Neck pain can be simply a mild, temporary ache or a stabbing pain that spreads to the shoulders. About 30% of adults in the U.S. suffer from some form of neck pain every year, and about 50% of adults develop chronic or intermittent neck pain.
The topmost portion of the spine is in the neck, and this is called the cervical spine. Neck pain may develop due to an issue with this section of the spine or with the muscles and other structures in the area.
Due to its precarious position as having to balance and stabilize the head, which weighs approximately 10 pounds or more, the neck is highly vulnerable to injury and pain. Let’s talk about some of the most common causes of neck pain, and where you can go here in West Jersey for expert orthopedic treatment and lasting pain relief.
Frequent Causes of Neck Pain
You may develop pain in the neck for many reasons, including the following:
Neck pain can easily develop when any of the ligaments, tendons, muscles, joints, discs, and nerves in the cervical spine become injured or irritated. This can happen due to everything from sleeping in an awkward position to suffering whiplash in a car accident.
If your occupation or hobby demands prolonged pressure or stress on your neck and shoulders, be sure to take frequent stretching breaks. You can also make ergonomic adjustments to your workspace, such as having your chair at the proper level and adjusting your monitor’s height – which should be slightly below eye level.
Herniated Cervical Disc
A herniated disc can occur anywhere in the spine, including the cervical spine region in the neck. Each set of two adjacent vertebrae in your spine has a cushiony disc in between them, and each disc enables flexibility while protecting the vertebrae from rubbing together.
When a disc ruptures, or cracks on the outside, then the softer interior can “leak” or push outward. This can cause constant pressure on a nearby nerve, causing pain.
The severity of the symptoms will depend on the location of the nerves irritated by the ruptured disc. Pain medication and rest are the usual treatments for a herniated disc; it usually heals naturally.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and it is caused by the progressive degeneration of the protective cartilage in a joint – and this can include the joints between each set of two vertebrae in the spine. If arthritis develops in the cervical spine, you can experience neck pain.
If you’re hunched over your desk all day, or if you constantly lean in a certain way in your profession, you may be putting pressure on your neck and shoulder muscles. Talk to an orthopedist about how to maintain proper positioning in your job in order to avoid further neck pain in the future.
Neck Pain Treatment in West Jersey
For comprehensive orthopedic care and relief from your neck pain, visit the Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey. Our expert team of orthopedic physicians can diagnose and treat the underlying source of your distress, and we offer conservative and surgical therapies to best treat your particular condition.
To schedule a consultation with one of our outstanding orthopedic doctors, call us today at (973) 989-0888 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you achieve long-lasting pain relief!