Neck pain is a common issue and inquiry for patients when they visit a spine surgeon. Neck pain ranks is the second most common form of chronic pain in the nation today affecting nearly 15% of the population.
The causes of neck pain are variable and often associated with the demographics of the people who suffer from the condition. A young person may sustain a neck injury while playing a contact sport. A middle-age professional may find himself leaning forward to look at a computer at work, suffering neck pain as a result. Older arthritis sufferers also endure discomfort in the neck often associated with progressive loss of motion. People of all ages can suffer neck pain due to injuries, nerve compression, irritated facet joints, strained muscles and degenerative changes. Most people can achieve neck pain relief without the aid of surgery or professional medical care. In many instances, common household remedies like over-the-counter medications, bed rest, heating pads, and ice packs as well as low impact stretching exercises may well provide benefit with local neck discomfort. If the patient experiences shooting neck pain accompanied by a weakening of the arms or hands, many times there is a structural problem to blame.
Neck pain radiating down the arm
If you are experiencing radiating neck pain that shoots down the arm without relief (may be felt in the hands or fingers), a cervical disc herniation may be to blame. The symptoms also may be indicative of foraminal stenosis. When the disc space collapses, there is significant narrowing of the exiting nerve openings in the neck. This ailment results in pinching or compression of the nerves accompanied by numbness or tingling in the hands or arms. For many people suffering from this type of neck pain, treatments like over-the-counter the counter anti-inflammatory medications, prescription drugs or neck braces usually offer very little or no relief. If you have tried such treatments but have not experienced any neck pain relief and your daily mobility is progressively worsening, there are treatment options worth discussing with your surgeon. Be sure to set up a consultation with Dr. Subach, so he can evaluate your condition, evaluate your imaging studies and determine the best course of action.
Degenerative disc pain relief
Many patients seek relief from symptoms that often begin as a minor discomfort but tend to worsen and intensify over time, particularly during specific activities and positions. In this case, you may be sufferings from symptomatic cervical disc degeneration. Cervical disc degeneration is a process that often comes with aging but does not come accompanied by other symptoms. The force of an injury however, can lead to the occurrence of symptomatic pain that can be associated with frequent repetitive motions of the neck, arms, or shoulders. Often to experience relief from degenerative this disease in the cervical spine, surgery is a common occurrence once icing, stretching, pain relievers, and muscle relaxants have failed to make a significant difference. If there’s significant arm pain ,many times an epidural steroid injection may help. The degenerative process causes compression of the spinal cord and the exiting nerve roots. Radiating pain may often be treated effectively with an artificial disc or a cervical fusion.
I am tired of living in pain
Once you have undergone a thorough evaluation by a neurosurgeon and have failed conservative management strategies such as heat, ice, massage ,and other modalities. Often times a cervical epidural injection may help transiently but once pain progresses to numbness and overt weakness, this usually indicates nerve damage. If a regular routine of stretching and physical therapy is ineffective. The appropriate imaging studies should be obtained, including x-rays and an MRI scan. This will identify disc herniations, stenosis ,and instability among other problems. Ones posture is best evaluated by standing x-rays and many times a nerve conduction test is necessary to define the cause of the problem. Once everything is put together by your spinal expert, it is possible to develop a treatment plan that will successfully take care of the neck pain and arm symptoms.