Neck pain is a common problem that can be mild or severe depending on the cause. Most of the time neck pain Frisco occurs due to poor posture. For example, when texting, your neck muscles can strain as you lean over your smartphone. Sometimes neck pain can be due to osteoarthritis or maybe a sign of a more serious problem. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention if your pain does not get better with treatments such as hot or cold compresses and over-the-counter medications. Discussed below are other possible causes of neck pain.
The spine consists of intervertebral discs that hold the spine’s vertebrae together and act as shock absorbers. Discs have a soft inner layer (nucleus) and a tough, rubbery outer membrane that encloses the nucleus. As you age, the discs degenerate, and some of the nucleus can push out through a weak spot on the outer membrane. A bulged disc can press on nerves, resulting in pain and other symptoms such as arm or leg pain, numbness, and weakness. Bulged or herniated discs occur anywhere along the spine, common in the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) regions.
Worn out joints
Joints in your body wear out as you grow older, and so do those in your neck region. The result is often pain and a reduced range of motion. Worn-out joints can also result from osteoarthritis – a common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes the protective cartilage that cushions the end of bones to deteriorate, allowing bones to rub on each other upon movement. When the bones wear out, the body responds by forming bone spurs on the affected joint. For example, bone spurs in the cervical vertebrae can press on nerves, causing pain in your neck.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal space, compressing nerves that travel through the spine. It mostly occurs due to wear and tear changes in the spine related to osteoarthritis, but it can also be due to herniated discs and spinal injuries. Spinal stenosis may or may not cause symptoms. Those with symptoms report pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the muscles served by the affected nerves. When left untreated, the symptoms of spinal stenosis may worsen with time. There are two main types of spinal stenosis, and they are classified based on where the condition occurs along the spine. Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs in the lower back region of your spine, and cervical spinal stenosis occurs in the neck area of the spine.
Most people know that emotional stress may cause a headache, but few understand the physical effect of stress on the muscles in your neck. The tension resulting from stress causes your neck muscles to tighten, resulting in pain. It can be a vicious cycle since chronic neck pain can make you irritable and contribute to more stress and depression. Therefore, it is important to have self-management and coping strategies to relieve stress. You can manage stress by exercising, getting a massage, and learning relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation.
If you have neck pain, visit your physician at Spine & Joint Physicians of Frisco for treatment to improve your quality of life.