Neck Pain

Neck pain is a common complaint among adults that can be can be caused by many different things including injuries that occur suddenly or it may develop slowly over time from years of wear and tear and/or poor posture. Neck pain is often accompanied by muscle soreness or stiffness, tension, spasms that radiate from the neck to the skull and down to the shoulders.
Learn more about some of the common causes of neck pain that we treat at our office in The Woodlands.
Cervical Arthritis
Cervical arthritis, also known as cervical spondylosis, refers to normal age-related wear and tear of the spinal discs located in the neck. Over 85% of people age 60 and over are affected by this condition.

The cervical spine, commonly known as the neck, includes seven vertebrae. With age, the gel-like center of cervical discs become more dried out, which means the discs provide less cushioning between the vertebrae causing bone-on-bone contact. Additionally, the discs can crack, develop bone spurs, or the ligaments in the neck can become thicker which makes it harder to move the neck.

Symptoms of cervical arthritis are typically worse in the morning and include neck pain, headaches, grinding or popping sensations when moving the neck, muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders, or difficulty turning the neck which can affect driving.

If cervical spondylosis is putting pressure on the spinal cord, it can also cause issues such as difficulty walking and balancing, tingling in the arms or legs and even loss of bladder or bowel control.

Cervical Spinal Stenosis
Cervical spinal stenosis develops when the space in the spine’s protective canal narrows. This puts pressure on the nerves in the neck which causes pain. Usually, cervical spinal stenosis develops as a result of osteoarthritis in the neck vertebrae or other wear and tear that causes the spine to degenerate.

Sometimes, people with cervical spinal stenosis have no symptoms. As time goes by and the condition evolves, symptoms include neck pain, numbness or weakness or tingling in one hand, foot, arm, or leg, and difficulty balancing.

Frozen Shoulder
Also called adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder occurs when the bones, ligaments, and tendons that make up the shoulder joint become coated in connective tissue. This thick capsule of tissue restricts movement of the shoulder. Patients with frozen shoulder experience several stages including:

  • Freezing – any shoulder movement is painful and range of motion is limited
  • Frozen – pain actually decreases, but the shoulder becomes stiffer and more difficult to move
  • Thawing – range of motion in the shoulder improves

Frozen shoulder is most common in people with diabetes, or those who have had their shoulder immobilized due to a recent surgery or arm break. The symptoms of frozen shoulder include shoulder pain, stiffness, and loss of range of shoulder motion. These symptoms can also cause extreme discomfort and make it difficult to sleep.

Cervical Herniated Discs
A cervical herniated disc is the rupturing of the exterior wall of a disc in the neck. The gel-like center of the disc pushes outwards, putting pressure on the nerves nearby which causes pain. The gel from the disc is also an irritant to the nerves if it is leaked out.

Because there are seven vertebrae in the cervical spine, you may experience different symptoms based on which discs are herniated. For most people, depending on which disc(s) are affected, there will be arm pain, weakness and/or tingling. The area of the arm that’s experiencing the pain or weakness can be different based on which disc is herniated. For some, shoulder pain may also occur.

Neck Pain Treatment
Neck pain treatment approaches vary depending on the cause and severity of the problem. Sometimes, making simple lifestyle changes can be effective. Or bracing can be an option to improve posture and stabilize the neck. A more supportive pillow can sometimes be helpful, or changing how you sit at your desk can reduce or even eliminate some causes of neck pain.

Neck pain caused by more complex conditions usually require treatment by a neck pain specialist. Our treatments include:

Neck Pain Treatment
Neck pain treatment approaches vary depending on the cause and severity of the problem. Sometimes, making simple lifestyle changes can be effective. Or bracing can be an option to improve posture and stabilize the neck. A more supportive pillow can sometimes be helpful, or changing how you sit at your desk can reduce or even eliminate some causes of neck pain.

Neck pain caused by more complex conditions usually require treatment by a neck pain specialist. Our treatments include:

These and other non-narcotic options for neck pain treatment are available at Pain Management Center of Houston located in The Woodlands.
These and other non-narcotic options for neck pain treatment are available at Pain Management Center of Houston located in The Woodlands.