Neck and Arm Pain

The Healthy Human Spine - Neck

The healthy human spine (or backbone) is a marvelous structure, comprised of 33 vertebral bones, the spinal cord, nerves, and intervertebral discs which help provide shock absorption and flexibility. Divided into five sections (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx), the spine supports your upper body, protects your spinal cord, and enables you to move and bend in many directions. Taking care of your spine is critical to having a healthy life, so it’s important to stay active, stretch, watch your weight, practice good posture, stay hydrated and get enough sleep.

Your neck – or cervical spine – is a critical part of your anatomy. It supports your skull and enables you the flexibility to smoothly move your head in multiple directions (backward and forward, up and down, side to side, and rotate right and left). The seven cervical vertebrae and shock-absorbing cervical discs provide a protective pathway for your spinal cord and nerves that carry signals to and from the brain, shoulders, arms, chest and legs.

Neck and Arm Pain

So why do millions of people suffer from neck and arm pain? There are numerous reasons. A serious accident or an injury to the cervical spine can result in degenerative changes to the neck. On the other hand, normal wear and tear and age can also result in pain, tingling, weakness and numbness of the neck, shoulders, arms and hands. Neck and arm pain is often the result of cervical disc degeneration, a condition in which a vertebral disc in the neck has deteriorated or been damaged due to the natural aging process or injury. This process can pinch or compress the spinal cord or nerves. Flattening or loss of disc height, ruptured discs, and bone spurs are all examples of cervical disc degeneration that create pain or discomfort in the neck.

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Treatments for Cervical Disc Degeneration

Most patients first try non-surgical options when treating cervical disc degeneration. Physicians will often recommend one or more of the following: physical therapy, rest, and medications (i.e., anti-inflammatory medications or painkillers). If these conservative options are unsuccessful, there are other treatment options for people with cervical disc degeneration. These include spinal fusion and artificial disc replacement surgery.

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What is an Artificial Cervical Disc?

If you and your physician decide on a surgical option such as artificial disc replacement, your surgeon will remove your damaged disc and fill the space between the vertebrae with a specialized device called an artificial disc. This implanted disc is designed to restore the correct spacing between the vertebrae and preserves the motion at the treated level while minimizing any additional degeneration at other vertebral levels.

The M6-C™ artificial cervical disc is an innovative next-generation option for people needing artificial disc replacement as an alternative to spinal fusion. This unique product is designed to mimic your spine’s natural structure and movement, and it is the only artificial cervical disc featuring a shock-absorbing nucleus and fiber annulus that work together to replicate the controlled range of movement and cushioning effect of the natural disc.

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Is the M6-C Disc Right for Me?

To help you decide if the M6-C disc is the right choice for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you having pain, weakness, numbness or tingling in your neck, shoulders, arms or hands?
  • Has your doctor assessed cervical disc damage by examining your MRI, CT or X-rays?
  • Are you 18 years or older?
  • Have you already tried medications and physical therapy? Are your symptoms getting worse even with non-surgical treatments?

If you answered yes to these questions, then the M6-C disc may be the right choice for you. It is designed for people with cervical disc degeneration (degenerative damage, ruptured or herniated discs, bone spurs) who have not responded to non-surgical options like physical therapy, chiropractic care, and/or medications. Use the Find a Physician locator below and talk to a doctor about the benefits and risks of artificial disc replacement surgery.

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