Most neck pain is muscle-related, caused by strain from holding the head in one place for an extended period. Just as in the low back, a disc may herniate, which places pressure on nerves branching out from the spinal cord. Other cases of neck pain can be caused by an injury involving a sudden jerk to the neck area, as in a car accident.
Symptoms such as neck pain may be presented directly after the injury or may be delayed for several days. Along with neck pain, other symptoms may include neck stiffness, injuries to the muscles and ligaments (myofascial injuries), headache, dizziness, abnormal sensations such as burning or prickling (paresthesias), or shoulder or back pain. Further, some people experience cognitive, somatic, or psychological conditions such as memory loss, concentration impairment, nervousness/irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue or depression.
Many neck pain problems could be the result of bulging discs, ruptured or herniated discs, or degenerative disc disease.
Bulging Discs / Cervical Disc Changes (Neck)
A bulging disc is the result of the outer ring of the disc and its center expanding or bulging. The disc Nucleus is squeezed against the Annulus causing pressure on nearby nerves.
A herniated or ruptured disc occurs when the ring of the Annulus breaks or tears. The Nucleus center is squeezed through the opening and may cause pressure on nearby nerves. The herniated disc may narrow the spinal canal through which the Spinal Cord and nerves run or the small openings (foramina) through which Spinal Nerves exit. Herniations may occur at different areas of the disc.
Bone spurs and overgrowths of the Ligamentum Flavum cause compression on the nerves and/or the spinal cord.
Cancer, in the form of a spinal tumor, is relatively rare. The Spine Center is fully equipped to detect and treat any such problem.
A hard fall or severe jolt to the spine as the result of vigorous physical activity or an accident can crack or fracture vertebrae. A cracked vertebra may put the delicate spinal cord at risk. In some cases, surgery may be required to repair the vertebrae.
Many other changes in your body can cause back and neck pain. Some of these include menstruation, abnormal tumors, aortic aneurysms and arthritic conditions.