Cervical Disc Herniation Treatment

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You may feel a dull or sharp pain in the neck or between the shoulder blades. Or you may have pain down into the arm, hand or fingers. Or even numbness or tingling in your shoulder or arm. These are all symptoms of a cervical disc herniation in your spine. Don't live with the pain and weakness. You'll want to see a spine expert at UVA Health.

Cervical Disc Herniation Treatment at UVA Health 

At UVA Health, you'll find spine experts who will tailor a treatment plan for you. 

Most of the time, a cervical disc herniation will get better without surgery. We'll first try to relieve your symptoms with nonsurgical treatments.

We will also help you learn about healthy posture and proper body mechanics.


If physical therapy and medications don't help relieve your pain or restore your strength, surgery may be the next step. At UVA Health, our surgeons will choose the best treatment for you. They can perform many neck surgical procedures using minimally invasive techniques.

Benefits of minimally invasive procedures include:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less time in the hospital
  • Faster recovery

An anterior cervical discectomy is the most common surgical procedure done to treat a damaged cervical disc. This procedure is done in 2 parts. Your surgeon:

  • Removes part or the entire disc. This helps relieve nerve root or spinal cord pressure that's the source of your pain or weakness.
  • Stabilizes the spine by fusing or joining 2 or more vertebrae together. Learn more about spinal fusion.

Before Treatment, You May Need Imaging Tests

If you think you have a herniated disc, your doctor may order diagnostic tests, including:

  • X-rays
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan