Chronic Neck Pain
Chronic Neck Pain
Neck pain is one of the most common types of pain disorders in the general population. Healthcare providers consider pain to be chronic when it lasts longer than six months. 30% of patients with neck pain will develop chronic symptoms, with neck pain of greater than six months in duration affecting 14% of all individuals who experience an episode of neck pain. People with neck pain often describe it as a persistent ache. The pain is often described as sensitive to the touch or as mild pressure that seems to hurt often. Numbness and tingling can occur in the arms and hands, muscle tension, and headaches can result from chronic neck pain.
What causes neck pain?
Stress and muscle tension can cause neck pain, as well as accidents and injuries, such as whiplash from a car accident. In rare cases infection and cancer can cause neck pain. Spinal disc degeneration, which includes disc herniations, disc bulges, and neck compression are commonly thought to be a cause of neck pain. Cervical disc disease may be the most common cause of neck pain. It’s caused by an abnormality in one or more discs, the cushions that lie between the neck vertebrae. When a disc is damaged, usually due to wear or tear (degeneration) or to disc herniation, it can lead to neck pain from inflammation or muscle spasms. In severe cases, pain and numbness can occur in the arms from nerve irritation or damage from a pinched nerve. Osteoarthritis and worn joints, which can also cause bone spur formations and can affect joint motion and cause neck pain as well. Stenosis, which is the narrowing of the bony canals in the spine, can compress the spinal cord and surrounding nerves causing them to swell and inflame.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Pain that’s often worsened by holding your head in one place for long periods, such as when driving or working at a computer
- Muscle tightness and spasms
- Stiff neck and the decreased ability to move your head
- Sharp or stabbing pain in one spot
- Pain that radiates down into the shoulders, arms, or fingers; or radiates up into the head
- Trouble gripping or lifting objects
- Problems with walk, balance, or coordination
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
How is neck pain treated?
- Epidural steroid injections
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Neck exercises and stretching
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, topical creams, and muscle relaxants
- Spinal surgery
- The Biodisc Procedure using the body’s own natural fibrin material to help alleviate neck pain.
A good treatment plan can help to relieve your discomfort and return you to a pain-free and active lifestyle. A careful examination will help determine the type and cause of your neck problem, and the best treatment options. A diagnostic evaluation includes a medical history and physical exam. Sometimes imaging scans, such as x-ray, CT, and MRI and tests to check muscle strength and reflexes are also used in diagnosing the problem.
Let us help you to get your life back. A good treatment plan can help to relieve your discomfort and return you to a pain-free and active lifestyle. Cell Bionics Institute offers a comprehensive spine functional restoration program to help patients with all of their spine care needs. With every treatment, we work to help with your current health situation, while also keeping your future health in consideration. The Biodisc procedure is a much less invasive option, with a much more shortened recovery period than a more invasive procedure, such as spinal fusion surgery. See if you might be a candidate for Biodisc today. Request a consultation with a spine care expert to discuss a treatment customized treatment plan to help with your back pain.