Disc injury may be acute damage caused by sudden, forceful trauma to the cervical vertebrae. Daily repetitive stress, as in training, especially with excessive or improper lifting of weights, can also damage the discs. Chronic slow-onset injury is related to disc degeneration. Cervical discs are shock-absorbing pads that facilitate movement and provide support for the spinal column. They consist of a center region or nucleus pulposus and a surrounding annulus fibrosus separating each segmental vertebra between C2 and T1. (Only ligaments and joint capsules exist between C1 and C2.) Slipped discs occur when a gel-like substance leaks from the disc's interior, after a split or rupture of the disc (herniation). This substance can then exert pressure on the spinal cord or nerves of the cervical spine.
The symptoms are tingling sensation, weakness, and numbness or pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, or hand. Motor and sensory dysfunction may also be present in the affected cervical area, and flexibility of the joints and muscles may be lost.
Dry needling acupuncture is very useful in relieving the symptoms. Treatment should be offered twice per week. Upper-body symptoms of the neck, shoulder, and arm, and lower symptoms on the low back and hip should be treated at the same time.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.