This time-related condition also affects the discs between the vertebrae. With the loss of the soft, gel-like structure of the discs, the possibility of hernia increases.

  • Genetic elements:The risk of neck hernia is higher in people with a slender and thin neck region, and those with a height above or below the average.

  • Smoking:The risk of neck hernia is much higher in people who start smoking at a young age or who smoke for a long time compared to people who have never smoked.

  • Repetitive professional movements:Working at the computer all day, looking at the same spot for a long time and sitting in the wrong position are among the reasons that increase the risk of neck hernia.

As in every disease, we can talk about risk groups in neck hernia. Considering the causes of neck hernia I mentioned above, if I need to talk about the risk groups;

  • Having a history of accident or trauma

  • Constantly standing in the wrong position

  • stress and fatigue

  • Massage by non-professionals

  • Having weak neck muscles, complaining of neck pain frequently,

  • Having individuals diagnosed with neck hernia due to genetic factors in the family,

  • Dealing with neck muscles such as knitting, sewing and embroidery may cause you to be in the risk group for neck hernia.

Pay Attention: Dear patients, if you think that you are in the risk groups for neck hernia and you have neck pain complaints, you should get an expert opinion without wasting time.

 

What are the Symptoms of Neck Hernia?

When we talk about neck hernia, the most common symptom associated with this disease is neck pain. However, it should not be thought that every neck pain indicates neck hernia.

Dear patients, if you have one or more of the symptoms that I will mention below and these symptoms have lasted longer than 4 weeks, you should be examined to find out the cause of the symptoms.

  • Neck pain: The first symptom of neck hernia is neck pain, but this pain should be long-term. If you have neck pain that lasts for a few days, you should not panic right away. At this point my recommendations for the treatment of neck pain caused by mechanical causes (link to neck pain article)You can examine and observe the process.

  • Pain and Numbness in the Arms:Since there is pressure on the nerves in the formation of neck hernia, pain spreading to the arm and numbness in the arms may indicate neck hernia.

  • Tingling in Fingers:A tingling sensation in the fingers along with arm pain is also considered a symptom of neck hernia.

  • Muscle Spasm:This situation, which I can define as the uncontrolled stretching of the arm muscles, may be a sign of neck hernia.

  • Loss of Strength and Thinning in the Arms: Loss of strength and slowing of reflexes accompanying neck and arm pain are among the symptoms of neck hernia. In addition, people with neck hernia involuntarily refrain from using their arms and thinning occurs in the arm.

Dear readers, the symptoms I mentioned above are among the symptoms that occur commonly in people with neck hernia. However, in some advanced cases and depending on the form of the hernia, symptoms such as urinary and fecal incontinence and numbness in the legs, which are characterized by hernia, may also be seen.

 

How to cure neck hernia?

When we talk about neck hernia in our society, the first treatment method that comes to mind is surgery, but this is quite wrong information. The rate of surgical treatment in neck hernia is very low. Especially in people with early diagnosis, hernia can be kept under control with preventive treatments and its progression can be prevented by closely monitoring.

Rest and Exercise: Many patients with neck hernia can continue their lives without the need for any treatment. At this point, the important thing is to eliminate or regulate the factors that cause hernia. Sleeping in the correct sleeping position, correcting the posture, arranging the work area if there is an occupational neck hernia problem, doing exercises to strengthen the neck muscles and resting for a short time when severe pain due to neck hernia stops the progression of the hernia and prevents the problem from growing.

Beware: Many patients diagnosed with neck hernia try not to use their neck muscles involuntarily so that the problem does not progress, and by keeping the area stable with supportive medical equipment, they allow the pain to pass. Never forget that this is a completely wrong approach in terms of neck hernia. The weakening of the muscles in the area causes the problem to grow. It is very important to move properly and exercise regularly.

Drug Treatment: Drug treatment for neck hernia is preferred to keep the pain under control and to increase the quality of life of the person. Pain can be kept under control with mild pain relievers and muscle relaxants. However, I definitely do not recommend the constant use of painkillers. Since this is not a therapeutic but a suppressive method, different methods should be preferred to keep the hernia under control.

Physical Therapy: It is very important for neck hernia treatment to perform the neck movements correctly, to transfer the exercises that will strengthen the muscles in the region to the patient and to have them done regularly.

Injection: Injection treatments, which are widely used today for neck hernia, are a method preferred to reduce inflammation in the region and provide pain control.

Surgery: Surgery should always be the last option in the treatment of neck hernia. When we look at the rate of surgery in people with this problem, we see that the numbers are quite low. In order for surgery to be considered in the treatment of neck hernia, the methods mentioned above should not provide relief to the person in any way, as well as a serious decrease in the quality of life due to the hernia, the person’s difficulty in moving and the loss of strength should have progressed.

 

What Is Good For Neck Hernia?

Dear patients, neck hernia is an important disease that must be examined by a specialist. Unconscious massages, pulling movements or herbal treatments can cause the problem to progress much more, and even cause irreversible damage. For this reason, I would like to underline once again that people with neck hernia problems should not try any method that is not recommended by experts.

Hot or cold compress: As with many pains, compress applications are very effective in pain related to neck hernia. However, if there is inflammation in the area with neck hernia, hot compresses should not be applied. Cold compresses should be preferred in cases of inflammation. In such applications, the area should be rested regularly to prevent damage to the skin. Relief can be achieved with 15-minute compresses applied at 2-3 hour intervals.

Exercise: Except for the exercises recommended and taught by physical therapists, no exercise should be done with hearsay information. However, with the exercises recommended by experts, it is possible to strengthen the muscles in the neck region and reduce the pressure of the hernia on the nerve.

Special Pillows: Memory foam pillows or water pillows can be preferred by people with hernia problems as they will help the neck area to be comfortable.

Beware: Neck hernia can occur due to stress. At this point, you can get support from various aromatic oils or incense to be more calm and peaceful in your daily life. However, keep in mind that the priority of such applications is to reduce stress and tension, not directly related to the treatment of neck hernia.

Dear patients, in this article, I gave you detailed information about neck hernia and talked about common treatment methods. Please keep in mind that with the correct diagnosis and treatment planning, you do not need surgery for neck hernia. Do not delay your exercises and do not delay the changes that will increase your life comfort.

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