Conditions: NECK PAIN
Arthritis of the Neck
A common cause of neck pain is arthritis of the cervical facet joints. These joints help to stabilize the neck and allow rotation and bending of the cervical spine. Facet joint pain is caused by inflammation or injury of a joints themselves. Just like arthritis of the knee joints, arthritis of the cervical facet joints can cause severe and chronic neck pain. Facet joint pain is often associated with whiplash injury.
Irritated muscle groups can result in muscle aches and spasms and may be due to tension and strain within the muscles themselves. However, muscle pain can be referred from another source, like nerve irritation or joint pain. A thorough evaluation can help to determine the cause of the pain.
The discs in your neck enable the spine to absorb shock, rotate and bend. Over time, discs can start to break down and deteriorate (leading to degenerative disc disease). Damage to a disc, can cause the contents of the nucleus pulposes (a gel-like substance in the middle of the disc) to leak into the spinal canal area and irritate the outer part of the disc itself. This often leads to diffuse neck pain.
Cervical radiculopathy refers to pain, burning, tingling and/or ache that starts at the neck and radiates down one or both of the upper extremities. Commonly, a degenerative disc can bulge or leak its contents (a gel-like substance from the middle of the disc that is very inflammatory) into the spinal canal area. The bulged disc or the inflammatory disc contents can irritate one or several nerve roots as they exit the spine. The irritated or compressed nerve roots create a specific pattern of pain from the neck area and down one or both of the upper extremities.
Cervical spinal stenosis symptoms are commonly described as diffuse pain at the neck and/or shoulder regions. This pain is caused by a decrease in space or a tightening of the spinal canal (due to disc bulges, facet joint arthropathy, ligament hypertrophy or bony changes).
Commonly referred to as whole body pain, fibromyalgia symptoms often include significant aching neck pain. Fibromyalgia is also frequently associated with difficultly sleeping and debilitating fatigue. If a patient with generalized pain has a specific complaint of neck pain that is far worse than their whole body pain, a thorough evaluation may help to determine the specific cause of the pain.