With the constant forces the neck undergoes throughout the day, any existing issues such as any anatomical abnormalities, inflammation or injuries can easily become exacerbated and lead to neck pain or stiffness.
Something as simple as poor posture and occupational activities can be the culprit or just everyday wear and tear and overuse. But sometimes neck pain is caused by a more serious injury — as from a fall, sports injury or commonly, an automotive accident.
With aging, cervical discs can degenerate over time (spondylosis), narrowing the space between the vertebrae and adding stress to the joints. When a disc protrudes, it may add pressure to the spinal cord or nerve roots. This is called a herniated cervical disc, also known as a bulging or slipped disc.
Symptoms can include:
- dull pains caused by straining or spraining of the muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments
- an aching pain due to spasms in the neck muscles
- sharp pains associated with specific movements of the neck
- neck pain in combination with headaches
The neck’s anatomy is so intricate and delicate, it is essential that a proper diagnosis be made. An error in identifying a condition or treatment can easily lead to further injury and complication. At CPWC, our spinal experts will diagnose your condition by reviewing your medical history and performing a thorough physical examination to test your muscle strength, reflexes and range of motion.
The most common course of treatment is medication combined with physical therapy and patient education related to preventative activities to be integrated into your daily routine.
Other common treatments include:
- a combination of rest, heat or ice therapy and anti-inflammatory therapy
- manual therapy, including massage
- radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
- epidural steroid injections
- stretching and strengthening exercises