Most everyone will experience neck pain at some point or another. Actions as seemingly innocent as sleeping in an awkward position or lifting weights with improper form can lead to stiffness and discomfort. Most cases can be remedied with a little rest, gentle stretching, and over-the-counter pain medications, but not all. Some individuals may experience an issue that requires more extensive medical care.
What’s Causing My Neck Pain?
The neck area, or the cervical spine, features an intricate network of bones, nerves, and muscles that work in harmony to provide movement and sensation. The spine’s complex anatomy leaves it vulnerable to a variety of injuries and degenerative diseases. Here’s a brief overview of a few of the most common conditions.
Bulging and Ruptured Discs
The spine features cushioning discs that exist between each of the vertebrae. These discs are composed of a soft, gel-like core and a tough outer shell. When an injury occurs or strain from years of wear and tear takes its toll, the disc’s core may press against the outer shell, causing it to “bulge” outward and irritate nearby nerve roots or tissues. Eventually, the disc can rupture, forcing its inner contents to leak into the spinal canal.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Disc degeneration is a natural part of the body’s aging process. While many people only notice mild symptoms, if any at all, some individuals experience more severe neck pain or numbness from nerve compression that results from thinning, shifting discs.
Whiplash is a distinct set of symptoms that occurs following a sudden backward or forward jerking of the head, usually caused by car accidents or collisions in sports.
Spinal osteoarthritis impacts the small joints that connect the vertebrae and facilitate twisting motions. Once the cartilage that cushions the joints wears away, stiffness, pain, and neuropathic symptoms from nerve compression can ensue.
Spinal stenosis is characterized by the narrowing of a portion of the spinal canal as a result of bulging or ruptured discs, degenerative disc disease, bone spurs, or a related condition. This narrowing can irritate nerve roots or the spinal canal and trigger numbness, tingling sensations, and shooting pain that may radiate into the shoulders and arms.
Neck Pain Treatment at Physicians Rehabilitation
The first step toward successful neck pain treatment is to determine a proper diagnosis. At Physicians Rehabilitation, our board-certified specialists utilize the latest advances in musculoskeletal care to diagnose various neck conditions and treat patients experiencing disruptive pain. By merging conservative treatment approaches with compassionate and personalized service, we help patients overcome their symptoms and get back to life as quickly and safely as possible – without the use of major surgery or potent narcotics. Contact the friendly team at Physicians Rehabilitation today to schedule your no-cost consultation if you are experiencing neck pain.