The main symptoms of a bulging, or herniated, disc in the neck include pain, numbness, tingling and weakness that may occur in the neck, shoulders, chest, arms or hands, according to WebMD. If the herniated disc is large, weakness and tingling in other parts of the body may occur.
Some people with herniated discs experience shooting pain, especially when coughing, sneezing or moving into certain positions, states Mayo Clinic. Other people affected by a herniated disc have no symptoms. Some causes of herniated discs include back or spine injuries and normal wear and tear. Discs normally lose some fluid during the normal aging process, making them less flexible. Herniated discs also occur more often in smokers.
About 90 percent of people with herniated discs manage the condition with conservative treatment, which may include special exercises, medication and avoiding activities that cause pain, states Mayo Clinic. Doctors typically suggest over-the-counter pain relievers, narcotics, nerve medications or muscle relaxers to treat symptoms associated with a herniated disc. Oral steroids or cortisone injections may be prescribed to decrease inflammation. If symptoms persist after six weeks of conservative treatment, surgery may be recommended. Surgical options for herniated disc include removing part or all of the disc, fusing the spine together using hardware, or implanting an artificial disc.