Providing support and mobility for the head leaves the neck vulnerable to wear-and-tear. If you’re experiencing frequent neck pain, the expert doctors at Internal Medicine Practices in Lady Lake and Tavares, Florida, can help. State-of-the-art diagnostic tools and advanced training allow the physicians to uncover the cause of neck pain for targeted treatment. To learn more about neck pain, call Internal Medicine Practices or schedule an appointment online today.
Supported by the cervical spine, the neck stretches from the bottom of the skull and jaw to the upper shoulders and chest. It’s made up of seven vertebrae and several muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. All of the neck’s structures work together to support the weight of your head, allowing it to move and turn.
Injury to any part of the neck can cause pain. Depending on how severe the damage is, neck pain can last for several months — even years — without treatment.
Neck pain causes several uncomfortable symptoms that can diminish your quality of life, including:
Neck pain can be constant, or it can come and go. Your pain can get worse during times of stress or when participating in some activities, like driving.
With the level of support and motion the neck provides, it’s highly vulnerable to damage. Common causes of neck pain include:
Osteoarthritis, or chronic joint inflammation, shows up when the pliable cartilage protecting your joints deteriorates. Without healthy cartilage, the bones in your neck rub together. Not only does this cause pain, but it can also reduce the range of motion in your neck.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It causes widespread joint inflammation. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is not a wear-and-tear condition but a chronic disease.
The soft tissues in your neck allow flexibility and range of motion. When these tissues are strained, they can cause constant pain. Sports injuries, car accidents, hunching over a computer, driving, and reading can also lead to neck strain.
Your cervical discs cushion the vertebrae and absorb shock to the neck. These discs are made of a hard shell and soft, gel-like center. Damage to a disc can cause the center gel to ooze out and irritate the surrounding nerves.
Depending on your symptoms, your Internal Medicine Practices provider will complete a physical exam and order imaging tests, like X-rays, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), or a CT (computed tomography) scan, to diagnose the cause of your neck pain.
Once you have a proper diagnosis, your doctor can recommend neck pain treatments, like:
Poor posture significantly increases your risk of neck pain. Investing in ergonomic office upgrades, like a posture-enhancing chair, can reduce your chronic pain.
To learn more about neck pain, call Internal Medicine Practices or schedule an appointment online today.