Neck pain is a common complaint as you age, but if you’re constantly waking up with stiffness and pain, you may need more than a massage and a good night’s sleep. Oklahoma Spine & Brain Institute in Tulsa, Sallisaw, and Claremore, Oklahoma, uses evidence-based treatments to relieve chronic neck pain. Oftentimes, neck pain stems from the cervical discs in your spine. The neurosurgeons at Oklahoma Spine & Brain Institute can perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine if you’re a good candidate for cervical disc therapies. Call to schedule an appointment and learn more.
Your neck or cervical spine runs from the bottom of your skull to the top of your shoulders. It has many vertebrae, muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments that help support and rotate your head. Because the neck supports so much weight, it’s easy to injure it when you twist, jerk, or overstretch it.
There are many reasons you can experience acute or chronic neck pain, but one of the most common comes from problems with the cervical discs in your spine.
The neck contains six intervertebral discs that rest in-between the bony vertebrae in your spine. These discs act as shock absorbers for the vertebrae. They also provide cushion and flexibility that allows you to turn and rotate your head and neck comfortably.
Spinal discs have a soft center called the nucleus and a more fibrous outer ring called the annulus. Over time, the cervical discs in your neck can deteriorate and degrade, making them prone to injury and pain.
In some cases, the nucleus can even push through small cracks in the annulus and put pressure on nearby nerves. This common condition is called a herniated cervical disc.
Neck pain affects everybody differently, but some of the most common signs that you have an injury or degenerative condition include:
Pain in the cervical spine can also cause weakness in your arms and hands.
Neck pain can develop from something as simple as a muscle strain or sleeping in an uncomfortable position. More serious causes of neck pain are:
A herniated cervical disc happens when the soft nucleus in your disc pushes through the tougher annulus, irritating nearby nerves.
Cervical spondylosis is a general term to describe the wear and tear that occurs in your cervical discs as you age.
A sudden injury, such as a sports injury or whiplash from a car accident, can badly bruise and even fracture the vertebrae in your neck.
Spinal stenosis is the gradual narrowing of the spinal column. Over time, spinal stenosis can put pressure on your spinal cord and nearby nerves.
If rest, ice therapy, and therapeutic exercises and stretches don’t relieve your neck pain, Oklahoma Spine & Brain Institute may recommend a more permanent solution to your discomfort.
While steroid injections can temporarily relieve pain and reduce inflammation on the nerves in your neck, the cervical disc that’s causing you pain may require replacement or fusion.
The team uses Mobi-C® Cervical Disc prosthetics to replace severely damaged or degraded discs. These state-of-the-art artificial discs not only relieve neck pain, but they can also restore flexibility and mobility to your cervical spine.
Another option to reduce neck pain is to remove the damaged cervical disc and fuse the vertebrae to prevent reinjury.
Your provider may also recommend stem cell injections, which trigger your body’s healing response to repair damage and reduce pain in your neck.
If you’re suffering from neck pain, call the expert neurosurgeons at Oklahoma Spine & Brain Institute today.