Lower neck pain — the common conditions causing this discomfort

Lower neck pain can arise for a variety of reasons — the most common being a muscle strain or ligament sprain. These types of injuries can occur due to something as simple as sitting with poor posture or sleeping with your head in an awkward position, as well as more serious incidents like whiplash or sudden trauma.

Symptoms of a strain or sprain in the lower neck will likely take the form of local pain, inflammation or throbbing. These conditions are generally considered acute injuries that will likely heal over several days or weeks with nonsurgical treatments.

Chronic neck conditions

Lower neck pain that becomes chronic or travels from the cervical (upper) region of the spine into the neck, shoulders, arms, hands or fingers may not be caused by a simple muscle strain or ligament sprain.
If symptoms include radiating tingling, numbness, muscle weakness or muscle spasms, nerve root compression may be present in the spine. Common degenerative conditions that may cause this nerve compression include:

  • Herniated disc
  • Bulging disc
  • Collapsed disc
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Bone spurs
  • Ligament hypertrophy
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal osteoarthritis

Treatment for neck pain

If you think your lower neck pain may be caused by a degenerative condition like those listed above, consult your physician for a proper diagnosis.

Most symptoms related to spinal nerve compression may be managed with nonsurgical treatments like pain medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, gentle stretching, low-impact exercise and other options. Surgery can become an option if weeks or months of conservative therapy have not brought the relief required for a good quality of life. If you are in this situation, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery.

At our state-of-the-art outpatient surgery centers, we provide minimally invasive spine surgery that offers patients a lower risk of complication, a shorter recovery time and no overnight hospitalization^ compared to traditional open neck or back surgery. These benefits are possible because of our muscle-sparing approach to the spine and the less than 1-inch incision used during our procedures. Our minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain since 2005.

We are happy to provide a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.