Neck pain can occur anywhere in the neck and into the shoulders and head. It may even spread down the upper back or arms. When you have neck pain, the range of your head movement becomes limited. Neck pain is most common among people over the age of 50, but it can happen to anyone, even kids.
Activities or habits that stress or strain your neck muscles can cause neck pain. The following can result in neck strains, spasms, or sprains:
- Bad posture
- Sleeping the wrong way
- Painting or working overhead
Neck pain may also develop because of an injury:
- A car accident
- Falling from a high place
- Collisions on the sports field or court
Some of the more severe sources of neck pain are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- An infection in the neck
- Spinal stenosis
Neck Pain Symptoms
Neck pain can feel like simple stiffness, a knot in the neck area, or severe pain. The pain can radiate in your shoulders, upper back, or arms, and a headache may ensue. Turning your head may be difficult. If there is pressure on the spinal nerve root, you may feel pain that travels down your arm. You may also experience numbness, weakness, or tingling in your arm. Chronic neck pain can affect the way you perform your daily activities. In a worst-case scenario, you might even suffer from fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
Risks of Neck Pain Surgery
Doctors may suggest undergoing surgery if your neck pain is chronic and severe. Before considering it, you must first know the risks involved in neck surgery. Neck surgery comes with possible complications, especially for surgeries near the spine and spinal cord. You may end up having additional damage and severe pain. Sometimes more surgery is required. Talk the risks over with your doctor before agreeing to surgery. Other possible results of neck pain surgery include the following:
- Infection: This is one of the most common complications that may develop after any surgery. If your wound becomes swollen, hot, and won’t heal, it is possible you have an infection. You may also experience a fever. Infection may involve only the skin (what is called a superficial infection). The worse type of infection is more deep-rooted and may affect the spinal cord and vertebrae.
- Complications from anesthesia: Some anesthesia is needed in most surgeries so that the body won’t feel any pain during the procedure. There are two kinds of anesthesia: local or general. Local is given at the spot of the surgery to numb the skin and nearby tissue. General is given to put you unconscious. Some patients, although it is rare, have problems with anesthesia.
- Thrombophlebitis: It occurs when there is a blood clot in a vein just under the skin. Although rare, blood clots can cause swelling in the veins of the neck. Symptoms of thrombophlebitis include pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness over the affected vein.
- Lung problems: Make sure your lungs remain healthy after surgery. Our tissues need a good supply of oxygen to heal. You can have a low oxygen level if your lungs are not exercised appropriately. To avoid these complications, breathe deeply and cough periodically. Also, try sitting upright in a chair as soon as you can. If you are staying in the hospital, you can ask for the assistance of a respiratory therapist to help you with these things. You can also use some equipment available to keep your lungs active.
- Spinal cord injury: The nerves of the spinal cord can also get damaged or injured. You would not want this to happen as it can impact your nervous system. The spinal cord is responsible for controlling the body’s movements. The nerve fibers spread to form pairs of nerve roots that pass through the tiny openings between your vertebrae. If your spinal cord becomes damaged, paralysis can occur.
A Non-Surgical Treatment Alternative for Neck Pain
Many people are looking for a natural treatment alternative for chronic neck pain. While it’s true that surgery is necessary in some severe cases, it should always be a last resort. In many cases, chronic neck pain is due to a misalignment in one of the bones of the upper cervical spine – and this can be corrected through a natural technique!
If either the C1 or C2 vertebra is misaligned, it can put stress on the muscles and nerves of the neck. This can result in neck pain. Here at Upper Cervical Care Center – Rockford in Illinois, we use a safe, gentle method that encourages the bones of the upper neck to move back into place naturally. We individually tailor our care to each patient’s needs. We determine and measure each patient’s exact misalignment. Our method does not involve cracking or popping the bones. Once an adjustment is made, your tissues, muscles, and nerves can heal from the damage they endured from the misalignment. Your neck pain can become a thing of the past. Give upper cervical chiropractic care a chance before agreeing to surgery. If you want to consult a chiropractor for neck pain near Rockford, contact us any time.
To schedule a consultation with Dr Schalow, call our Rockford office at 815-398-4500. You can also click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.