Neck pain is a common issue, affecting many people over their lifetime. Pain can occur anywhere from the bottom of your head to the top of your shoulders and can spread to the upper back.Read More
Neck pain can also be associated with headaches, facial pain, shoulder pain, and arm numbness or tingling. These associated symptoms can be a result of pinched nerves in the neck.
You may also feel a knot, stiffness, or pain in your neck muscles that can lead to difficulty in turning your head.
Neck pain can be caused by activities that strain the neck. This can lead to neck strain, a sprain, or a spasm in the neck muscles. In addition, underlying joint changes in the neck can make you vulnerable to pain.
Some common causes of acute neck pain include:
Most episodes of neck pain will go away within a few days or weeks, but pain that persists for months could indicate an underlying medical issue that must be addressed. Early treatment intervention is recommended for optimal recovery.
Common causes of chronic neck pain include:
The cervical spine experiences wear and tear over time. If a disc degenerates enough, it can lead to painful irritation of the cervical nerve or pain from increased joint and ligament stress.
A cervical disc is herniated when its jelly-like inner layer leaks out through a tear in the disc’s protective outer layer.Read More
This could result from an injury or due to aging. A herniated disc may press against or pinch a cervical nerve.
Whiplash is caused by the head and neck suddenly forced backward and immediately forward with considerable force.Read More
The soft tissue along and near the cervical spine can be torn or ruptured as a result. This neck injury commonly occurs in an car accident that involves a rear-end collision.
When the cartilage in a cervical facet joint wears down enough, it can lead to osteoarthritis, also known as cervical spondylosis.Read More
The joint becomes enlarged from inflammation and bone spur growth, and may cause nearby nerves to become pinched and lead to considerable pain.
Spinal stenosis occurs when spinal degeneration leads to a narrowing of the spinal canal, such as from a herniated disc that pushes into the spinal canal or bone spurs that grow into the canal.Read More
When the spinal canal narrows enough to compress the spinal cord, it can result in myelopathy. Myelopathy is when compression of the spinal cord starts causing symptoms such as weakness, loss of balance or problems with coordination in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.
This condition occurs when the holes (foramen) in the vertebrae, through which nerve roots exit the spinal canal, become narrow.Read More
This narrowing of the hole can irritate the nerve root that runs through it causing pain that radiates down the arm. Treatment with cervical traction can be particularly helpful for this condition.
Achy muscles and surrounding connective tissue can cause irritable trigger points in muscle, typically in the upper back or neck.Read More
Trigger points can be chronically painful or painful to the touch. The pain may be localized or can spread to/from another area of the body.
Neck problems also affect muscles and nerves connected to the head.Read More
This can result in a tension headache due to neck muscles tightening, or occipital neuralgia where a pinched occipital nerve in the neck causes pain to radiate up to the head.
Management of the above conditions has been proven to be helpful in relieving pain, speed up recovery and manage chronic issues.Read More
Treatment involves education, self-care management, exercise therapy, and manual therapy are commonly used by a registered physiotherapist to treat neck pain. Other treatments such as acupuncture, soft tissue release and massage therapy can also help. A registered physiotherapist can conduct a skilled assessment and examination of the spine and recommend the appropriate treatment. For most neck pain issues, x-ray and other imaging is not required for management in the initial stages.
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