C5-C6 Slip Disc Causes, Symptoms & Recovery Without Surgery

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

C5-C6 Slip disc pain in the neck and shoulderA 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, herniated, protruded, prolapsed, extruded, and fragmented spinal discs.

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, 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 targeted treatment is critical for a non-surgical recovery.

Compression of the cervical nerve roots (nerves that exit the neck) causes 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 pertains to a C5-C6 slipped disc and describes pain, numbness, and tingling that shoots or radiates to other parts such as shoulders, arms, and hands.

Signs, Symptoms & Causes of C5-C6 Slip Dic

C5-C6 Slip disc pain that runs down the armDegeneration is part of life. Our muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, joints, and spinal discs degenerate as we age. However, premature degeneration is more common now than it was a couple of decades ago. Our sedentary lifestyles, poor posture, and daily habits are the leading causes of premature degenerative changes in your joints and spine. Spinal disc degeneration is the leading cause of slip discs. Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) occurs in patients who sit for extended periods and have poor posture.

Disc 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 simultaneously in the neck, upper limbs, or both.

35-45 years old males and females are at a higher risk of cervical radiculopathy. About half of the patients claim that neck pain, 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

Spine illustration for the neck and upper backSlip-disc involving the C5-C6 level is the neck’s second most commonly affected segment. Slipped disc at C5/C6 level can cause impingement of the C6 nerve roots. Imping 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 critical elements of a pro-inflammatory cascade that results from disc degeneration and the local ischemia of the nerve roots.

A 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, accurate, and holistic (comprehensive), your chances for a speedy recovery are 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 use specialized medical devices that can target specific segments needing correction. If you suffer from a C5-C6 slip disc, visit a Chiropractic Specialty Center near you today for lasting relief.

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

Our research source in preparing C5/C6 Slip Disc Article

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