Neck nerve pain can have a real impact on your quality of life. At times, we don’t realize how much we move our head and neck until these basic activities become painful. What’s worse is that nearly everyone experiences some degree of neck pain at some point– it’s virtually unavoidable. Neck nerve pain can be caused a number of ways, ranging from something as simple as a sports-related injury or repetitive movements, to the presence of a degenerated spine condition in the cervical spine. Likewise, treatments for neck nerve pain vary depending on the source and severity of the patient’s pain.
Causes of nerve pain
Neck nerve pain is caused when one of the nerves, nerve roots or the spinal cord becomes irritated or compressed in the cervical spine region of the neck. In addition to causing localized neck pain, nerve compression can also lead to a number of other symptoms, known collectively as radiculopathy, such as muscle weakness in the upper body, numbness or tingling, traveling pain and a numb or tingling feeling in the extremities.
The cervical spine is particularly susceptible to nerve pain because of the strain placed on the neck by the weight of the skull and the flexibility of the spine in the neck. However, in most cases, neck nerve pain can be traced to a relatively minor injury and pain will subside on its own after several days of taking it easy. Even nerve pain that is caused by a degenerative spine condition, like a herniated intervertebral disc, can normally be managed with a comprehensive, conservative treatment plan. Some proven-effective nonsurgical treatments for neck nerve pain include:
- Pain medication, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories
- Hot or cold compresses
- Physical therapy
- Low-impact exercises
- Stretching techniques
- Alternative medicine
- Limited rest
In the event that you continue to suffer from neck nerve pain after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how one of our outpatient decompression treatments might be able to alleviate your neck pain.