Statistics indicate that neck pain is the third most common cause of chronic pain in America. There are claims that up to 45% of workers suffer from this affliction. A 2012 Gallup Poll and a survey released by the CDC for 2009 both agree that a greater percentage of Americans have more neck and back pain than leg or knee pain. Most surveys also agree on one characteristic of this ailment: pain in the neck is more prevalent among women than they are among men.
Neck Pain: the Basics
Neck and back pain are one reason why people arrange a visit to their doctor, who may then send them to see someone who specializes in this particular field of medicine. An othopedist diagnoses, treats and prevents ailments that affect the musculoskeletal system. The rationale behind this is simple. Neck pains involve the components of this system. Problems within this structure are often the source of the pain.
The problem sometimes develops over time. It rarely results from a sudden trauma, but instead, it builds in strength and spreads over a matter of days, months or years. The speed and depth of its impact depend on several factors including those that are causal.
Causes of Neck (Cervical) Pain
The major cause of neck or cervical pain is found in everyday life. The stress and pressure of our daily activities can produce strain upon our musculoskeletal system. This ongoing wear and tear produces initially small injuries. Over time, they add up and the components that make up our spine start to degenerate. Trauma can increase problems already present. Diseases and disorders can build upon issues already present or start new ones. All may result in various forms of cervical pain, including the type referred to as mechanical.
Common causes of cervical pain include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc
- Neck strain
- Radiculopathy (Pinched nerve)
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Viral infection of the throat
Pain in this area can also be the result of rare disorders such as
- Osteomyelitis – spinal neck bone infection
- Tuberculosis of the neck
- Septic discitis – infection of the neck bones in the spine
Neck Pain: Diagnosis
An orthopedist, if they intend to diagnose the problem correctly, will go beyond recording your compete medical history and performing a complete physical examination. If it warrants more than testing the function of such things as nerves and muscles, they will run some imaging tests to evaluate your condition and determine how your neck pain is a symptom of specific problems within your musculoskeletal system. Once a complete picture of the health disorder emerges you can begin treatment.
If you suffer from neck pain, you may be wondering where to go for consultation and treatment. Consider the compassionate physicians and staff of Suburban Orthopaedics. Their effort to provide the highest quality of orthopaedic care spans over 25 years. Our Board-Certified and eligible physicians ensure exceptional care for all of our patients. To discover more about who we are, visit us at www.suburbanortho.com. You can also connect with them on Facebook for more updates!