Wellness Wednesday: 3 Neck Problems & the Solution

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Loudoun County, Va. — Neck pain is something you will probably experience at least once in your life. Many things can cause neck pain, and in this blog I’ll discuss 3 of the common types of neck pain and their causes. In addition to that, I will discuss the solution!

Musculoskeletal Neck Pain

One of the common causes of neck pain comes from the muscles and joints of the cervical spine (or neck). We can often have this type of neck pain due to things such as:

  • Weak neck and upper back muscles, even weak shoulder muscles
  • Prolonged postures (ie. looking at a computer screen or looking up to paint a wall, etc.)
  • Tightness or painful cervical joints (ie. mild arthritic changes or poor posture)

What can you do about it?

This type of pain often does not require surgery; only in severe cases where the cervical joints are severely arthritic or unstable. Most people don’t fit into this category, but a physical therapist can help you to figure out whether surgery may be beneficial.

Discogenic Neck Pain

Discogenic pain means that pain is caused by a vertebral disc that has been injured. Often times, this can be a bulging disc, but it can also just be that some of the collagen fibers which make up the outer ring of the disc have been torn mildly.

What can I do about it?

It is often not something that requires surgery, but improving neck and upper back strength can often help tremendously. A physical therapist can help to identify your individual needs and if it is in fact a disc problem or something else.

Neck Pain with Radicular Symptoms

First, let me describe what radicular symptoms mean. Radicular symptoms include:

  • Shooting pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness

These symptoms are caused by impingement on a nerve in the spine, which you will feel in your arm and sometimes hands and fingers. This can also happen in the lumbar spine, which is often called sciatica. But what is happening is that a cervical disc is impinging on the nerve or the inflammation from the injured disc is creating nerve irritation.

What can I do about it?

Sometimes, this condition may require surgery, but it depends greatly upon your symptoms and the severity of the injury. A physical therapist can help:

  • Address deficits in neck range of motion
  • Strengthen the appropriate muscles to improve your posture
  • Decrease nerve impingement and improve disc healing

Note from our sponsor: In general, these neck problems can be improved with physical therapy. If the severity of the injury is severe enough to require surgery, physical therapy is very helpful pre and post operatively to regain movement, strength and decrease post-surgical pain. Call LSTC today at, 703-450-4300 to schedule your evaluation and start living pain free!

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Loudoun Sports Therapy Center is a premier physical therapy clinic. We offer outpatient orthopedic and sports physical therapy as well as specialty programs.

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