95% of hernias in the spine are seen in the waist, 3-4% in the neck, and 1% in the back.
There is no disc between the first two of the 7 vertebrae in the neck. Some discs distribute the load between the other vertebrae and provide movement. The intervertebral discs consist of a jelly-like core and hard elastic fibers around them. Over time, the discs wear out and their walls become unstable due to aging, keeping the height fixed for a long time, strain, smoking, wrong posture, and lying positions. A neck hernia occurs when the wall of the worn disc is torn and the pulp-like core enters these tears and protrudes outward. Neck herniation is most common in the lower levels where movement and loading are greater, namely in the discs between C5-C6 and C6-C7.
The patient mostly complains of sudden onset neck and arm pain. There may be numbness and tingling along with the pain. Pain is exacerbated by neck movements, coughing, and sneezing.
In neck MRI, the level, direction, size and pressure structures of the hernia can be seen. Sometimes, the degree of damage and damage to the nerves going to the arm is checked with EMG.
Neck hernia treatment begins with a corset, local injection, medication, and exercise. Physical therapy is applied to patients whose complaints do not go away. In our center, in addition to physical therapy, additional applications such as ozone, PRP, acupuncture, cupping, dry needling, and neural therapy are applied to neck hernia, and the recovery is accelerated. The majority of patients recover with these non-surgical treatment methods. Surgical intervention is required if the symptoms persist despite treatment, and in case of advanced root compression and spinal cord damage.
In order to prevent neck hernia, one should lie on his back or side, the pillow should fill the neck cavity, one should stand upright while sitting, the screen should be at eye level, the neck should not stay in a fixed position for more than 15 minutes while working, and regular exercise should be done.