Neck pain may occur due to sleeping the wrong way, overextending a muscle, or any other number of reasons. Often, the pain or stiffness isn’t unbearable, and it may even go away on its own and never come back. However, there are other times when you want medical intervention. Here are 4 indicators that your neck pain is actually related to degeneration of the disks between your neck vertebrae.
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If you haven’t suffered an injury in the past few days or weeks, then the damage may be from disc degeneration. In fact, the process may have been set in motion by an injury that occurred a decade or more in the past.
If neck pain moves beyond stiffness and becomes excruciating, you probably need some x-rays to rule out more serious damage. Unfortunately, if the discs have been degenerating for some time, you may have bone rubbing against bone.
If you are feeling pain in your arms and legs as well, a disc may be herniated and pressing on a nerve either in the lower back (leg pain) or up near the shoulders (arm pain). Intervention may be required to help relieve pressure on the nerves.
Headaches and neck pain together may indicate a number of conditions. For example, you may be experiencing migraines or post-concussion syndrome. However, neck issues can cause headaches, so it may just be that the underlying cause of your neck pain is also producing the headaches.
Upper cervical injuries can cause disc degeneration that may not result in pain until years after the initial trauma. Sometimes this neck pain can be severe, even to the point of interfering with sleep or work. As a result, the rest of the spine shifts to compensate, and some of these shifts can lead to pain in the arms or legs. Headaches are also common with upper cervical misalignments because the brainstem may be affected or the proper flow of blood to the brain.
If you suffer from chronic neck pain, an upper cervical chiropractor may be able to help. Find a practitioner near you to schedule a consultation and learn if you are a good candidate for this gentle method of care.
The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.