The neck is a vulnerable part of the spine that is susceptible to injury and/or degeneration. Comprised of seven small vertebrae, the cervical spine supports your head and connects it to your trunk. It also has the greatest amount of mobility and flexibility.
Neck Pain Care
Causes of Neck Pain
Muscle, ligament, nerve, and spine injuries are all common causes of neck pain, as well as poor posture and age-related “wear and tear.” And then there are cervical degenerative disc diseases, such as osteoarthritis, which can cause spinal structures to deteriorate and compress the spinal cord or nerves. Cervical osteoarthritis may also be referred to as spondylosis.
As you age, your discs lose water content, becoming shorter and less flexible. As more of a disc deteriorates, two vertebrae may begin rubbing together, creating bone spurs or osteophytes in the joint and spinal canal.
Degenerative disc disease can lead to a herniated disc, which occurs when the outer disc layer ruptures. When the inner content comes out of the disc, it can cause pressure on the nerve tissue resulting in irritation, swelling, and pain.
In addition, degenerative changes in spine structure can cause one vertebra to shift forward and out of place, a condition called spondylolisthesis. It can also cause the spinal canal to become narrower, a condition known as spinal stenosis.
The type of pain you experience – whether mild or severe – will depend on the cause of your neck pain. Symptoms may include pain that spreads to your head, shoulders, arms, and hands; headaches; stiff neck; an inability to completely move your neck; weakness in your shoulder, arm, and hand muscles; or numbness or tingling in your forearm, hand, or fingers.
Neck Pain Treatment Options
Treatment for neck pain will depend on its cause, severity, and duration. Most neck problems are treatable with pain medications, facet blocks, epidurals rest, physical therapy, and a soft neck collar for support. However, surgery is recommended when conservative methods fail to improve your symptoms.
Neck Pain Treatment in Catonsville, Eldersburg & Columbia, MD
At The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics, our board-certified spine specialists can determine the precise cause of your neck pain and treat your symptoms appropriately. Call us today at (410) 644-1880 to schedule your consultation or use our online form to schedule an appointment.