What is cervical degenerative disc disease?

Cervical degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a common cause of neck pain and radiating arm pain. It develops when one or more of the discs in the cervical spine start to break down due to wear and tear.

What are some conditions associated with cervical DDD?

  • Herniated Cervical Disc
  • Cervical Osteoarthritis
  • Cervical Spinal Stenosis

What are the common symptoms of cervical DDD?

  • Neck pain. The low-grade pain of a stiff neck is the most common symptom. However, sometimes the pain could also flare up and become severe, lasting a few hours or days.
  • Nerve pain. This type of pain tends to be sharp and can radiate down the shoulder into the arm, hand, and/or fingers. Typically, nerve pain would only be felt on one side of the body.
  • Neurological symptoms. Pins-and-needles tingling, numbness, and/or weakness can radiate down the shoulder into the arm, hand, and/or fingers. These symptoms can interfere with activities such as typing, getting dressed, or holding objects.
  • Pain gets worse with movement. In general, pain caused by cervical DDD itself tends to be aggravated by movement and alleviated by rest.

How is cervical DDD treated?

Nonsurgical Treatments

A doctor will typically recommend one or a combination of the following options:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Ice or Heat Therapy
  • Cervical Injections
  • Medication
  • Manual Manipulation

Surgical Treatments

Surgery may be indicated when neurological symptoms are present or chronic pain is severe.

  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
  • Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement