NECK AND BACK PAIN
Neck pain may be the result of tension in the muscles that support your neck, also known as your cervical spine. However, if your pain becomes chronic and starts interfering with your quality of life, you may have an underlying health condition that needs medical attention.
Common causes of chronic neck pain include arthritis, infection, herniated disc, nerve compression or degenerative disc disease. You may also develop persistent neck pain due to an injury or trauma to the neck, often from participation in sports or auto accidents.
In many cases, back pain develops due to your everyday activities, such as heavy lifting or standing for long periods of time. Other common causes of chronic lower back pain include poor posture, herniated disc, muscle sprains, lack of exercise or nerve compression.
For some, chronic back pain results from an underlying disease, like osteoarthritis, that causes deterioration in your spinal vertebrae. You may also develop chronic lower back pain due to age-related changes in the spine, such as spinal stenosis. This condition causes your spine to narrow over time, putting increased pressure on surrounding nerves.
In addition to pain, underlying disease or injury can cause symptoms like burning, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, or recurrent headaches. If your nerves are under pressure from a damaged disc or another issue, pain can radiate from your neck down into your arms and hands. This can make it difficult to grasp objects or have full use of your hands and fingers.
DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE
Degenerative Disk Disease is simply the wear and tear of the intervertebral disc most commonly acquired genetically or due to repeated microtrauma to the neck or back. Degenerative disc disease most often leads to a broad constellation of symptoms including back and neck pain, shooting pain down the arms and legs, leg heaviness, difficulty walking and impaired hand dexterity.
Adult degenerative scoliosis is a form of scoliosis where vertebral rotation pulls the spine laterally, causing it to deviate from its normal position into an S or C shaped curve. Degenerative scoliosis is often painful, and if the curve is severe enough, it can restrict lung expansion and compromise breathing.
Disk herniation, also known as a “ruptured” disk is a condition where the softer inner material of the intervertebral disk pushes through the tougher outer material into the spinal canal. Disk herniation can occur spontaneously or can be caused by a traumatic event. A disk herniation in and of itself can cause significant back pain which in most cases self-resolves after several weeks. However when the disc touches or pushes on the nerve, shooting pain down the legs (sciatica) or arms ensues, which can be debilitating and require specialized attention.