Herniated Disc in Neck Causes

Stress injuries such as whiplash from car accidents, or over-vigorous exercise and contact sport injuries can cause bulging or herniated disc in neck conditions. Herniated disc conditions may also appear in the lumbar and thoracic spine regions. Although unlikely, it is possible that chiropractic manipulation or other physical therapy could be a contribute to the cause of a herniated disk in the neck. In most cases the disk may be bulging or already compromised, making it highly important that any physical therapist working on a patient with back and neck pain be fully apprised of their situation and health prior to commencing treatment.

Herniated Disc Causes
This image depicts a bulging disc as it worsens to become a herniated disc

Conditions that Contribute to the Cause

Arthritis and degenerative spine conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis, and spinal stenosis, may also contribute to long-term problems. Herniation is usually a result of acute stress on the spine, although it can be due to longer term damage and a bulging disc that suddenly reaches breaking point and herniates. Healthy disc cartilage is spongy and malleable, unlike unhealthy discs which become dry and brittle, breaking and herniating easily upon acute stress. A herniated disc is often referred to as a ‘slipped’ disc, although no actual slipping has occurred.

Other Causes

Consistently poor posture, bad footwear and awkward sleeping habits can all contribute to stress and degeneration of the spine and associated connective tissue. Devices for neck pain and back pain relief often help improve posture and may prevent further complications from herniated discs or bulging discs. As discs become flattened, brittle, and stressed the circulation and delivery of nutrients to the tissue becomes restricted, further exacerbating the spine condition. Supplementation of those nutrients which support connective tissue health, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM, may be advisable in an attempt to inhibit this degeneration.

Last Updated: 02/05/2011