Your neck, also called the cervical spine, begins at the base of the skull and contains seven small vertebrae. Incredibly, the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury. The neck’s susceptibility to injury is due in part to biomechanics. Activities and events that affect cervical biomechanics include extended sitting, repetitive movement, accidents, falls and blows to the body or head, and everyday wear and tear. Many treatments for neck pain are ineffective and similar to low back pain. There are many unnecessary surgeries performed every year. Neck fusion surgeries generally have a very poor outcome and can lead to more significant pain and disability. Fortunately, the doctors at Riverside Spine and Physical Medicine may have a solution to your neck pain. Once it is determined that you are a candidate for the rehabilitation programs that we offer, you can be on your way to a pain free life in a relatively short time. Don’t suffer call today to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Here are some of the most typical causes of neck pain:
Injury and Accidents:
A sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction and the resulting “rebound” in the opposite direction is known as whiplash. The sudden “whipping” motion injures the surrounding and supporting tissues of the neck and head. This traumatic motion can actually alter the normal shape of the neck, leading to dysfunction sometimes even months after the accident. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, creating muscle fatigue, which can result in pain and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also be associated with injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash. Most medical professionals will only look to make sure there are no immediate life threatening problems such as fracture. The altered shape of the neck is missed and the patient can have an increased risk of pain and disability over time. At Riverside Spine and Physical Medicine our doctors will do a thorough examination to determine the cause of your neck pain.
Degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease directly affect the spine.
- Osteoarthritis, a common joint disorder, causes progressive deterioration of cartilage. The body reacts by forming bone spurs that affect joint motion. This is often due to an abnormal neck curve, a history of trauma to the head or neck and poor biomechanics.
- Spinal stenosis causes the small nerve passageways in the vertebrae to narrow, compressing and trapping nerve roots. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain, as well as numbness, when these nerves are unable to function normally.
- Degenerative disc disease can cause reduction in the elasticity and height of intervertebral discs. Over time, a disc may bulge or herniate, causing tingling, numbness, and pain that runs into the arm.
Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles often disrupt spinal balance, causing the neck to bend forward to compensate. Stress and emotional tension can cause muscles to tighten and contract, resulting in pain and stiffness. Postural stress can contribute to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms. be the cause of your leg pain. Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation.