Does Neck Pain Indicate a Spine Condition?

Most people might feel a soreness in their neck or a shooting pain and just assume they slept on it wrong. Overtime, you may get used to that pain and not think anything of it, but you could be overlooking the possibility that neck pain is actually a symptom for something more serious.

neck pain spine conditionKinds of Neck Pain That Are Symptoms of Spine Conditions

While any form of neck pain can indicate a multitude of spinal conditions, the following symptoms are common for a very specific type of condition:

Neck Pain That Shoots Down Your Arm

Sometimes the pain in your neck will radiate down your arms to your hands and fingers. You may also experience numbness or tingling of the hands and fingers. It can either be sudden or develop over a long period of time.

Herniated Disc – Sometimes called a “slipped disc”, a herniated disc occurs when the softer part of a spinal disc starts to push out through a crack in the harder exterior. This may irritate nerves near the herniated disc and cause the aforementioned neck pain. Sometimes a herniated disc leads to no symptoms at all. Usually, this can be treated through medication or physical therapy, but in severe cases where pain persists, surgery may be necessary.

Neck Pain That Occurs During Certain Activities

Have you ever noticed that by doing one specific activity, you always have a shooting pain in your neck? Maybe putting something up or taking down something from a high cupboard, or just sitting a certain way for a long period of time? Overtime, this neck pain develops gradually.

Cervical Foraminal Stenosis – This form of spinal stenosis is usually related to wear-and-tear as well as general aging. The space in-between the disc or the joints of the neck begin to enlarge or deteriorate. It’s a slow process, hence why the pain may gradually increase over time. Physical therapy and medication is usually the treatment for this condition.

Neck Pain That is Worse in the Morning and at Night

The reason why pain might we worse during these times is because the pain is caused by the neck staying still. People suffering from this may not experience pain while they are moving their neck. These symptoms are similar to those who have osteoporosis with hip and knee pain.

Cervical Osteoarthritis (Neck Arthritis) – Arthritis also can affect the facet joints of the neck. As cartilage degenerates overtime, the joints that once moved against smooth services now rub against bone and nerve. Physical therapy and medication is usually the treatment for this condition.

It’s important to understand that neck pain doesn’t guarantee a spinal condition, but you should never eliminate the possibility. Consult with Dr. Cohen, Dr. Torrealba, or Dr. Saullo at Spine & Scoliosis Specialists for a proper diagnosis. For more information, visit our spine conditions page or call our office at 336-333-6306 for an appointment.