Cervical Herniated Disc


Vertebral discs are rubbery pads that sit between the vertebrae. Northshore spine surgeon, Dr. K. Samer Shamieh, tells us to think of a disc like a jelly doughnut. A disc serves as a shock absorber for the spine. When a vertebral disc ruptures, its soft center can press against the spinal cord and nerve roots, causing pain. A herniated disc can happen in any portion of the spine, but are most common in the cervical spine and the lumbar spine.


The cervical spine is the second most common location for a herniation. A herniated cervical disc may be caused by the wear and tear of the disc due to aging, sudden movements or trauma. Congenital spinal issues may also cause a cervical disc herniation.

Pain, weakness or numbness may go away on its own after weeks or months. However, this may be the initial injury that leads to degenerative disc disease.


  • Pain when turning the head or bending the neck
  • Pain on one side of the body
  • Pain that radiates down the arm or hand
  • Burning, tingling or numbness in the shoulder, arm or hand
  • Muscle weakness
  • Changes in grip strength
  • Neck pain and numbness that radiates into either arm.
  • Numbness along the shoulder, elbow, forearm and fingers


Northshore surgeons, Dr. K. Samer Shamieh, Dr. Justin L. Owen and Dr. Jeremy James are conservative, minimally-invasive spine surgeons. At DISC of Louisiana we will work with you to treat a vertebral compression fracture non-surgically first. Treatment normally starts with rest and pain medications, followed by physical therapy, and then nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics and muscle relaxers. Exercise and proper diet are important for managing the pain, especially among overweight patients. Steroid injections administered to the back of the herniated disc can decrease pain and swelling for several months.

If nothing else works, a minimally invasive surgery may be best for you.



Cervical Herniated Disc


DISC of Louisiana offers spinal procedures using minimally invasive techniques. It means smaller incisions, sometimes less than an inch, that is often covered with a band-aid. The minimally invasive spine surgeon inserts special surgical instruments through the tiny incisions to access the damaged disc. Unlike traditional “open” spine surgery, entry and repair to the damaged disc or vertebrae is achieved without harming nearby muscles and tissues. Less muscle and tissue damage results in less pain and a faster recovery. Click here to learn more.

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