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Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Neck Pain

Nearly everyone has neck pain at some point in their lives, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore that nagging twinge in your neck. Without proper evaluation and treatment, what seems like a nuisance now can progress to a debilitating neck pain that can limit your daily activities and significantly impact your quality of life.

Our team at Lynx Healthcare in Albuquerque, New Mexico, understands the impact of chronic pain. When your neck pain doesn’t resolve on its own, it’s vital to have it evaluated by a qualified health professional. Getting relief from chronic neck pain starts with getting a proper diagnosis.

The neck, also known as the cervical spine, runs from the base of the skull to just between the shoulder blades. There are many causes of neck pain, and ignoring it can make matters worse. Here are a few of the more common reasons people develop neck pain.

A herniated disc

Herniated disc can occur anywhere along the spine, but it most often occurs in the neck or lower back region. Discs between the vertebrae in the spin serve as cushions between the bones. 

A disc is herniated when the jelly-like center bulges out. This can happen when the tough exterior weakens from injury or age-related changes. As you get older, the discs can become dry and more susceptible to herniation. A herniated disc in the cervical spine can cause chronic neck pain. Without treatment, a herniated disc can cause nerve damage.

Cervical spondylosis

The discs and joints of the neck slowly break down as you age. This is medically known as cervical spondylosis or arthritis of the neck. Cervical spondylosis is a progressive condition that tends to worsen over time.

Some people with arthritis of the neck have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur it's usually in the form of neck and shoulder pain. The pain may come and go or may persist for some time. 

Cervical spondylosis can cause significant pain that interferes with your day-to-day activities. Early diagnosis is vital. If you’re experiencing ongoing neck pain, it’s important that you don’t hesitate to seek medical advice.

Bone spurs

Bone spurs are bony projections that develop on the edge of bones. Joint damage from osteoarthritis is the most common cause of burn spurs. The chances of developing bone spurs increases with age. Having bone spurs doesn't automatically mean that you’ll have pain. 

However, when bone spurs do cause symptoms, they can cause significant pain, stiffness, and cramping. The bone spurs can compress the nerves in your neck, causing pain that radiates through the upper body.

Treating neck pain

Treatment for neck pain depends on the cause. Fortunately, neck pain commonly responds to nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and anti-inflammatory medication. After initiating treatment, it can take several weeks to feel an improvement.

If you’re experiencing chronic neck pain, we’re here to help. Board-certified pain management specialist Dr. Michael Pylman and our team are devoted to helping you get relief from pain. Our comprehensive pain management program offers a range of therapeutic treatments to help you get the pain relief you deserve. 

To learn more, give us a call at our Albuquerque office to schedule a visit with Dr. Pylman or request an appointment online today. 

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