You should always seek a professional healthcare provider if you are unsure of your pain for assessment and management.
You may have been diagnosed with one or more of these however they may not tell the whole story about your pain. Often the pain is from something else. The findings on your scans may be incidental. Rarely are spine injuries something serious.
If you have neck pain for more than 7 days which is not getting better and there are other symptoms you should seek a healthcare practitioner immediately.
Often pain and stiffness are self limiting and will get better by itself. It can normally be explained with some detective work like changes in your day to day activities e.g increased work, change in work station, increased stress or injury such as whiplash or in contact sports.
General term for degeneration of the joints of the neck/cervical spine and the disc This is common and it is prevelant in the 30+ demographic and becomes more so with age. Part of the degeneration/aging may be osteophyte/bone spur formation which may/may not be the reason you are in pain.
This is defined as a 'slipping' of the vertebral body forward or back. It is not fully known what the cause is but a few theories as to why are: genetics, repeated stress, weakness, diet. There are a few categories for listhesis/slipping where the higher the category means the more travel of the spinal segment from the one above.
With injury like whiplash, this can stretch/strain your muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues. As a result there may be nerve involvement which may lead to unfamiliar symptoms such as loss of sensation, pins and needles and/or weakness. Injury to the bones of the spine (vertebrae) may affect how you will move.
Commonly from Road Traffic Accidents (RTA's) can inflict a quick acceleration and deceleration injury of head and neck. The tissues around the neck causing pain with a stretch type of injury rather than a blunt trauma when we think of injury, like a fall or tackle in sports.
This type of pain is from the nerves. This may also result in alterations to your touch, strange sensations and weakness. There are a few ways your nerves may be irritated such as stretch, compression or chemically. There are structures in the body which may irritate or provoke the above symptoms.
These can cause swelling and bony spurs in the joints. If these occur in the neck these may be symptomatic and cause stiffness and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks itself. As there are peaks, plateaus and lows of the severity of these conditions the aim is to mobilise and condition in the plateaus and lows to decrease the load on your joints.
Physiotherapists ask clinical screening questions to lead us away from any serious pathology. Should any symptom(s) be suspicious we would advise on further follow up with the appropriate professional.
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