Types of Neck Pain
Our neck specialist in NJ & NY regularly sees patients dealing with neck pain for a variety of reasons. Learning about the various types can help you explain your symptoms to our team.
- Axial or Mechanical Pain – This is the most common, and it involves the pain being focused on one area of the neck without radiating or moving. The pain is typically throbbing, achy, and dull but can also be stinging or sharp.
- Bone Pain – This is when the bones in the neck are painful. It is much less common than the other types of pain.
- Funicular Pain – This pain happens if the ascending tracts in the spinal cord are irritated or compressed. It typically feels cold, throbbing, or achy in the trunk or a limb.
- Facet Pain – This is caused by inflammation of the small joints of the spine, that help rotate and bend the spinal bones. It typically feels like a “heaviness” on the neck and shoulders and a constant ache across the shoulder blades.
- Muscle Pain – This pain occurs in the neck’s muscles.
- Myelopathic Pain – This pain can happen if the portion of the spinal cord in your neck gets compressed. In addition to neck pain, it also typically includes pain in the feet or legs.
- Radicular Pain – This pain radiates along your nerves and frequently spreads to the shoulders, arms, and hands. This pain is typically related to the inflammation of a nerve root in your cervical spine.
- Referred Pain – This term refers to pain that you feel in one place but comes from another. It is not due to nerve root irritation. The pain tends to be throbbing, cramping, or achy.
Causes of Herniated Discs in The Neck
Any herniated disc neck specialist will tell you that your spinal discs start to lose elasticity and flexibility as you age. Additionally, the ligaments around the discs gain brittleness, making them tear more easily. As such, the risk of a herniated disc in the neck increases with age.
Typically, neck pain doctors in our New Jersey and New York offices cannot pinpoint precisely when a disc became herniated without reviewing MRI results. It is more likely that a twist or strain incurred during your routine caused it when the discs were less flexible due to age and wear and tear.
Sometimes, a herniated disc will occur if you suffer a spinal injury in Paterson, NJ or do repetitive activities. This is particularly true for people who regularly lift heavy objects at work.
Some people have a higher risk of developing a herniated disc in their neck. These include those with a family history of related issues, smokers, those with physically demanding jobs, and overweight.
Herniated discs are most common among 35 to 55 years old males, although other demographic groups can also suffer from them.
When to Seek Neck Pain Treatment
It’s advisable to visit an experienced NJ or NY doctor for a herniated disc in the neck if you notice any severe symptoms, including your arms feeling weak. Any tingling or numbness in your extremities is also a sign you need a specialist appointment in Totowa.
You should see a doctor if you notice that your neck pain spreads to your legs or arms.
Other symptoms that should send you to the doctor include severe pain without a discernible cause, headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands, trouble breathing, and difficulty swallowing.
How our Pain Doctor in New Jersey Treats Herniated Disc Neck Pain
We will determine the ideal treatment for a herniated disc in the neck after examining your neck and spine and completing various tests. Expect to be referred out for imaging tests, such as MRIs or x-rays.
Our neck specialist in NJ & NY always pursue non-invasive treatment methods whenever possible. These will typically include some combination of physical therapy, medication, chiropractic care, and exercise.
Physical therapy will typically focus on exercises to strengthen the neck and maintain correct posture. It can include heat, ice, massage, traction, and electrical stimulation. A neck pain doctor in New Jersey may also suggest short-term immobilization in the form of a removable neck brace. If this is part of your treatment, you will only use it for a few hours at a time. Medications can be prescribed oral medications or injections.