Are you starting to feel aches and pains in your back that you never felt before?
If you haven’t been injured, there’s a good chance it’s a result of wear and tear that’s happened over the years. As a cervical spine specialist in New Jersey, we see plenty of patients who come to us for help with this problem. In fact, almost nine out of ten people start having neck pain once they hit the age of 60. Let’s take a look at what’s going on, and what we can do to fix it.
The first thing you need to understand is where the pain may be coming from. Your neck and upper back is a part of your spine. It is made up of bones, muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments. The spine is an amazing structure that not only protects the spinal cord, but also lets us move and twist and bend over.
Unfortunately, as we age, our cervical spine is subject to wear and tear, and some of the joints that are in our neck actually get bigger with age, putting pressure on the structures around them and making them get thicker. When that happens, they take up extra room, and they sometimes bump up against the nerve roots that branch out from the spinal cord. When the nerve roots come into contact with one of these structures, we feel pain in the neck or shoulder, or other symptoms including headaches.
When you feel any of these symptoms and they don’t go away after a few days, the best thing you can do is to make an appointment with a cervical spine specialist in New Jersey. You’ll have a full examination and be asked numerous questions in order to pinpoint the source of your pain and any risk factors that may be exacerbating them. There are some physical circumstances that can make wear and tear on the spine more likely or make your pain worse. The most common of these are an injury, a slipped or ruptured disc, a family history of back or neck pain, and obesity.
Depending upon your diagnosis, there are several different options for treatment. Many people worry that back and neck pain automatically means that they need surgery, but an operation is generally only necessary when the pain that you’re feeling is caused by significant compression of the nerves. Other options for treatment include physical therapy to strengthen and stretch your muscles or medications or steroid injections to reduce swelling. If surgery is required, there are a number of minimally invasive procedures now available that provide relief while allowing you to make a quick recovery and return to your normal activities with relative ease.
If you have been struggling with pain, there is no reason to suffer in silence and no reason to let it continue. There are many effective treatments available. Contact our office today to set up an appointment with a cervical spine specialist.