Chronic Neck Pain
Millions of people suffer with chronic neck pain, never getting the care they need. The neck, or cervical spine, is comprised of a network of nerves, bones, joints, and muscles directed by the brain and the spinal cord. It is designed for strength, stability, and nerve communication.
However, there are a number of problems that cause pain in the neck. In addition, irritation along the nerve pathways can cause pain into the shoulder, head, arm, and hand. Irritation of the spinal cord can cause pain into the legs and other areas below the neck.
Chronic Back Pain
Over 30 million Americans are currently experiencing back pain and as many as 80 per cent of our population will experience some type of back pain in their lifetime making back pain the #1 cause of disability in the United States.
So what is the cause of back pain?
The number of injuries, misalignments and conditions that cause back pain seems endless.
Due to its complex structure, many elements of the back such as tendons, ligaments, discs, muscles and bones can become irritated or damaged resulting in pain. Sometimes it is severe trauma, such as a car accident, that causes back pain; other times it is minor repetitive stress that causes the most damage.
As a result, you may not be able to recall any particular event that caused the onset of your pain and physical injury is not always the primary cause.Conditions such as obesity, arthritis, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections can cause back pain.
The most common cause of back pain are:
- Herniated Discs (bulging spinal discs)
- Subluxations (out of position spinal vertebrae)
- Muscular, Tendon or Ligament Strains
Sciatica/Shooting Leg Pain
The term sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain that originate in the lower back and travel through the buttocks and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg.
Common lower back problems that can cause sciatica symptoms include a lumbar herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis.
Sciatica is often characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Constant pain in only one side of the buttocks or leg (rarely in both legs)
- Pain that is worse when sitting
- Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling or searing versus a dull ache
- Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg, foot and/or toes
- A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk
- Pain that radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes
Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating.
Shooting Arm Pain
Cervical radiculopathy is a term used to describe radiating nerve pain that begins in the neck region and runs down the shoulder, arm and forearm into the hand. It is associated with a neurologic deficit such as numbness or weakness. The term radiculitis indicates that there is only pain shooting down the arm into the hand and fingers without associated numbness or weakness.
Any condition that can compress a spinal nerve may be the cause of radiculitis including disc herniations; bone spurs (osteophytes) and thickening of surrounding ligaments. Other conditions that may cause radiculitis include spinal stenosis, damaged intervertebral discs, degeneration of the spine and spinal instabilities such as spondylolisthesis or scoliosis.
- Local neck pain
- Pain that flows down the arm(s) and into the hands.
- Muscular weakness in the arms if left untreated.
- Pain may also be felt in the shoulders or chest depending on which nerve is affected.