21 Nov What Are the Possible Causes of My Cervical Pain?
Pain is a fascinating thing. At least it is to those of us who specialize in pain medicine. So many things can cause it and people experience it in different ways. Doctors are sometimes able to determine the cause of pain very quickly. Other times, determining causation requires a lot of investigation and testing. Take cervical pain. There isn’t just one root cause.
What we call cervical pain is referred to by most others as neck pain. We call it cervical pain because it originates in the cervical spine. But we get that medical definitions don’t mean much to patients who complain about being uncomfortable. They just want the pain to go away, whether we call it cervical or neck pain.
Common Causes of Cervical Pain
Cervical pain can be mild, moderate, or severe. It can be acute or chronic. How any one person experiences it depends on a variety of factors that change from one person to the next. Fortunately, the most common causes of cervical pain are fairly easy to identify. Here are five of them:
1. Nerve Compression
Nerves are highly sensitive tissues that don’t take much to irritate. Furthermore, the spinal column carries a whole network of nerves up and down the body. If one of those nerves gets compressed, cervical pain is possible. Nerve compression can be the result of herniated discs, bone spurs, or even arthritis.
2. Strained Muscles
Muscles working in support of the spinal column carry a tremendous load. They do an awful lot of work to keep a person upright. If a muscle in the area of the cervical spine is strained, you could feel neck pain. The pain would be similar to what you would feel if you pulled a leg muscle. Fortunately, muscle strains are not a serious problem.
3. Joint Damage
A big issue when it comes to cervical pain is joint damage. Damage can be related to age, as is the case with osteoarthritis, or the result of injury. In either case, joints that don’t function as they normally should can be the source of all types of pain. That pain can be significant in the cervical spine.
4. Other Injuries
Injuries other than those experienced by the joints can cause cervical pain as well. Something we see a lot with car accidents is whiplash. The condition is caused by the head being quickly snapped forward and then backward. It damages the soft tissue in the neck and can result in long-lasting pain.
5. Other Diseases
Osteoarthritis is considered a disease that affects the joints. It damages the joints to the extent that it causes pain. But there are other diseases linked with cervical pain as well. These include rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and meningitis. Unfortunately, meningitis is a bit tricky to catch if a doctor isn’t specifically looking for it. Not treating it quickly could lead to dire consequences.
Treatments Are Available
The good news in all of this is that patients do not have to just live with cervical pain. Treatments for nearly every cause are available. For instance, cervical facet joint syndrome can be treated with epidural steroid injections, joint injections, nerve blocks, and radiofrequency neurotomy.
When cervical pain is the result of kyphosis, it can be treated with discography, joint injections, or possibly a spinal cord stimulator implant.
Are you suffering from cervical pain that is interrupting your daily life? Don’t just live with it. Visit with one of the pain doctors at our Weatherford, TX clinic as soon as it’s convenient. We will do what we can to help you find relief.