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Cervical (Neck) Pain

Cervical pain refers to pain in the neck. Problems in the cervical spine can also radiate pain, numbness, and weakness to the shoulders, arms and hands.

Causes
If you overuse your neck muscles, you can develop a form of neck pain called a muscle strain. Repeated overuse of these muscles can lead to the onset of chronic or ongoing neck pain.

You can also develop neck pain if your nerves don’t have enough room to pass through the spaces in and between the vertebrae. Potential sources of this problem, called nerve compression, include bulging or herniated discs, a narrowing of the spinal canal called stenosis, and arthritis-related bone growths called bone spurs.

Symptoms
Neck pain can range in intensity from minor to severe, and can include shooting pain that extends into the arm or shoulder. Some people may experience more severe symptoms, such as alterations in normal bowel or bladder function, strength loss or numbness in the hands or arms, loss of balance and coordination, and pain that leaves you unable to lower your chin to your chest.

Treatment
North American Spine partner physicians have the broadest range of minimally invasive solutions for your back or neck pain. Depending on the location and severity of your pain, your treatment will fall into one of the following categories:

  • Decompression: Minimally invasive decompression surgery aims to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves. This pressure can be caused by many conditions. Using a surgical laser, if necessary, soft tissue will be removed and pressure on nerves will be relieved. For more on decompression, see Decompression.
  • Stabilization/Fusion: Minimally invasive stabilization/fusion surgery aims to restore spinal stability lost to collapsed discs. Diseased material is removed and stability is regained by fusing vertebrae or replacing diseased material with specialized hardware. For more on stabilization, see Stablization
  • Injections: Injections aim to reduce inflammation, block pain, and/or aid in the regeneration of healthy nerve passages. These procedures often are not permanent solutions, but they may be repeated when pain returns. They are extremely quick procedures with virtually no recovery time.
  • Other Procedures: North American Spine partner physicians may suggest other types of procedures, including the placement of a Spinal Cord Stimulator, an implanted device that blocks the pain signals created by a variety of conditions. For more on our other procedures, see Other Procedures.
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