Neck pain is a common ailment that can greatly affect how you function everyday. It has the ability to stop you from being active and even cause you to miss work. Spine Center of Texas will be discussing everything you need to know about neck pain so you can proactively take action when you experience such pain:
Understanding the role of the cervical spine, spinal cord and nerves
To better understand neck pain, you need to be familiar with the structure of the cervical spine. Your cervical spine is made up of seven vertebrae. Each vertebrae have discs in between that serves as a cushion for the bones and enable your neck to bend and twist.
The spine on the other hand protects your spinal cord. It travels through a space called the spinal canal. On both sides of your spine you have the spinal nerves which travel down your shoulders and arms.
Why causes neck pain?
Neck pain is muscle-related in most cases. Muscle tension, cramps, and strains can all cause neck discomfort. Compressed spinal nerves also cause neck pain. If you have osteoarthritis, herniated discs or bone growths can press against the nerves. Spine fractures can also reduce the amount of space around them. If you have this type of pain, it may not go away that easily even after weeks or months.
What are the symptoms of neck pain?
It all depends on the cause of your neck pain and the severity of your injury. If you’re experiencing neck pain, you may find yourself having muscle spasms, headaches, or trouble bending and rotating your neck. These symptoms may get worse when you try to move. Problems in the neck can also cause pain in your shoulders, tingling or weakness in your arms, and numbness in your arms or hands.
What are the available treatment options for neck pain?
There are over-the-counter medications and ointments that can reduce the symptoms of neck pain. Your healthcare provider may recommend prescription medications, cortisone injections, or physical therapy. Your provider may suggest a cervical collar to stabilize your neck. If these conventional methods do not effectively correct the problem with your cervical spine, your doctor can suggest surgery as a last resort.