For those suffering from persistent neck pain, it is often difficult to pinpoint exactly how the injury may have occurred as well as how to treat it. The two most common causes of cervical spine pain are a hyperextension of the cervical spine or a degenerative condition of the spine, such as arthritis.
Typically, most patients are more familiar with the term “whiplash” when discussing a hyperextension of the neck. Whiplash occurs when the spine is hyperextended backward or hyperflexed forward (or both) in a sudden and violent motion. Most often this occurs in an auto accident, but can also occur due to a slip and fall or sports injury. While some cases of whiplash will subside with conservative care, other cases will result in the herniation of a cervical spine disc. The cause of this is the massive amount of force exerted by an auto accident or injury causes a shift in the alignment of the spine and can force a spinal disc outward into the spinal canal. Oddly, many patients do not notice pain until hours or even days after an accident. For this reason, it is very important to seek medical attention immediately following an accident, even if no symptoms are present. Whiplash can occur at speeds as low as 14 MPH.
Another common cause of neck pain is the formation of osteophytes (bone spurs) on the facet joints of the spine. The facet joints are small stabilizing joints located between and behind the cervical vertebrae. Degenerative conditions, such as osteoarthritis, cause a breakdown of the cartilage in the facet joints. In an effort to repair this damage, the body will form calcium deposits or new bone spurs where the cartilage has deteriorated. When these osteophytes protrude into the spinal canal, they often cause irritation of the spinal nerve roots causing both localized and radiating pain.
The most common symptom of a cervical spine conditions is a sharp pain when rotating or extending the neck in a particular direction. However, other symptoms such as persistent headaches, pain radiating into the arms and fingers as well as burning or tingling in the arms and fingers are also telltale signs of a cervical spine condition. It is important to consult a spine specialist at the first onset of pain as ignoring symptoms can lead to permanent motor and sensory deficits.
About New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery
New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery is led by Dr. Dante Implicito and Dr. John Koerner and has offices in Glen Rock and Maywood, NJ. Both physicians have extensive training and experience in the utilization of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery techniques and have been putting these practices to use for almost a decade. While here at New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery, all steps in your treatment will be clearly reviewed with you by our outstanding and expert team. Our goal is to ensure your return to the healthy and active lifestyle you enjoyed in the quickest and most effective way possible. Each patient is an individual and must be treated like an individual. Our doctors emphasize a personalized and individualized treatment plan for all of their patients that aim to ensure that each patient is educated and informed when it comes to their procedure.