Neck Pain Causes
Neck pain is very common. 80% of the population will experience neck pain.
To completely know neck pain, we must know the disparity between real neck pain and arm or upper limb pain. Neck pain is usually considered to be pain which stays in the neck while arm or upper extremity pain is pain which travels down the shoulder, arm, and hand.
Pain down the arm also introduced to as radicular pain, is usually caused by compression upon the nerve as it courses through the spinal canal or as it leaves the spine. This pressure may be made by a ruptured or herniated disc, or by thickened ligament known as spinal stenosis, or by bone spurs associated as osteophytes. When one vertebral body slips upon another, a state-recognized as spondylolisthesis, the nerve roots leaving the spine may be reduced by the slipped bone.
Mechanical neck pain may be made by strain or sprain of the muscles and ligaments connected to the spine. It may also be produced by inflammation of the joints in the spine or by degeneration of the disc spaces located between the vertebral bodies. Fractures of the spine due to trauma occur in neck pain as well. Also, tumors and infection of the spine may produce neck pain. Mechanical instability as is seen in spondylolisthesis may result in neck pain as well.
The neurosurgeon needs to find out the cause of pain to treat it accordingly. This is done by using the patient’s history to know when the pain began, where the pain travels to, the nature of the pain and what does the pain more real or worse. The neurosurgeon then performs a physical examination and establishes with detailed MRI or CT scans of the spine, as well as x-rays. It is only after the diagnosis of the problem of pain that we begin treatment to reduce the pain.