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.
#1: Chronic Neck Pain with No Recent Injury
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.
#2: Severe Neck Pain
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.
#3: Pain that Radiates into the Extremities
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.
#4: You’re also Getting Headaches
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.
Relieving Neck Pain with Upper Cervical Chiropractic
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.