Neck pain is something you will probably experience at least once in your life. Many things can cause neck pain, and in this blog I’ll discuss 3 of the common types of neck pain and their causes. In addition to that, I will discuss the solution!
One of the common causes of neck pain comes from the muscles and joints of the cervical spine (or neck). We can often have this type of neck pain due to things such as:
This type of pain often does not require surgery; only in severe cases where the cervical joints are severely arthritic or unstable. Most people don’t fit into this category, but a physical therapist can help you to figure out whether surgery may be beneficial.
Discogenic pain means that pain is caused by a vertebral disc that has been injured. Often times, this can be a bulging disc, but it can also just be that some of the collagen fibers which make up the outer ring of the disc have been torn mildly.
It is often not something that requires surgery, but improving neck and upper back strength can often help tremendously. A physical therapist can help to identify your individual needs and if it is in fact a disc problem or something else.
First, let me describe what radicular symptoms mean. Radicular symptoms include:
These symptoms are caused by impingement on a nerve in the spine, which you will feel in your arm and sometimes hands and fingers. This can also happen in the lumbar spine, which is often called sciatica. But what is happening is that a cervical disc is impinging on the nerve or the inflammation from the injured disc is creating nerve irritation.
What can I do about it?
Sometimes, this condition may require surgery, but it depends greatly upon your symptoms and the severity of the injury. A physical therapist can help:
In general, these neck problems can be improved with physical therapy. If the severity of the injury is severe enough to require surgery, physical therapy is very helpful pre and post operatively to regain movement, strength and decrease post-surgical pain.