Neck And Spine Pain

Back Surgery Information

Neck And Spine Pain

Neck and spine pain is one of the complaints people experience even though not as commonly as back pain. This type of pain may be acute or chronic depending on its cause. Acute neck pain may be caused by muscle strain, muscle sprain or injury or trauma like whiplash. This type of pain will quite often resolve on its own without any medical intervention. Chronic pain may be caused by an underlying problem which will require further investigation and treatment.

Underlying problems that may result in neck and spine pain include disc herniation, pinched nerve, bone infections such as septic discitis, meningitis, and osteomyelitis, facet syndrome and neck cancer. The pain may also be as a result of growing older and may be caused by degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis.

Even though the majority of people will at some point complain about neck and spine pain, it is of utmost importance to seek medical advice if the pain is accompanied by other symptoms. The symptoms that should cause some concern include fevers and chills, tingling and numbness, weakness in the limbs, loss of balance, loss of bladder or bowel control, serious headaches, nausea and dizziness.

Neck and spine pain that has no obvious cause should also raise some concern. If the pain does not get better even after several weeks of conservative treatment or pain that is getting worse over time or gets worse as the day progresses should be looked at by a medical professional.

The aim of seeking advice from a medical professional about neck and spine pain is to obtain an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment. When you go to the doctor, he will take a complete medical history to determine if there are other symptoms that may be a cause of concern. The doctor will be keen to determine if there are radicular symptoms. These are symptoms that include radiating pain in the shoulder, arms and fingers as well as tingling, numbness and weakness.

Radicular symptoms indicate nerve involvement with neck and spine pain such as a pinched nerve. The doctor will carry out a physical exam. He will also ask questions to determine the nature of symptoms.

He may get a cervical x ray done to help with the diagnosis. The x ray can show any fractures, bone spurs or decrease in disc space caused by spinal stenosis but will not show any disc herniation. Therefore a CT (computed tomography) scan or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may be carried out. Other tests that may be carried out are a discogram, myelogram, bone scan or electromyograph (EMG).

Once the cause of the neck and spine pain is determined, an appropriate treatment method will be designed. In some circumstances, surgery may be considered an option. Fortunately, in most cases surgery is not necessary if the patient will take the time to give the affected area a time to heal.