Cervical disc degeneration (CDD) is a painful condition that affects the C1-C7 vertebrae of the neck. The most common signs are pain and a stiff or inflexible neck. If the discs have started to degenerate further, the sufferer may experience weakness, numbness or tingling in their neck, shoulders or arms. This is a direct result of a nerve being pinched or irritated.

There are many treatments available to treat this painful condition. And surgery is one of them. However, surgery should always be used as a last resort. Anytime an opening is made in the skin (such as being cut with a scalpel for the surgery) there is a risk of infection. The ideal method of treatment is non-invasive and can be performed by you. Below, I will discuss the many methods of treatment from pain management to rebuilding the degenerated disc to exercises to loosen the surrounding muscles.

By combining these supplements with the exercise regime outlined below, you can control your pain and quite possibly reverse further degeneration of your cervical discs. Take each supplement as directed on their bottles and perform the exercises on a daily basis for optimum results.

One of the most useful supplements for this condition is shark cartilage. Shark cartilage has been proven multiple times to greatly reduce the pain and inflammation associated with CDD. It has been used with much success in treating rheumatoid arthritis and proves beneficial to those suffering with various degenerative disc diseases.

Devil’s Claw is a wonderful supplement that is a potent anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It is used as a treatment for any condition that involves pain and inflammation, including degenerative disc disease.

White Willow bark is an astringent, anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It is a great addition to Devil’s Claw. Together, they work to reduce inflammation and calm pain.

Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate and Manganese Ascorbate (MSM) are available as a combination in capsule form. A case study published in the June 2003 edition of "Biomedical Central Complementary and Alternative Medicine" showed that by taking a combination of these three ingredients, range of motion and flexibility in the test subject was greatly improved. Glucosamine and chondroitin increase the level of fluid in the spinal discus, which helps correct protrusions and restore height to the discs and inhibits further degeneration. MSM is used in combination with the other two supplements to decrease pain. When used together, this is a powerful combination to help heal CDD.

These should be performed on a daily basis.

Head Tilt- Sit in a straight backed chair with your feet on the floor. Do not slouch forward. Gently tilt your head to one side, as if trying to touch your shoulder with your ear. You may assist the stretch by resting your hand on your head. Do not force the stretch. Hold for 5 seconds then return head to its normal position. Repeat this 10 times on each side.

Head Swivel- Sit in a straight backed chair with your feet on the floor. Do not slouch. Slowly turn your head, looking as far right as you can, hold for 5 seconds, then turn it to the left as far as you can go, holding for 5 seconds. Only turn your head as far as you are comfortable. Do not force it. Repeat this 10 times.

Forward and Backward Chin Stretch- Sit in a straight backed chair with your feet on the floor. Do not slouch. Gently lower your chin to your chest and hold for 5 seconds. Slowly, tilt your head back with your chin aimed toward the ceiling. Hold for 5 seconds. Do not tense your shoulders while doing this. Make sure they are relaxed. Return head to normal position. Repeat this 10 times.

Author's Bio: 

Reiki Master/ Teacher trained in the traditional Usui Shiki Ryoho style- Obtained April, 2004

Certified Holistic Stress Management Specialist- Obtained July, 2007

Career Diploma in Fitness and Nutrition- Obtained January, 2008

Currently studying to obtain a Holistic Practitioner degree

Fields of study: herbal medicine, aromatherapy, reiki, stress management, holistic health, fitness and nutrition