Neck Pain

Spine and Orthopaedic Centre Spine Specialist

Stop your Neck Pain today. Effective Treatment, Non Surgery. Discuss with our Spine Specialist for the Diagnosis, Treatment and Prognosis of your Neck Pain. Call us +65 97731458 to schedule for an appointment.

What is Neck Pain?

Our neck (cervical spine) is made up of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso. Cervical discs absorb shock between the bones. The bones, ligaments, and muscles of your neck support your head and allow for motion. Any abnormalities, inflammation, or injury can cause neck pain or stiffness.

Many people experience neck pain or stiffness in the neck occasionally. In many cases, it is due to poor posture, normal wear and tear, or overuse. Sometimes, neck pain is caused by injury from a fall, contact sports, or whiplash.

Most of the time, neck pain is not a serious condition and can be relieved within a few days. In some cases, neck pain can indicate serious injury or illness and require a doctor’s care. If neck pain continues more than a week, is severe, or is accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Neck Pain

 

Causes of Neck Pain or Stiff Neck?

Neck pain or stiffness can happen for a variety of reasons.

– Muscle Tendon and Strain

This is usually due to activities and behaviors such as:

  • poor posture
  • working at a desk for too long without changing position
  • sleeping with your neck in a bad position
  • jerking the neck during exercise

– Due to Injury

The neck is particularly vulnerable to injury, especially in falls, car accidents, and sports, where the muscles and ligaments of the neck are forced to move outside their normal range. If the neck is dislocated or fractured, the spinal cord may also be damaged. Neck injury caused by a sudden jerking of the head is commonly called “whiplash.”

– Due to Diseases and Conditions

Arthritis causes pain, swelling of the joints, and bone spurs. When these occur in the neck area, neck pain can result.

Osteoporosis weakens bones and can result in small fractures.

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes muscle pain throughout the body.

As you age, the cervical disks can degenerate (spondylosis), narrowing the space between the vertebrae and adding stress to the joints. When a disk protrudes, it may add pressure to the spinal cord or nerve roots. This is called a herniated cervical disk, also known as a ruptured disk or slipped disk.

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal column narrows and causes pressure on the spinal cord. This can be due to long-term inflammation caused by arthritis or other reasons.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Stiff neck is usually accompanied by fever and severe headache. Meningitis can be deadly and is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms of meningitis, seek help immediately.

In rare instances, neck stiffness or pain is caused by congenital abnormalities, in addition to infections, abscesses, tumors, or cancer of the spine.

When to seek Medical Care for your Neck Pain?

If symptoms persist for more than a week, consult with a Spine Specialist. You should also see a doctor if you have:

  • severe neck pain without apparent cause
  • a lump in your neck
  • fever
  • headache
  • swollen glands
  • nausea and vomiting
  • trouble swallowing or breathing
  • weakness
  • numbness and tingling
  • pain that radiates down your arms or legs
  • inability to move your arms or hands
  • inability to touch your chin to your chest
  • bladder or bowel dysfunction

If you’ve been in an accident or fall and your neck hurts, seek medical care immediately.

How Neck Pain is Treated?

Our Specialist will perform a physical exam and take your complete medical history. Be prepared to provide specifics about your symptoms, prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements, and recent injuries or accidents, even if they don’t seem related.

Treatment for neck pain will depend on the diagnosis. Tests to determine the cause of neck pain may include:

  • blood tests
  • X-rays
  • computed tomography (CT) scan
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • electromyography (EMG – a test that checks the health of muscles and the nerves that control muscles)
  • lumbar puncture (spinal tap)

Depending on the results of these tests, treatment for neck pain may include:

The treatment of neck pain depends on its precise cause. Treatment options include rest, heat/ice applications, traction, soft collar, traction, physical therapy (ultrasound, massage, manipulation), local injections, topical anesthetic creams, topical pain patches, muscle relaxants, analgesics, and surgical procedures.

Stop your Neck Pain today. Effective Treatment, Non Surgery. Discuss with our Spine Specialist for the Diagnosis, Treatment and Prognosis of your Neck Pain. Call us +65 97731458 to schedule for an appointment.

Cervical Radiculopahy

Spine and Orthopaedic Centre Spine Specialist
What is Cervical Radiculopathy?

Cervical Radiculopathy is the clinical description of pain and neurological symptoms resulting from any type of condition that irritates a nerve in the cervical spine (neck).

Cervical nerves exit the cervical spine (neck) at each level, C1 – C7. Nerves in the neck exit above the designated vertebral level at all levels except the last one (C8 exits below the C7 vertebra), and then branch out to supply muscles that enable the shoulders, arms, hands and fingers to function. They also carry sensory fibers to the skin and muscles that provide sensation.

When any nerve root in the cervical spine is irritated through compression or inflammation, the symptoms can radiate along that nerve’s pathway into the arm and hand.

The patient’s specific cervical radiculopathy symptoms will depend primarily on which nerve is affected. The symptoms may also be referred to as radicular pain.

Causes of Cervical Radiculopathy

Any condition that injures or somehow irritates the cervical nerve can cause cervical radiculopathy. The most common causes include:

  • Cervical Herniated Disc. If the inner material of the cervical disc herniates, or leaks out, and inflames and/or impinges on the adjacent nerve, it can cause a cervical radiculopathy.
  • Cervical Spinal Stenosis. As part of the degenerative process of the cervical spine, changes in the spinal joints can lead to tightening of the space for the spinal canal.
  • Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease. When the cervical spine degenerates over time, it can result in degenerated discs and a pinched nerve.

Infrequently, cervical radiculopathy can be caused by other conditions, such as a tumor, fracture or sarcoidosis, which can compress or cause damage to the cervical nerve roots.

Cervical Radiculopathy Symptoms

Patients with cervical radiculopathy typically feel pain, weakness or numbness in the areas served by the damaged nerve. Pain can be in one area only, like the shoulder, or progress along the entire arm.

The type of pain also can vary. Some patients describe dull, all over pain; others describe the pain as severe burning or sharp. Patients may feel tingling, “pins and needles,” or numbness.

Certain neck movements, like bending the neck back, side to side, or rotating it, may increase the pain. Some patients report that pain decreases when they place a hand behind their head; the movement may be relieving the pressure and traction on the nerve root which then lessens their symptoms.

Types of Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy symptoms differ depending on which nerve is affected. For example, if the nerve root that runs above the C6 vertebra is affected, a physician will use the term “C6 radiculopathy”.

While any patient’s specific symptoms can vary widely, the following are common descriptions for the types and symptoms of cervical radiculopathy:

  • C5 radiculopathy can cause pain and/or weakness in the shoulders and upper arms. Especially may cause discomfort around the shoulder blades. It rarely causes numbness or tingling.
  • C6 radiculopathy (one of the most common), causes pain and/or weakness along the length of the arm, including the biceps (the muscles in front of the upper arms), wrists, and the thumb and index finger.1
  • C7 radiculopathy (the most common) causes pain and/or weakness from the neck to the hand and can include the triceps (the muscles on the back of the upper arms) and the middle finger.2
  • C8 radiculopathy causes pain from the neck to the hand. Patients may experience weakness in hand grip, and pain and numbness can radiate along the inner side of the arm, ring, and little fingers.

Cervical Radiculopathy Treatment

There is a wide range of treatment options available for cervical radiculopathy, and the treatment will depend mainly on the underlying cause of the patient’s symptoms as well as the severity of symptoms