Why You Should Visit Neck Pain Doctor

The neck, spinal cord, and nervous system are crucial parts of the human body. Suppose slight injury or damage to them can cause a person to suffer for a lifetime. Neck pain is a common problem that affects people of all ages. You could experience this illness for multiple reasons, including poor posture and trauma such as whiplash or spinal cord injury. As most people ignore their neck-related issues, the problem later turns severe, hindering the neck and head movement in affected patients. Hence, in case of such a medical condition, it is necessary to seek professional medical help. A neck specialist usually treats the problem related to the neck and spinal cord.

Causes

The first reason for neck pain is whiplash, which is a trauma-related condition. In this condition, the neck usually jerks forward or backward, resulting in tearing muscles and ligaments. It is most common in auto accidents, athletes, and weightlifters who may experience a sudden jerk in their neck. The torn tendons and muscles affect the movement in the neck and also produce severe neck pain.

Another reason for neck pain is muscle strain because of poor posture. Straining your neck muscles in front of the laptop screen. Or hunching over a mobile phone for long hours affects the muscles of the neck. Over time, the muscles get severely strained and cause neck pain.

The joints of your neck get worn just like the other joints in your body. However, your neck joints tend to wear down with age. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilages between your bones to deteriorate. The body then forms bone spurs that affect joint motion and cause pain. Another leading reason for neck pain is nerve compression. Herniated disks or bone spurs in the neck’s vertebrae can press on the nerves branching out from the spine. Further reasons include certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, or cancer, which can cause neck pain.

Symptoms

The symptoms related to neck pain include hindrance in everyday activities, pain in the mobility of neck and head muscles. Tingling or numbness in any part of the body, or urinary and bowel incontinence. You may experience symptoms like a reduced range of motion in a strained neck, severe pain, tightness, and hard knots in the shoulder and neck area. Further, the neck area becomes sensitive to touch and feels tender. There can also be a headache that originates from the base of the neck, moving upwards towards the head.

You should seek immediate medical help if you experience fever or chills, persistent headache, vomiting or nausea, sensitivity to light. Or numbness in arms or other parts of the body, muscle weakness, or difficulty breathing.

Consult Neck Specialist

If you have one or more than one symptom, consultyourneck pain doctor immediately. A neck specialist or orthopedic specialist is skilled in dealing with conditions of the neck. They can assess the situation, diagnose the problem and provide appropriate treatment to patients with neck pain. The specialists are an expert in relieving neck pain and numbness while restoring the natural mobility of the neck and spinal muscles.

The neck specialist may perform multiple diagnostic tests to determine the cause of pain. The tests help in point the root cause of neck pain. The doctor determines the treatment according to your neck condition.

Spinal Cord Injury

Along with dealing with neck pain, the neck specialist also deals with spinal cord injury treatment. Spinal cord injury occurs in the spinal cord, which is a critical part of the human body.

Did you know?

The spinal cord constitutes a collection of nerves that travel from the bottom of the brain down towards the whole body. The nerves send a signal to the brain and bring commands to the different parts of the body. Furthermore, the signals from the spinal nerve allow the functioning of body parts; however, injury to the spinal cord can hinder body functions and even cause the paralyzed body.

Causes

Unlike other parts of your body, the spinal cord is very sensitive to journey. Plus, the spinal cord cannot repair itself if it is damaged. A spinal cord injury usually occurs when you get damage from trauma like vehicle accidents, gunshot wounds, or sports-related injuries. It can also be due to loss of its regular blood supply or compression of the cord from tumor, inflammation, or infection.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are two types of Spinal cord injuries, described as either complete or incomplete. In a complete spinal cord injury, there is a total loss of sensory and control motor function in the body below the level of the damage. However, in an incomplete spinal cord injury, there is some remaining sensory and motor function below the level of the injury. In most cases, both sides of the body are affected equally.

An injury to the upper portion of the spinal cord can cause tetraplegia paralysis. It is also called quadriplegia in both arms and legs. If the damage to the spinal cord occurs lower in the back, it can cause paraplegia-paralysis affecting part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.

Symptoms

The sign and symptoms following a spinal cord injury may include loss of movement, altered sensation, including the inability to feel the heat, cold, and touch, the loss of bowel or bladder control, exaggerated reflex activities or spasms, pain, or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord, or difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing secretions from your lungs.

Additional symptoms include extreme back pain or pressure in your neck, head, or back, weakness, and incoordination or paralysis in any part of your body. Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in your hands, fingers, feet, or toes, loss of bladder or bowel control, the difficulty is balancing and walking, and impaired breathing after injury.

Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

In a spinal cord injury treatment, the foremost step should be to check the heartbeat and breathing of the patient. The injury in the upper neck usually disrupts normal breathing. The next step is to check and treat immobilization. A doctor usually places a cervical collar on the patient, or he/she is set on a backboard to prevent further spine movement. If the patient has spinal cord injury, any other activity can harm the spine. The doctor gives the patient a high dose of steroids to reduce inflammation and swelling in the spinal cord. Moreover, he can advise cervical spine surgery.

The spinal cord injury treatment also involves surgery. A specialized neck pain doctor removes parts of vertebrae that might be pressuring the spinal nerves. Further, he stabilizes the spine using screws, plates, and metal rods. As the range is sensitive, it cannot sustain body weight and need additional support.

Final Thoughts

The spinal cord injury has no cure, and the damage is reversible. However, after providing the patient with immediate medical care, he/she is prescribed medication and rehabilitation for improvement in the movement. The repair helps patients with spinal cord injury, and he or she could see an improvement within six months to a year or two.

The spinal cord injury treatment focuses on preventing further injury and empowering people with a spinal cord injury to return to an active and productive life.