The neck or cervical spine is designed for strength, stability, and nerve communication with the brain via the spinal cord. Made up of a network of nerves, bones, joints, and muscles, it also has the important job of supporting and providing mobility for the head which weighs about the same as a medium bowling ball.
Neck pain is generally related to the overuse or strain of the neck’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments due to stress, poor posture or an injury such as whiplash or from carrying something heavy.
With our modern lifestyle comes the regular use of electronic devices and computer equipment which is commonly linked to many postural issues that can cause pain. Unfortunately, just as commonly, it can occur without any known trigger and develops differently in every patient – whether suddenly or over time.
Possible causes of chronic neck pain include:
- Facet joint disease
- Nerve root compromise and radiculopathy
- Spinal Canal Stenosis
- Disc disease
- Soft Tissue injury and deconditioning
- Degeneration or Spondylosis
- Stiff neck and discomfort upon turning the head
- Stabbing pain at a certain point in the neck
- Sore or tender areas of the neck
- Muscle spasms
- Radiating pain through the shoulders, arms or hands
- Tingling, numbness
- Balance or coordination issues
- Muscle weakness/loss of sensation – seek prompt medical attention
- Physical therapy – including stretching and exercise, lifestyle modifications
- Epidural steroid injection or nerve root injection can often relieve sciatica pain and help with a diagnosis
- Radiofrequency neurotomy – cauterises offending nerves via heat administered through a small needle
- Spinal cord stimulation procedures can help cases of recurring back or leg pain
- Referral to a spinal surgeon if required
At Qpain, we provide the latest minimally invasive radiofrequency and advanced neuromodulation procedures for treating chronic neck and back pain – both potentially debilitating conditions experienced by a large percentage of the Australian population.
The neck is a complex and intricate construction designed to support and move the head, maintain blood supply to the brain and protect the spinal cord. As a result of even normal daily activities, stresses on the neck enhance the risk for developing a number of painful conditions.
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“It’s vital to work with a physician who specialises in pain medicine to help identify the source of your pain and develop the best method of treatment.”
Dr Frank Thomas