One unfortunate reality of getting older is routinely discovering new aches and pains. And while some forms of pain can be excruciating enough to prompt to seek medical intervention right away, others tend to be ignored under the guise that they will resolve on their own. One such discomfort is chronic neck pain. The thing about neck pain is that it is incredibly common because it stems from a vast range of reasons. From poor posture to slouching over a screen all day to even sleeping in an improper position, most people do not seek neck pain treatment immediately under the impression that it will eventually go away. But this is not always the case. If you find that you are battling neck pain for more than a few days, it could be indicative of a serious condition that will only worsen with time. To ensure you are not putting your health at risk, here are some underlying sources of neck pain that should never be underrated.
Neck Pain Stemming from A Herniated Disc
When you think of a herniated disc, you probably assume that this issue affects the back so you may not associate it with neck pain but this is a gross misconception. The reality is that while herniated discs tend to occur along the spine, you do have vertebrae located in your neck as well. Hence, these vertebrae can gradually bulge out of position, which can cause chronic neck pain. Several factors increase your threat of a herniated disc. While trauma to the neck can cause herniation of a disc, you should also know that aging increases the rate of degeneration and this, in turn, makes you vulnerable to this condition. Rather than resorting to self-medicating with pain relievers in hopes that the herniated disc will eventually go back into place, you should be cognizant of the fact that left unchecked, it can lead to nerve damage. Therefore, you should seek neck pain treatment immediately.
Neck Pain Stemming from The Onset of Bone Spurs
Clinically referred to as osteophytes, bone spurs are small growths that develop, as implied by the name, on bones. Typically, individuals that live with osteoarthritis are at risk of the development of these projections due to the increased threat of joint damage. However, you may also develop bone spurs simply from aging. When bone spurs form on the neck, they can cause this body part to become increasingly stiff. If not addressed in time, you become susceptible to neck cramps and, in the worst-case scenario, could develop pinched nerves that cause the neck pain to radiate to other parts of your body. To be on the safe side, it is vital to seek neck pain treatment, which usually entails steroid injections that work to alleviate inflammation.
If you're experiencing neck pain that is very painful or lasts for a while, contact a health and medical professional near you to have it checked out.