Should you see the doctor about your neck pain? The answer is yes. Without treatment, neck pain can lead to chronic, persistent pain that can turn into a disability.
Your neck hurts. Could it be from that tennis workout? Perhaps you strained a muscle at work or at the gym. You’ve applied heat, and it’s not getting any better. It’s time to seek medical attention.
Our board-certified chiropractors at Physicians Group are the experts you want to see if you have unexplained musculoskeletal pain. We correctly diagnose the problem and provide hands-on relief.
What are common causes of neck pain?
If you’ve been in an accident or had a fall, you know why your neck hurts. However, there are a number of other possible reasons why you’re having neck pain. Following are some of the major causes of neck pain:
- Whiplash from a fall or vehicle accident
- Muscle strain
- Pinched nerve
- Herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis
Why it’s important to seek early treatment for neck pain
Your neck has seven bones cushioned by spinal discs. These bones are the smallest vertebrae in your spine, yet they’re required to support the 10-pound weight of your head and enable it to turn and bend. Damage to your neck can inevitably affect your entire body.
Neck pain may come from a compressed nerve. If you have a compressed nerve, a bone, cartilage, muscle, or tendon is pressing against it, irritating it. Reasons are numerous for developing a compressed nerve. You could have an overuse injury from sports, a hobby, or work. You may be developing arthritis.
Without treatment a compressed nerve can turn into a herniated disc. Herniated discs are painful; it’s when some of the material in the disc has slipped out as a result of a tear in the disc from an accident or wear-and-tear on the disc.
You need to seek medical treatment for a compressed nerve. Waiting to treat it can mean pain that runs down your arm and into your back. You may start to avoid normal activities that use your muscles. They become weak. A compressed nerve in your neck can cause problems in using your hands. Without treatment, you have permanent damage causing a disability.
If you’re young, you can develop early onset arthritis from an earlier traumatic injury. If you’re over 40 or 50, you could be developing arthritis if you’re experiencing neck pain.
As you age, the protective discs that cushion your vertebrae begin to thin, providing less protection against friction that can irritate a nerve. The joints in your cervical spine, the facet joints, can develop arthritis. The cartilage on the ends of the bones wears away. You may develop a bone spur that puts pressure on a nerve. Without treatment, you may develop problems walking as well as tingling, weakness, and/or numbness in your extremities.
If you have whiplash from an accident, your neck is damaged from quick movements back and forth or side to side. The accident can throw the bones in your neck out of alignment, causing them to make an “s” shape. Whiplash can cause jaw pain or numbness in the arm.
It’s critical to seek medical treatment right away for whiplash even if your symptoms don’t feel severe at first; they can worsen over time. Your chiropractor can bring your spine into alignment again, bringing you back to health. If you don’t seek early treatment, you can be left with permanent stiffness and pain.
Call Physicians Group or book an appointment online today if you have neck pain. We provide the expert treatment you’re seeking.