Your neck is constantly in motion as it twists and turns throughout the day. As a result, it takes a lot of abuse. The neck, which contains the cervical spine, is also less protected than the rest of the spine and more vulnerable to injury.
Neck pain may develop from a number of sources in the soft tissues — the muscles, ligaments and nerves — as well as in bones and disks of the spine. Our orthopedic surgeons, specialists in the musculoskeletal system, are here to help you determine the cause.
Causes of Neck Pain
Neck pain often has a simple source, such as poor posture from being hunched over your computer or smartphone. In older adults, however, it may be related to wear and tear from the aging process. Cervical spondylosis, otherwise known as arthritis, is very common, affecting more than 85% of people over the age of 60.
Other causes of neck pain include:
- Cervical stenosis, where the spinal column narrows and compresses the spinal cord
- Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis and cancer
- Injuries such as whiplash incurred during a car accident
- Nerve compression, typically caused by herniated discs or bone spurs
One of the neck doctors at Abrazo Health will perform a physical exam, which may require testing such as X-rays, CT scans or MRIs.
Neck pain treatment can vary from rest to physical therapy to surgery. If discomfort is due to muscle spasms, treatment might include anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxers.
In rare cases, surgery might be necessary. Our orthopedic neck surgeons perform neck operations such as neck fusion surgery, also known as anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion (ACDF), and other procedures.
There’s no reason to suffer with chronic neck pain. Make an appointment today with the orthopedic neck doctors at Abrazo by calling (602) 674-6588.
Sources: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, National Institutes of Health, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Medline Plus