Every human has a neck, and nearly every human uses that neck. It helps people move their heads to stretch, to see, or to get comfortable. When injured, the neck can become quite a nuisance. It can cause discomfort and pain, or even more serious problems. When such a problem occurs, people should seek help from a doctor before more damage from setting in.
Cervical Disc Herniation
Cervical herniated discs are slipped discs that occur in the neck. People from age 30 to age 50 are more likely to suffer from a disc herniation than other people. The pain from a herniated disc comes from the disc pinching down on a nerve. The pain may also radiate down a person’s arm if the injury is in the neck. There could also be tingling and numbness along the arm.
Although cervical discs are small, they can cause a lot of pain because of the concentration of nerves in the neck. A spinal disc has a hard-outer piece and a soft inner part. Sometimes the annulus, the outer part, weakens and tears. When this happens, the nucleus, the inner part, leaks out. The nucleus is what pinches nerves and causes pain.
A herniated disc may be caused by neck trauma. The trauma could come from a hit to the neck or a fall. Symptoms may begin spontaneously and without warning. The only way to know if the issue is a herniated disc is to seek attention from a physician. In Miami, the neck and back specialists are physicians that use intelligence and care to handle disc herniation.
Cervical Compression Fractures
Another issue that could plague the neck is compression fractures. Compression fractures are not as common as some other neck issues, such as a herniated disc. People with osteoporosis, which is a disease that causes bone loss. People with type II osteoporosis are more likely to have a compression fracture because type II causes more loss in spongy bone, which makes up vertebrae.
Neck compression fractures occur when the bone collapses in one of the cervical vertebrae. There may be no symptoms associated with a compression fracture, but it is common for one to cause pain in the region where the fracture is found. Compression fractures have been known to occur in multiple vertebrae at once, causing a shorter height and kyphosis, which happens when the spine curves forward and forms a hump.
Treatment for a neck compression fracture should address pain and the fracture. Pain can be handled with pain medication or something like bed rest. The fracture is often treated non-surgically, but there are times when surgery is the best option. The Miami neck specialists are doctors that have plenty of experience in treating compression fractures caused by many different things.
Cancer is a word patients across the world respond to with fear and uncertainty. When it comes to bones, some of the most aggressive cancers begin within the bones. When in the cervical vertebrae, cancer can be even more dangerous. There are two possible vertebral types: osteosarcoma and metastatic tumors.
Osteosarcomas are the least common of these two and also the least dangerous. They grow slowly, may not cause pain, and do not pose a large danger. Metastatic tumors spread through the body and may cause a lot of pain. These are much more dangerous tumors to deal with. Both types begin when processes in mitosis fail to function correctly. Errors get transferred to the new cell, and this can cause metastatic cancer or osteosarcoma to form.
An osteosarcoma may require treatment; although, a metastatic tumor will definitely need treatment. Treatments might be in the form of radiation or chemotherapy. There are also surgical options that may be needed to slow down or get rid of the tumor. In Miami, the neck specialists are skilled in finding and working with other doctors to treat spinal cancers.
Cervical spinal stenosis is often shortened to cervical stenosis. Cervical stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows. The narrowing can happen from degenerative changes or repetitive trauma to the cervical vertebrae. When the damage becomes too extensive, it can begin to damage the spinal cord and cause neurological deficits. This condition is called myelopathy. Both of these neck issues are more likely to occur as age increases.
Cervical stenosis can cause many symptoms to appear. Pain and numbness may be present in the area where the stenosis is occurring and/or in the limbs associated with the area where stenosis is happening. The movement may be restricted in that region of the neck as well. When the symptoms of the stenosis, issues with just the neck, and the symptoms of myelopathy, more widespread problems, occur together, the problem is called cervical spondylotic myelopathy.
Pain medication may be prescribed if there is too much pain. A change in activity may be necessary for some people. Activities may include the position of the neck and sleep position. Physical therapy can also help relieve symptoms by making the neck stronger and more flexible. The neck physicians in Miami are experienced in treating and recommending action to combat spinal stenosis.