The spine has three different regions that make up the entire spine. The lower back and spine is called the lumbar spine. The middle and upper back is called the thoracic spine. And the neck area is called the cervical spine. The Cervical spine and the neck contain the most nerves of any part of the spine and is responsible for sending impulses from the brain to the spine. Having pain in the cervical spine means having pain in the neck.
Causes of Cervical Spine Pain
There is a huge range of conditions and activities that can cause cervical spine pain. Sleeping on a pillow that doesn’t support your spine can cause cervical spine pain. So can sitting and looking down at a computer all day or walking around staring at your cell phone screen all day. Standing or sitting too long, as well as not stretching regularly, can all cause cervical spine pain. Often cervical spine pain is nothing serious and can be resolved with treatments like heat, stretches, or chiropractic adjustments.
There are more serious cause of cervical spine pain though. Just like the other parts of the spine the cervical spine has small discs of cartilage protecting the vertebrae that make up the spine. Over time those discs can start to degenerate due to injury or just aging. As they disintegrate they can cause pain and stiffness in the neck. Cervical osteoarthritis is a common cause of cervical pain and it can cause pain that radiates into the shoulder blades or down the spine. The most common symptom of cervical osteoarthritis is pain that is quite intense in the morning but tends to go away after stretching and movement. Another symptom of osteoarthritis is pain that returns at the end of the day.
Treatments for Cervical Spine Pain
The most effective treatments for cervical spine pain are chiropractic adjustments. Other treatments that can provide pain relief include the application of heat packs or hot showers, stretching, range of motion exercises and rest. If the pain continues or is so intense that it makes living a normal life difficult steroid injections directly into the cervical spine can provide relief. Contact us today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Cheree Sandness-Johnson.