Orthopedic Specialists

Common Causes of Neck Pain

November 16, 2023

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If you’re suffering from acute or chronic neck pain, you’re not alone. 80% of people suffer from neck pain during their lifetime.

Symptoms of Neck Pain

Neck pain can include axial neck pain, which is felt mostly in your neck, and radicular neck pain, which extends into your shoulders and arms. Both types of neck pain can feel achy or like a stabbing or burning pain. Other symptoms of neck pain include headaches, stiffness in your neck, shoulders, and upper back, and difficulty or inability to move your head.

Determining the cause of your neck pain is the first step to neck pain relief. In this blog, we’ll cover some of the common causes of neck pain. An orthopedic doctor can treat these neck conditions using a variety of treatment methods.

Muscle Tension and Strain

This is usually caused by things like poor posture, overuse of the neck muscles, or an awkward sleeping position. If you sit at a desk during the day or do other types of repetitive motion, you can adjust your workstation for better ergonomics, and make sure you take breaks to stretch or walk around. If your muscle tension or strain is caused by your sleeping position, consider a pillow with proper neck support for your sleeping style, or change your sleeping position.

Treatment for muscle tension and strain is usually rest, applying ice or heat to the area, and using over-the-counter pain medications for pain relief.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a breakdown of cartilage, the protective tissue at the end of the bones. This breakdown can lead to pain, swelling, and reduced mobility. Arthritis can be caused by aging, overuse, obesity, or an injury.

Treatment for arthritis includes medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. In some cases, surgery may be an option.

Herniated Disc

Also called a slipped disc, this occurs when a soft fragment of the spinal disc is pushed out of place past the tough outer layer. When the slipped disc is pushed out of place, it can press on nearby nerves. A herniated disc can be caused by aging, repetitive strain, or an injury.

Treatment for a herniated disc includes medication, physical therapy, cervical traction, and epidural steroid injections. In some cases, surgery may be an option.

If you’re suffering from acute or chronic neck pain, contact the spine team at Orthopedic Specialists. We utilize a variety of cutting-edge treatment options to help you get back to your everyday activities pain-free.

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