A cervical disc herniation can be a cause of pain that radiates down the arm, sometimes accompanied by numbness and tingling down into the fingertips, and sometimes muscle weakness as well. It usually develops in men and women between 30 and 50 years old. This is one of the most common cervical spine conditions treated by spine specialists. The herniated disc may occur from an injury or trauma to the spine, but it most commonly is a spontaneous development.
The arm pain occurs as a result of a disc in the cervical spine (the neck) pinching or pressing on a nerve, which causes pain to radiate down that nerve. Most cervical disc herniations extrude out to the side of the spinal canal and pinch the exiting nerve root at the next lower level of the spine.
This list covers some of the typical symptoms, but others may also occur. It is possible to have a cervical disc herniation with symptoms completely different from these. Discs in the cervical spine are usually not very large. However, even a small disc herniation can pinch the nerve and cause pain. The pain is usually greatest when the nerve is first pinched.
Since the symptoms vary widely, often, the best way to correctly diagnose a cervical disc herniation is with a diagnostic imaging test at a pain clinic such as the following: