C6-C7 Slip Disc: What is it & How to Treat it Without Surgery?
Diagnosis & Treatment Options for a C6-C7 Slip Disc
A C6-C7 slip disc is the second most common site for a slipped disc(slip disc) in the neck. Depending on the severity, it can cause severe and debilitating neck pain and even paralysis. Therefore, patients suspected of a cervical slipped disc, especially at c5-C6 or C6-C7, should get treatment early to avoid complications.
The C6-C7 slip disc affects the C7 nerve roots. The C7 nerve root can be invaded by disc material or bony osteophytes from degenerative changes. Signs and symptoms of C7 nerve root impingement may include neck pain, upper back pain, pain and paresthesia in the middle finger, and weakness in the triceps and wrist flexors. There may be a diminished or absence of deep tendon reflex at the triceps.
There are C6-C7 slip disc cases in which a patient may not have any pain, and the only noticeable symptom is numbness in the fingertips. Also, some patients complain of weakness in the shoulder or arm strength. Therefore, cervical radiculopathy should not be excluded from the diagnosis even though there is no pain in the neck or arm. Sensory deficits and muscle weakness are possible nerve damage. And as such, a thorough assessment of the neck and spinal discs, muscles, and ligaments is essential to identify the root cause.
A slipped disc in any spinal segment is dangerous, but a slipped disc at C6-C7 or the C5-C6 will impact daily activities at a greater level. Therefore, it is essential to understand the root cause of slip disc. The most common cause of a slipped disc (slip disc) is the degenerative changes within a spinal disc. These degenerative changes are the leading reasons why one gets a slipped disc.
Degenerative Changes at C6-C7 are the Leading Cause of a Slip Disc at C6-C7
Degenerative changes in the cervical spine can further increase nerve root impingement. Early degenerative changes can occur when there is preceding or repetitive minor trauma to the spine over a prolonged period. Any physical trauma or accident that impacts the head or neck can cause early degenerative changes in the cervical spine. Repetitive minor trauma such as poor posture during prolonged desk work, occupational hazards that require the person to maintain a flexed head and neck posture, or incorrect posture during certain physical activities are the leading cause of micro-traumatic events.
The degenerative process of the cervical spine or cervical spondylosis can lead to a decreased disc height and further compromise the neural foramina, where the nerve roots exit the spinal canal. Additional stress will be exerted on the facet joints of the spine and the vertebral body due to reduced disc height throughout the neck.
What are the most Susceptible Spinal Discs in the Neck?
The C5-C6 and the C6-C7 are the most susceptible to degenerative changes as these are the most weight-bearing spinal segments in the neck. Degenerative changes in a spinal disc are the leading cause of a slipped disc. And when it comes to a C6-C7 spinal disc, these changes can result in tears and eventual slippage of the C6-C7 or the C5-C6 spinal discs.
The most common cause of degenerative changes in the C5-C6 or the C6-C7 spinal segments is improper weight-bearing activities. Prolonged or increased load on the facet joints at the C5-C6 or the C6-C7 components of the neck will result in bony hypertrophy or arthritis. This will cause neural foraminal narrowing and increase the chance of cervical radiculopathy. Therefore, combining marginal osteophytes from the vertebral body, facet joint hypertrophy, and a C6/C7 slip disc can cause substantial irritation and damage to the exiting C7 nerve roots. Therefore, accurate diagnosis and proper treatments are essential to a non-surgical recovery.
What is the Best Treatment for a C6-C7 Slip Disc?
The best treatment for a c6_c7 slipped disc in the neck is NSD Therapy®. NSD Therapy® concentrates on rehydrating the disc, repairing the damaged tissues, and keeping your neck bones in good alignments. This is a conservative method of spine care provided by a collaborative team of chiropractors and physiotherapists through specialized methodologies and breakthrough spine technology.
The C5-C6 and C6-C7 slip disc can be effectively treated through non-surgical means. In fact, in our centers, we have significantly improved the pain and joint stability of patients that suffered from a C6-C7 slip disc. Our methods of care are through the best integrative means of chiropractic and physiotherapy.
Best of all, the procedures you get in our centers are backed by specialized medical devices that treat a slipped disc in a manner that was not possible a few years ago. So, f you suffer from a slipped disc at C6-C7 or any other spinal segment, visit us. Our methods and systems of care are better. Let our clinical teams help your recovery from a C6-C7 slip disc without injection or surgery today!
Hammer C, Heller J, Kepler C. Epidemiology and pathophysiology of cervical disc herniation. Seminars in Spine Surgery. 2016;28(2):64-67. DOI: 10.1053/j.semss.2015.11.009