Cervical Disc Anatomy 6: What’s The Difference Between A Nerve Root And The Spinal Cord?

Cervical Disc Anatomy 6: What’s The Difference Between A Nerve Root And The Spinal Cord?

Understanding the Spinal Cord Nerve Root Difference

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Learning about cervical disc anatomy helps you understand the spinal cord nerve root difference and how having a cervical disc herniation with a nerve root affected can cause pain, numbness and other symptoms in your arm.

In part six of this educational series explaining cervical disc anatomy for patients who have a herniated disc in their neck, top spine specialist Dr. Seth Neubardt explains what a nerve root is and how cervical disc herniation can put pressure on the root.

Each nerve root goes to a specific place in the arm. The nerve root carries the information to and from the brain for functions in the arms such as sensation of pain, touch and strength. Damage to a nerve root or pressure on the root from a herniated cervical disc can therefore produce symptoms into the arm of pain, numbness, tinging and weakness. The MRI scan allow the doctor to visualize the pressure on the nerve root coming from the slipped disc fragment. The spinal cord starts in the brain and runs down the spinal canal to the lower back. The nerve roots leave the spinal cord as offshoots going down and into the arms towards the fingers.

If you missed other parts of the educational video series, you can start at the beginning with Cervical Disc Anatomy 1 to learn what the cervical bones and discs are and where they are located. In part two of the series, you learn  what is in the neck next to the cervical spine discs. Want to understand more about cervical disc numbers? You will after watching the fourth of this six-part series.