I have a herniated disc in my neck. It's been there for two years and seems to be getting worse. I've started to notice my hands shaking more. I seem to be clumsier and can't always hold on to things. Why does a herniated disc cause these kinds of problems?

Spinal discs are made up of two basic parts: the outer covering called the annulus and the inner part called the nucleus.

A herniated disc means the nucleus has protruded out of the walls of the annulus. In the neck, when the disc pushes out of its normal space, it can go straight back and put pressure on the spinal cord. Pain or symptoms from this kind of pressure is called cervical myelopathy.

Damage to the spinal cord can upset joint position sense. The body's ability to sense its position or to sense movement is called proprioception. Studies show that compressive myelopathy can alter proprioception. Clumsiness of hands and even problems walking can be caused by a change in proprioception.