Neck Pain is a common problem that severely impacts the quality of your life. It can limit your ability to be active. It can cause you to miss work. Many different causes may lead to pain in your neck. Let’s explore the curvature of the cervical spine to better understand neck pain. Your cervical spine is made up of seven cervical vertebrae. Between these vertebrae are discs. They cushion your bones and allow your neck to bend and twist.
Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
The spine protects you spinal cord, which travels through a space called the spinal canal. Branches of spinal nerves exit through spaces on both sides of your spine. These travel down to your shoulders and arms. In many cases neck pain is muscle related. Muscle tension, cramps and strains can all cause discomfort. Some muscles respond by becoming tense and overactive, while others respond by becoming inhibited and underactive. In either case, these muscles can develop trigger points. Trigger points are areas of congestion within the muscle where toxins accumulate. These toxins can irritate the nerve endings within the muscle and produce pain. This pain can occur in the muscle itself or can be referred pain (perceived in other areas of the body).
The resulting muscle imbalance can place increased stress on the joint, aggravating the joint dysfunction that already exists. A muscle can also send abnormal neurological signals into the nervous system. This can then cause disruption of the ability of the nervous system to properly regulate muscles in other parts of the body, leading to the development of faulty movement patterns. Conservative treatment is designed at maximizing motion, improving flexibility and finally maximizing muscular coordination, endurance and strength.
Neck pain can also be caused by compression of the spinal nerves. Herniated discs or bone growths caused by osteoarthritis can press against the nerves. Fractures of the spine can reduce the amount of space around them. This type of pain may not go away, even after weeks. Symptoms of neck pain can vary depending on the cause of your pain and the severity of your injury. You may have muscle spasms. You may have headaches. You may have trouble bending and rotating your neck. These symptoms may get worse with movement.
Problems in the neck can also cause pain in your shoulders.
Neck problems can cause tingling or weakness in your arm, and numbness in your arm or hand. Some types of neck pain are treated with over-the-counter-medications and ointments. Your healthcare provider may recommend prescription medications, cortisone injections or physical therapy. You may benefit from a cervical collar. This stabilizes your neck. If these methods are not effective, you may benefit from surgery to correct a problem in your cervical spine.
Neck pain is something that effects two thirds of people at some point in their lives and is almost as common as low back pain. As much as 10% of the population has low grade neck pain and as much as 5% of people debilitating neck pain. Neck pain is difficult to properly diagnose given the intricacy of the head and neck region of the body. There is a lot happening between major arteries and veins, muscles, nerves, the bones in the neck and the skull.
It is difficult to properly discern between all the sources of possible neck pain and being able to address the appropriate issue. The head weighs on average anywhere from 10 to 12 pounds and depends on all the parts for the neck for proper stabilization. The bones in the neck need to be in the proper position structurally which also affects the nerves controlling the neck muscles to properly balance and move the head.
A head that is out of position can cause neck pain based on structure alone, compiled with the effects on the nervous system, it supplies all of the elements of a perfect storm. The single most important part of the neck that should be examined in any chronic neck pain sufferer is the Atlas (C1) vertebra in the upper neck known as the upper cervical spine.
Relief from chronic neck pain is something that Suburban Orthopaedic Medical Center is helping people in Newark, New Jersey achieve. As an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, Dr. Rizzolo specializes in finding the root cause of chronic neck pain and correcting the cause through a custom adjustment to the Atlas bone. Using advanced methods, neck pain has been scientifically proven through research to improve in as little as one precise adjustment.
If you are suffering from chronic neck pain that is affecting your life having your neck examined by an upper cervical chiropractor could be the key to solving your health issues.
The Bottom Line
The physicians who make up Suburban Orthopaedic Medical Center in Newark NJ strive to get patients back to everyday life quickly, safely, and comfortably, through their highly responsive services. Should you wish to learn more about our services, feel free to call at (973) 483-2277 and schedule an appointment with one of our participating physicians.
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