Your neck, or the cervical region of your spine, provides more movement than any other body part. While these seven vertebrae were designed for strength and stability, neck pain is a highly common medical complaint impacting 80% of people at some point in their lifetime. While most neck pain comes and goes, constant neck pain could be caused by an underlying medical condition. If you are experiencing cervical spine pain anywhere from the bottom of your skull to your upper back, you need doctors who specialize in treating neck pain.
At Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona, our goal is to provide outstanding and compassionate spinal care, emphasizing non-operative and minimally invasive procedures.
What Is Neck Pain?
Neck pain is any painful sensation or discomfort experienced in your cervical spine. The neck region of your spine consists of seven bones that support and balance your head, which weighs as much as a bowling ball. The neck provides incredible range of motion to turn the head in all directions. Along with other components like joints and muscles, the cervical spine supplies strength and stability, allowing the exiting nerves traveling to your extremities from the spinal cord to communicate with the brain.
Injury or inflammation, usually due to poor posture or overuse, can impact your cervical spine and lead to neck pain. Most neck pain is acute and resolves on its own with simple treatments like over-the-counter medication and rest. Severe or chronic neck pain lasting longer than a few weeks should be addressed by a medical professional.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Many neck-related issues can cause cervical spine pain. Most neck pain occurs as people live their lives normally, unaware of how certain activities put a strain on their neck. Slouching, sleeping with the neck twisted or certain activities like painting ceilings are all factors that can cause the neck joints to swell or put a strain on the neck muscles.
Neck pain is a common complaint and can originate from any number of conditions or disorders, such as:
- Strain or sprain: Muscle strain or soft tissue sprain of the ligaments or tendons can cause tenderness or pain.
- Whiplash: A sudden force that jerks your head and neck quickly.
- Degenerative disc disease: Age-related deterioration or loss of cushioning to the cervical spinal discs that support and cushion the vertebrae.
- Pinched nerve: When the nerves in your cervical spine become compressed, causing pain.
- Herniated disc: When the spinal discs bulge or rupture, creating pressure on the nerves and resulting in painful symptoms.
- Cervical stenosis: When the bony openings where the nerves exit the spinal canal become narrowed, causing pressure on the nerves.
- Infection: Viral or bacterial infections in your throat can cause the lymph nodes to swell and result in neck pain.
- Injury: A car accident, sports injury or fall can lead to intense neck pain.
Common Neck Pain Symptoms
Neck pain can manifest in a number of ways and is often exacerbated by turning your head or moving your neck. Cervical spine pain can be described as:
- Dull ache.
- Sharp, stabbing pain localized in one area.
Neck pain can also be associated with other symptoms, such as:
- Limited range of motion.
- Tingling, numbness or pain in your shoulders, arms and hands.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- Upper or lower back pain.
Neck Pain Diagnosis
For patients experiencing neck pain in Scottsdale, Phoenix or Glendale, AZ and beyond, DISC offers cutting-edge spinal care diagnosis and treatment. It all begins with pinpointing the source of your pain. Our proprietary diagnostic technique called Personalized Pain Diagnostics (PPD) allows us to find the specific pain generator causing your painful symptoms. We also rely on compassionate communication to ensure your needs are heard and understood before proceeding with treatment.
Treatment Options for Neck Pain in Arizona
Once we understand your personal pain journey, our team of orthopedic surgeons gets to work. DISC specialists are leaders in advanced spine care treatments. We always recommend least invasive options first, since most patients’ neck pain responds well to conservative care. This could include:
- Heat and cold therapy.
- Non-surgical therapeutic pain injections.
However, if you continue to experience severe neck pain, surgery may be recommended as the best way to resolve your symptoms and restore your active lifestyle. We offer a wide range of surgical procedures, including cervical artificial disc replacement and minimally invasive surgical techniques proven to provide relief.
Schedule Your Appointment With a Neck Pain Doctor in AZ
Don’t settle for living with pain. The specialists at DISC can relieve your neck pain so you can enjoy life again. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.