A cervical disc is a shock-absorbing, soft pad that lies between vertebrae in the cervical spine (the neck). The cervical spine is comprised of six total cervical discs.
With the natural wear and tear that accompanies aging, a cervical disc may begin to degenerate, with some patients not even experiencing any symptoms. However, in other cases of cervical degenerative disc disease, the cervical disc may become a source of different types of pain, including neck stiffness and/or numbness, tingling and weakness in not only the neck but possibly the arms and shoulders.
While non-surgical care like NSAIDs, exercise, physical therapy, and chiropractic may effectively treat symptoms of a degenerated cervical disc, neck surgery may merit consideration if the pain does not respond over time to such nonoperative treatments.