Neck pain is a serious problem that can disrupt your life. It can keep you from being active. It can make you miss work. Your neck may hurt for a short time, or your pain may bother you for months or years.
About the Cervical Spine
Let’s learn about the structure of the cervical spine to better understand neck pain. Your cervical spine is made up of seven cervical vertebrae. Between these vertebrae are spinal discs. They cushion the bones and allow your neck to bend and twist.
Spinal Cord and Nerves
The spine protects your spinal cord. That’s a thick bundle of nerves that travels through a space called the “spinal canal.” Spinal nerves branch away from the spinal cord through spaces on both sides of your spine. These travel down to your shoulders and arms.
Causes of Pain
Neck pain can have many causes. Often, it’s the result of a muscle or ligament injury. But if you have neck pain that doesn’t go away – even after weeks – you may have a spinal misalignment, a herniated disc or some other problem. These can compress and irritate your spinal nerves.
Symptoms of neck pain depend on the cause and the severity of your problem. You may have muscle spasms. You may have headaches. You may have trouble bending and rotating your neck. Problems in your neck can also cause pain in your shoulders. A neck injury can cause tingling or weakness in your arm, and numbness in your arm or hand.
Care and Management
Chiropractic care can help manage these problems. It’s a safe and effective way to deal with pain and other symptoms. Your chiropractor can create a plan that is right for you.