A disc herniation is a condition in which the inner part of the disc, called the nucleus, escapes through a ruptured outer covering of the disc called the annulus. This can result in compression of the nearby nerve or spinal cord.
Typical symptoms of a disc herniation include neck pain and arm pain. Cervical disc herniations usually develop in individuals between 30 and 50 years of age. Although a cervical disc herniation may originate from some sort of trauma (like a care accident) or injury to the cervical spine, the symptoms usually start spontaneously.
The arm pain from a cervical disc herniation is a result of direct nerve compression of the nerve by disc material combined with an inflammatory response your body creates to the herniation. The arm pain is usually associated with neck pain, numbness, and tingling which can be present in the shoulder, the arm, and all the way into the fingertips. Muscle weakness may also be one of the symptoms associated with a herniated disc. This can be a result of a block in conduction that occurs with nerve compression.
The great majority of patients with cervical disc herniations improve with time and conservative mangement. If you do not improve surgical consultation is warranted.