Neck Pain – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options
The neck is an important part of a complex structure that consists of various bones, muscles, joints and nerves. The spinal column extends through most of the body and the neck, which contains seven bones separated by intervertebral discs, is responsible for providing the head with both support and mobility. This area is particularly special as no other area of the spine has as much range of motion. However, these abilities make the neck more prone to pain and injury. From arthritis to cancer, there are several causes of neck pain and if you are experiencing serious symptoms, you may be referred to a neurosurgeon who can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the right course of treatment.
The Causes of Neck Pain
There are many problems that can lead to neck pain. While neck pain typically goes away on its own within a few days to weeks, persistent pain may signal a more serious underlying cause that must be addressed. Some common causes of neck pain may include:
- An irritation along the nerve pathway caused by various conditions such as a herniated disc or cervical stenosis.
- Neck injuries caused by an accident or sporting activity can result in pain.
- Degenerative disorders like osteoarthritis is known to affect the cervical spine.
- Having poor posture, weak abdominal muscles or being overweight are all factors that can contribute to neck pain.
- Stress puts tension on the neck muscles, causing them to tighten and contract.
- Other rare causes may include spinal fractures, spinal infections or tumors.
The Symptoms of Neck Pain
Neck pain is a common phenomenon with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. The most common symptoms of neck pain are as follows:
- Pain, stiffness, numbness or tingling on either side of the neck that may radiate down to the upper torso, shoulders, arms and hands.
- Difficulty moving the neck after maintaining a sitting or sleeping position for a long period of time.
- Hearing grating or clicking sounds when moving your neck.
- Blacking out or feeling dizzy when looking up or moving your head from side to side.
- Muscle spasms causing pain and stiffness, making it difficult to turn your head.
Treatment Options for Neck Pain
There are several treatment options available that don’t always include surgery. However, if your condition requires surgical intervention, talk to Dr. Adam Lewis at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic to find out if you’re a good candidate. Read on to discover some of the most common and effective ways neck pain may be treated:
- Resting for a few days can often relieve neck pain.
- You may be prescribed oral medications to relieve pain and inflammation.
- Limit your physical activities and wear a cervical collar for extra support.
- Trigger point or epidural steroid injections may be recommended to relieve symptoms.
- While it is rarely needed for neck pain, you may consider spinal cord decompression surgery.
If you recently had any trauma that has resulted in neck pain and is accompanied by other symptoms such as weakness or numbness, contact Dr. Lewis at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic. We can conduct a quick and thorough assessment to ensure you receive the appropriate care and treatment immediately.
Contact us today to learn more about neck pain or to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists. We’ll find a solution that works for you! Call us at (601) 366-1011.