Understanding the specific structure of the neck is essential to comprehending neck discomfort, its causes, and potential neck injury treatment options. The first seven vertebrae of the spine make up the neck, commonly known as the cervical spine. Each of the cervical spine’s vertebrae contains a number of openings through which spinal nerve roots exit the spine and enter the rest of the body.
Connective tissue discs containing a gelatinous material called nucleus pulposus connect each vertebra in the spine to the neck via facet joints. The discs between the vertebrae act as spacers and cushions, helping to maintain the spine’s natural alignment.
The cervical spine supports the head and permits motion in the neck. Temporary or persistent neck pain can result from any strain or damage to the cervical spine’s structural elements. There are numerous causes of neck pain. Neck sprains and strains that are brought on by small accidents and bad posture typically go away rather fast. Common reasons of temporary neck pain include:
- Holding your head for a prolonged period of time in an unusual position.
- Unnaturally positioning your head while you’re sleeping.
- Athletic injuries.
- Repeated movement.
- Drooping or hunching when you’re sitting.
Neck pain that is chronic lasts for more than a few weeks. When chronic neck discomfort is accompanied by additional symptoms like numbness, weakness, or trouble walking, it may be a sign of a more serious underlying disease.
Damage to discs and facet joints is the most frequent cause of chronic neck pain. Although discs are elastic and flexible, they are prone to tearing from misuse, accidents, or aging. The nucleus pulposus can leak from a torn disc’s center, irritating and inflaming the nerves that surround it. A herniated disc is one in which the nucleus pulposus has bulged or distorted, pressing against the cervical nerves and pinching them.
Discs may gradually lose their thickness, cushioning, and moisture over time. The same issues as a herniated disc, such as arthritis and pinched nerves, can result from this condition, which is referred to as cervical degenerative disc disease.
If your neck pain is making it hard for you to go about your daily activities and live comfortably, there are several neck injury treatment options available. Resting as a primary form of treatment for chronic neck pain is an option, but more involved approaches like physical therapy or, occasionally, surgery may be necessary.
Premium Healthcare offers cutting-edge treatment options to help patients find relief from chronic neck pain. To learn more about neck injury treatment, please visit our book appointment page or call us now at (305) 265-4441.