Many people complain about neck pain. Sometimes the pain is just an indicator of overuse of the muscles, but at other times it may indicate that there is a much more serious underlying problem. If in addition to the pain in the neck you have shooting pains extending down your arms, are unable to touch your chin to your chest or experience numbness in your hands or arms, you may have a more serious condition and should be seen by your doctor.
Some of the pain may be the result of overuse of muscles in the neck. If you work at a computer all day with poor posture, you may have a pain in your neck. If you continue to strain those same muscles day after day the strain may lead to chronic pain.
Over time, as you age the joints of the neck can wear down and cause pain. In addition, the injuries caused by wear and tear can lead to the development of osteoarthritis of the neck. Osteoarthritis may cause stiffness and pain that make it difficult to move the head.
The spinal column, including the cervical spine contain the spinal cord and allow nerves to branch out to the rest of the body. If there are bone spurs or compressed discs they can pinch nerves and cause you to experience pain. In some cases the pain that is felt may be quite severe.
Some pain may be attributed to accidents. Whiplash often occurs as the result of a car crash. In this injury, the head is forced forward and then snaps back using the soft tissues. Over extended soft tissues can cause stiffness and soreness when you try moving.
Some of the pain you experience in your neck could be attributed to rheumatoid arthritis. Pain in the hands or feet are most common, but the neck follows closely thereafter. Many times this ailment can cause long term pain.
Spinal meningitis causes swelling of the lining of the spinal cord and brain to swell. A stiff or swollen neck is very often the first sign that someone has this disease. Spinal meningitis is very contagious and a serious disease.
Cancerous tumors may in rare instances cause neck pain. While it would be very rare for the cancer to begin in the neck, cancers from other parts of the body can spread to the neck. Surgery or chemo may be required for these tumors.
Treatment for your the pain depends on a correct diagnosis. Doctors use tests that include x-rays, ct and mri scans. In addition, the doctor may want to do a spinal tap to rule out meningitis.
Doctors treat your pain with medication and therapy. Some of the medications used include injections of steroids. Therapy includes temporary immobilization of your neck, traction or special exercises to help relieve the pain.
When you experience neck pain that continues after rest and use of over the counter anti-inflammatory medication, you should see your doctor. He will evaluate the cause of the pain and recommend a plan for treatment. Finding help can relieve some of the pain you are feeling.
Seattle chiropractor reviews will direct you to a doctor who will eliminate pain from injuries or accidents. Your Seattle neck pain specialist will work with you to alleviate discomfort in your upper spine.