Neck pain causes

Neck pain is a common occurrence for many adults. Whether this condition is present temporarily from muscle strain or chronically from a spine condition, neck pain has the ability to prevent you from enjoying your normal daily activities. While acute neck pain can be resolved in a few days with rest and pain medication, chronic neck pain can last months and typically requires a treatment regimen for pain relief.

If you’ve noticed your neck pain has lasted several months and has not reduced, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your pain. There are several possible causes of neck pain and by diagnosing the specific cause of your pain, your doctor can make an appropriate recommendation for treatment. To learn about the common causes of neck pain and the treatments that your doctor may recommend, read the following article.

Common causes of neck pain

Chronic neck pain is often caused by a degenerative spine condition, which is a condition that develops as the spine naturally wears down with age. These conditions can cause the spine to move out of alignment and press a nearby nerve root, causing your pain and symptoms.

The most common degenerative spine conditions that cause neck pain include:

  • Degenerative disc disease in the neck — usually develops later in life and can be hereditary
  • Muscle strain — may develop from sleeping with your head at an awkward angle on your pillow, or hunching over the steering wheel for a long drive
  • Whiplash or fractures — occur from damage to the cervical vertebrae that can be caused by accidents or sudden and drastic shifts in speed
  • Cervical herniated disc — occurs when a disc extrudes into the spinal canal and irritates nerves
  • Osteoarthritis — also known as facet disease, is when the cartilage that cushions the vertebrae is deteriorating and the compressed joints between the bones of your spine are causing swelling and irritation
  • Bone spurs — are a potentially painful development of osteoarthritis and are formed when the body tries to compensate for the loss of disc cartilage
  • Cervical spinal stenosis — can develop when the spinal column becomes constricted by a bone spur or another obstruction, but this usually is a result of wear on the body

Treatment for chronic neck pain

Chronic neck pain can sometimes be treated with conservative therapies prescribed by your doctor. These treatments may include physical therapy, chiropractic care and pain medication and often take several weeks or months before lasting relief is experienced. However, if you are still suffering from chronic neck pain after this time, you may be a candidate for the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute.

Our minimally invasive procedures are designed to help treat the most common spine conditions by removing pressure from the pinched nerve and maintaining stability in the spine through the use of a small incision. Because we approach each surgery with minimally invasive techniques, our muscle-sparing procedures are considered safer and effective compared to traditional open neck surgery, and our patients experience a shorter recovery time and lower risk of complication.^

Many of our patients are able to find relief with one of our minimally invasive decompression procedures, which removes part of the damaged disc or stops the other spinal element from pressing against the nerve root. For other patients with more advanced spinal damage, a stabilization procedure may be used to help stabilize the spine using an artificial disc and/or bone graft. If you would like to know if our procedures would be effective in relieving your condition, contact Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a free MRI review.* Let us help you take the next step on your journey to wellness.