Have you ever suffered from neck pain?
Let's talk about the different problems that can lead to neck pain and how you can tell where the pain is coming from. If you understand the reason for your pain you can work on the treatment with your healthcare provider accordingly.
Here are two of the most common conditions seen in the neck:
Herniated cervical disc -
The neck is made of seven cervical vertebrae stacked one on top of another. An intervertebral disc is present in between the adjacent vertebras, that acts as a cushion or shock absorber. The disc is made up of a fibrous outer layer and an inner jelly like material. When degenerative changes in the outer fibrous layers occurs, cracks appear and the inner jelly like portion oozes out, causing cervical discogenic pain (commonly known as slip disc).
- The differentiating symptom of cervical disc herniation is pain in the neck when bending the head forwards into flexion.
- Pain may be sharp, pinching in the acute phase and dull achy in chronic phase.
- Pain is worsened when the neck is held in a flexed or bent position for prolonged periods, such as occurs with driving, reading or working at a computer or looking at a mobile phone for long durations. Pain eases off with bending the neck backwards or extension.
- Pain can also manifest as a headache if the upper to mid cervical spine is involved (from your hairline to roughly half way down your neck).
- Associated muscle tightness and spasms is seen in the neck.
- If the nerves that exit the cervical spine are irritated by the protruding disc material it can refer the pain or tingling numbness sensations into the upper limb. (known as Cervical radiculopathy, described below).
Cervical radiculopathy –
This is a symptom arising from other cervical pathologies such as disc herniation, spinal stenosis, facet joint arthropathy etc, to name a few.
- The differentiating symptom of cervical radiculopathy is stiffness, dull pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in the shoulders, arms, hands or the head.
- The pattern of symptoms is dependent on the nerve that is being irritated or compressed. Example: if the nerve that exits the cervical spine at C5-6 is involved then the symptoms will manifest in the upper arm, whereas those originating in C1-C2 will manifest as a headache in the back and side of the head.
I discuss more of these conditions in my free guide to "What is the source of your neck pain?" Click HERE to get the free guide. It will ask for your email and name, but thats truly so that I can keep continuing to give you things like this over email, so that I can help you out with your discomfort/pain. If its not for you, no big deal. You can unsubscribe at any point to the emails. No questions asked!
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