What causes neck pain?
Neck pain can come from any of the structures that make up your neck, which includes:
- Cervical vertebrae
- Spinal discs
- Spinal cord
- Ligaments Muscles
- Tendons Nerves
Your neck is very flexible, which means it has a much more extensive range of movement than the rest of your spine. However, the increased flexibility and the effort of carrying the weight of your head does make your neck more vulnerable to damage.
There are three ways to damage the structures in your neck. You can injure yourself in an accident, for example, getting whiplash in a car crash. You can develop a degenerative disease like osteoarthritis that slowly causes tissue or bone deterioration. Or repeating the same movement over and over can cause a repetitive strain injury, which can cause both chronic pain and lead to an acute neck injury.
What conditions can give me neck pain?
There are certain diseases like meningitis that can cause neck pain, but these are thankfully uncommon. Neck pain is much more likely to be musculoskeletal.
Conditions that commonly cause neck pain include:
- Ligament injuries
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Muscle strains
- Whiplash injuries
- Degenerative disc disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve)
If you do injure your neck in an accident, you should avoid moving until the emergency services arrive because of the risk of permanent damage to your spine. If illness accompanies your neck pain, for example, fever, vomiting, or a rash, it may be a systemic disease that needs urgent attention.
How is neck pain treated?
The first step before treating your neck pain is to find the cause. Diagnostic imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, and diagnostic spinal injections, help your provider at Western Orthopaedics, P.C., to locate the source of the pain. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, your provider can create a treatment plan for you to relieve your discomfort and repair any tissue damage.
Potential neck pain treatments include:
- Use of a soft collar
- Pain relief medication
- Muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy
- Epidural steroid injections
- Selective nerve root blocks
- Facet joint injections
- Regenerative medicine
In most cases, these non-surgical approaches result in relief of neck pain and a return of mobility. If they don’t, Western Orthopaedics, P.C., can carry out minimally invasive surgeries to treat neck pain. Possible procedures you might need for neck pain include cervical laminectomy, discectomy, spinal fusion, or artificial disc replacement.
Call Western Orthopaedics, P.C., today to find out more about the advanced neck pain treatments available, or request an appointment online.