Arthritis, Herniation & Cervical Radiculopathy: 3 Common Causes Of Neck Pain

  • Chiropractor - Spine Specialist
  • back pain
  • July 13, 2020

Read Time: 8 minutes If neck pain is chronic, there may be an underlying condition. Do you have arthritis, herniation, and cervical radiculopathy?

Is Neck Pain Normal?

Merely sleeping in the wrong position can cause people to have a sore neck. But what about when neck pain doesn’t go away? Is chronic neck pain normal? If discomfort isn’t going away, there could be an underlying condition at play. Some of the most common of these conditions are arthritis, a herniation, and cervical radiculopathy.

viralMD connect Cervical Radiculopathy Arthritis Herniation 3 Common Causes Of Neck Pain

1. A common condition

Past the age of 60, over 85% of people experience a form of arthritis in the neck. Cervical spondylosis, or neck arthritis, refers to the wear and tear people experience over time. As people age, the cartilage between the bones of the vertebrae starts to wear down. If this cartilage wears down completely, bone may rub against bone, causing pain and discomfort.

In less severe cases, patients can find relief from arthritis pain through physical therapy and performing specific stretches. Patients may also benefit from pain medications, steroid injections, or hot and cold therapy. When noninvasive measures don’t work to improve symptoms, a doctor may recommend surgical treatment.

2. Ruptured discs

Each disc of the spine has a gel-like center called the nucleus. When a herniation occurs, this center ruptures through an area of the outer wall, causing pain, numbness, or tingling. Commonly, people with herniated discs feel pain radiating down the arm and into the hand. Patients may also experience muscle spasms or weakness.

In many cases, a herniation will resolve in 4-6 weeks with noninvasive treatment methods. Some of these include physical therapy, rest, pain medication, or steroid injections. When symptoms do not resolve, a physician may recommend neck surgery. One of the most common procedures is anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon removes all or part of the ruptured disc and then performs a spinal fusion for stabilization.

3. Damaged nerve roots

Another common cause of neck pain is cervical radiculopathy. This condition refers to when a nerve root in the spine becomes inflamed, causing pain. Symptoms can include tingling sensations, altered reflexes, or numbness in the arms and hands.

As with other causes of neck pain, doctors typically start with nonsurgical treatment methods. These can include steroid injections, medications, or physical therapy. When these treatment options don’t improve symptoms, surgery may be needed. Surgical options include ACDF surgery and artificial disc replacement, where the surgeon replaces the damaged disc with an artificial one.

When to seek help

Although many people experience neck pain, discomfort should not interfere with daily life. Anyone who is experiencing pain that causes disruptions in daily activity should schedule an appointment with a spine specialist. These physicians can provide diagnosis and treatment options for neck pain relief.

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