C5-C6 Slip-Disc: What is it and How to Treat it Without Surgery?

What is a C5-C6 Slip Disc? Can it Be treated Non-Surgical?

C5-C6 Slip discA C5-C6 slip disc is a common disorder affecting millions of neck sufferers. The best means of addressing a C5-C6 Slip Disc is through targeted non-surgical treatments. The most commonly encountered herniated disc in the neck is a c5-C5 slip disc. A slip-disc is a layperson’s term for bulging disc, herniated disc, protruded disc, prolapsed disc, extruded disc and fragmented spinal disc.

A C5-C6 slip disc can become an excruciatingly painful condition. Those diagnosed with a herniated disc cervical disc (slip disc in the neck), often complain of neck pain as well as upper back pain. Shoulder pain and arm pain, wrist pain, and even hand pain are common. Furthermore, numbness, tingling, and weakness in shoulders, arms hands and fingers are prevalent in most cases of a C5-C6 Slip Disc. Especially in patients who have neglected their condition, allowing it to progress. Therefore, accurate diagnosis followed by precisely targeted treatment is critical for a non-surgical recovery.

Compression of the cervical nerve roots (nerves that exit the neck) cause cervical radiculopathy in patients with a C5-C6 slip disc. Simply put, radiculopathy is nerve pain, resulting from nerve compression and nerve irritation. The term radiculopathy as it pertains to a C5-C6 slipped disc is descriptive of pain, numbness, and tingling that shoots or radiates to other parts such as shoulders, arms, and hands.

Signs and Symptoms of C5-C6 Slip Dic (Slipped Disc at C5/C6)

C5-C6 Slip discDisc herniation, slip disc or bony osteophytes in the spinal vertebrae can cause compression and impingement of the cervical nerve root. The signs and symptoms of cervical radiculopathy include pain.  Sensory deficits (numbness, tingling sensation, burning sensation), motor deficits or weakness, diminished reflexes or any combination of the above are also common. These symptoms can present in the neck, upper limbs, or both at the same time.

35-45 years old males and females are at a higher risk of getting cervical radiculopathy. About half of the patients claim that the neck pain or numbness and tingling sensations occur while sitting, walking or standing. The pain and sensory disturbances may become severe to the point where it wakes a suffer from sleep. Most, complain of increased pain, numbness and tingling when waking up from sleep. Those exposed to heavy lifting over a prolonged period, frequent diving from a board, driving equipment that vibrates and golfing with incorrect posture are at a higher risk.

Cause of Nerve Pain in a C5-C6 Slip Disc

C5-C6 Slip discSlip-disc involving the C5-C6 level is the second most commonly affected segment in the neck. Slipped disc at C5/C6 level can cause impingement of the C6 nerve roots. Impingement of the nerve roots over a prolonged period can lead to nerve damage due to mechanical compression and chemical irritation. Local ischemia or reduced blood supply and loss of nutrients to the nerve roots due to mechanical compression of disc materials is the culprit in nerve damage. Also, this mechanical compression of the nerve roots from protruding spinal disc (slipped disc or slip disc) can trigger a chemical cascade that further irritates the nerve. Tumour necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin factor-6, and matrix metalloproteinases are the key elements of a pro-inflammatory cascade that results from disc degeneration and the local ischemia of the nerve roots.

Prolonged pinched nerve (C5-C6 slip disc) arising from nerve compression is the leading cause of weakness and atrophy of shoulder, arm, and hand muscles. In other words, if you neglect or ignore the initial warning symptoms (neck pain), the strength and size of your shoulder, arm, and hand muscles may decrease or degenerate (atrophy).

What are your treatment options for a C5-C6 Slip Disc?

As with any condition, the best means of recovery are those that dose does not involve invasive procedures (injection or surgery). But, the most crucial aspect of recovery depends on the type of care you get. In other words, if the care rendered is targeted, diagnosis accurate and holistic (comprehensive), then your chances for a speedy recovery is good. In our center, we treat a C5-C6 slip disc through the combined clinical efforts of an expert team of chiropractors and physiotherapists. Additionally, our integrative non-surgical methods, we use specialized medical devices that can target specific segments in need of correction. If you suffer from a C5-C6 slip disc, visit a Chiropractic Specialty Center near you today.

  1. Iyer S, Kim HJ. Cervical radiculopathy. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. 2016;9(3):272-280. doi:10.1007/s12178-016-9349-4.

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