Cervical problems can cause pain, numbness and weakness down your arms, into your head and into your middle back. It can be caused by nerve compression, irritation, disc degeneration, spinal misalignment, spinal cord compression and many other things. We specialize in treating neck problem have not responded to therapy, injections or surgery.
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A Real "Pain In The Neck"
…Now my neck was once again acting up in a different way. Despite the long drive all the way to Santa Monica, I wanted your professional care. Now, two months later, I am feeling infinitely better. ...As a physician I have worked with many patients myself. To be on the receiving end of such competent, concerned care has been a real treat and a real relief. It inspires me to work towards being an even better doctor myself with my own patients—to be as good as you are with yours. With grateful regards,
*--Hilary Siebens, MD Developer of the Physical Medicine Program at Harvard Medical School*
Pain anywhere in your body can destroy the enjoyment of life. Neck problems, in particular, often lead to headaches as well as radiating pain, numbness and weakness down your arms. Often just concentrating is impaired and even the weight of your head can feel extremet needing to be lifted. Playing tennis, reading, computer work, driving and just taking care of you and your family can eventually be overwhelming.
So if your neck problem is serious and has not received adequate help, in spite of seeing various professionals, than read on. This article and our center may be right for you. We know it's a lot of information, but it's designed to help you finally find the help you need.
What Are The Usual Causes of Neck Pain?
There are many causes of persistent and serious neck pain, but it usually originates in one of these areas:
- A protruding, bulging or herniated disc that presses into a cervical nerve.
A side view of the neck on x-ray: Notice the height of a normal, healthy disc and compare it to one that is degenerated. Degenerated discs limit the space for the spinal nerves to exit and can cause pain and stiffness.
- A vertebra that is slightly misaligned or fixated causing abnormal spinal mechanics, facet irritation and disc and spinal degeneration.
- Muscular spasm or imbalances leading to improper spinal mechanics and a feeling of “tightness.”
- Compression of the spinal canal is called Spinal Stenosis. When the compression is more severe, it can lead to spinal cord compression. This condition can be serious and lead to spasticity, generalized numbness and muscular weakness. Click Spinal Stenosis to find answers for this condition.Click here to see The Research Performed at The Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center For The Non-Surgical Treatment Of Spinal Cord Compression.
- A Superior Cervical Ganglion Syndrome is a severe neck disorder which compresses a large group of nerves cell bodies, in the upper neck, causing dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, blocked ears, light and sound hypersensitivity and severe difficulty with concentration. This condition is often disabling and misdiagnosed. Click Superior Cervical Ganglion Syndrome to find answers for this condition.
How Can I Tell Which Area Is Causing My Problem?
To find answers, you must first determine the section of your neck that is the problem. Luckily, each area of the spine refers pain and weakness to specific areas. Paying close attention to this symptom pattern, is a good place to begin. Just relying on MRIs or any other single test, leads many doctors to faulty conclusions, unhelpful surgeries and treatments that go nowhere.
The neck vertebrae (also called the cervical spine) is comprised of seven vertebrae. They’re labeled with numbers. The vertebra closest to your head is called: C1 (or Atlas) and the one below that is called C2 (orAxis). C3 is below that and so on for all seven cervical vertebrae. It’s the most mobile portion of the spine and has the smallest vertebrae, causing it to be the least stable.
The Upper Cervical Spine (C1-3)
The top two vertebrae, called the Atlas and Axis, hold and rotate your head. Because the nerves supplying the top of your head pass through these vertebrae, Misalignments and fixation of this area can cause headaches (often called tension or cervicogenic headaches). Irritation of the third cervical nerve is often associated with neck, sinus irritation and facial pain.
The upper cervical spine (C1 and C2) sends nerves to the top of your head and often cause headaches, dizziness and difficult concentration and, of course, upper neck pain..
The Middle Cervical Spine (C4-C6)
These vertebrae house the nerves that travel to your shoulders, the thumb side of your hand and your upper back. When compressed--pain, weakness and numbness may refer to these areas.
The Lower Cervical Spine (C6-T1)
The lower cervical spine affects the nerves going to the back of your arm, your entire forearm, the little finger side of your hand and your arm pit. Again, irritation of these nerves can affect these areas.
Picture of the middle and lower cervical spinal nerves exiting the spine on route to the arms, shoulders and upper back.