Neck Disc Bulge Treatment

Our new disc treatment program is specifically designed to strengthen muscles affected by cervical disc bulges in Newcastle.


The intervertebral discs separate and  the vertebrae or bones of the neck.  Discs in theory have a role in shock absorption and stabilisation as well as allowing movement in the neck.

Discs are comprised of two parts; annulus fibrosis (strong fibrous outer layer) and the nucleus pulposis (internal content).

Disc bulges are theorised to occur when the outer layer of the disc is injured and protrudes sometimes with the internal contents pushing outwards.

They may be the result of trauma, degeneration and possibly poor posture.neck pic


Symptoms of cervical disc bulges


The symptoms of a cervical disc bulge may include:

  • Neck pain which is usually one sided however may be centrally or on both sides of the neck

  • Numbness, decreased sensation or pins and needles in the shoulder, chest, arms and/or hand

  • Pain in the shoulder, chest, arms and/or hand

  • Weakness in the shoulder, chest, arms and/or hand

  • Rest

  • Painkillers or anti-inflammatories

  • Heat or ice

  • Avoiding poor postures which may include frequently looking down at a mobile phone


Several factors may contribute to cervical disc bulges and can include:

  • Poor posture

  • Poor lifting technique

  • Joint stiffness

  • Muscle weakness

  • Muscle tightness

  • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Excessive bending, slouching or lifting


Physio treatment for neck disc bulges


Neck disc bulges can require medical attention. Different treatment options include:

  • Physiotherapy which may include; activity modification, exercise therapy, soft tissue therapy, biomechanical correction, postural correction, taping, traction and/or individualised functional training.

  • Cortisone injections can be performed to reduce symptoms but the outcomes don't appear any better than wait and see.

There is a general lack of evidence for the treatment of disc budges in the neck and current treatments are based on clinical reasoning and a general consensus from clinical experience.


Surgery for cervical disc bulges


In most cases symptoms associated with cervical disc bulges resolve with conservative management.  However in some cases surgery may be required when the nerve function is severely compromised causing nerve pain and reduced arm function. 

Surgery involves removing the bulged fragment of the disc compressing on a nerve. This is usually done through a small incision in the front or back of the neck.