Cervical disc degeneration is a natural process of aging.

It develops when one or more of the cushioning discs in the cervical spine (neck) begin to break down due to wear and tear. Studies have found that about 75% of people under age 50 and more than 90% of people over age 50 have disc degeneration.

Cervical disc degeneration is a common cause of neck pain, which may develop slowly over time or appear suddenly and radiate to the arms and hands. The pain may occur most often when sitting or standing upright and moving the head, and it may be relieved by reclining or lying down.

Some people also experience headaches, or numbness or tingling in the back of the head, neck, arms and hands.

Lancaster Orthopedic Group’s cervical spine specialists can diagnose cervical disc degeneration by performing a physical examination, reviewing your symptoms and medical history, and evaluating X-rays, MRIs and/or CT scans.

In many patients, cervical disc degeneration is treated conservatively with rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, stretching exercises, physical therapy, and cervical epidural steroid injections or cervical facet injections. Depending on the extent of your condition, surgery may be recommended when conservative treatments have provided little or no improvement of your symptoms.