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What is neck pain ?
Anatomy of Neck Pain
Causes and symptoms of Neck Pain
Diagnosis of Neck Pain
Treatments for Neck Pain
What is neck pain ?
Bad posture can cause misalignment of our neck, head and spine. Head and neck region is vulnerable to many different stresses. Neck pain can occur anywhere in your neck, from the bottom of your head to the top of your shoulders. It can spread to your upper back or arms. It may limit how much you can move your head and neck. Neck pain is common, especially in people older than 50. Neck pain is a very common condition and is more frequently seen in women than men. It can range from very mild discomfort to severe, burning pain.
Anatomy of Neck Pain
The cervical portion of the human spine comprises seven bony segments, typically referred to as C-1 to C-7, with cartilaginous disks between each vertebral body. From top to bottom the cervical spine is gently curved in convex-forward fashion.
In the middle line below the chin can be felt the body of the hyoid bone, just below which is the prominence of the thyroid cartilage called "Adam's apple," better marked in men than in women. Still lower the cricoid cartilage is easily felt, while between this and the suprasternal notch the trachea and isthmus of the thyroid gland may be made out. At the side the outline of the sternomastoid muscle is the most striking mark; it divides the anterior triangle of the neck from the posterior. The upper part of the former contains the sub maxillary gland, which lies just below the posterior half of the body of the jaw. The line of the common and the external carotid arteries may be marked by joining the sterno-clavicular articulation to the angle of the jaw.
The eleventh or spinal accessory nerve corresponds to a line drawn from a point midway between the angle of the jaw and the mastoid process to the middle of the posterior border of the sterno-mastoid muscle and thence across the posterior triangle to the deep surface of the trapezius. The external jugular vein can usually be seen through the skin; it runs in a line drawn from the angle of the jaw to the middle of the clavicle, and close to it are some small lymphatic glands. The anterior jugular vein is smaller, and runs down about half an inch from the middle line of the neck. The clavicle or collar-bone forms the lower limit of the neck, and laterally the outward slope of the neck to the shoulder is caused by the trapezius muscle.
Causes and symptoms of neck pain
Some less common medical problems can also lead to neck pain, such as:
Diagnosis of neck pain
Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms of neck pain and do a physical examination that includes:
If your pain started after an injury, or if it doesn't improve after a few weeks, your doctor may want to do more tests.
Imaging tests such as an Spine X-ray, An MRI scan, or A CT scan can show the neck muscles and tissues. These tests may be done to check the neck bones, spinal discs, spinal nerve roots, and spinal cord
Treatment of neck pain
In the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine, invertebral discs separate each vertebra. These discs, which absorb shock, consist of semi-fluid matter (nucleus pulposus) that is surrounded by a capsule of elastic fibers (annulus fibrosus) containing nerve endings. The vertebrae and the invertebral discs that separate each segment are designed to permit flexible support of the body and to protect the spinal cord and nerve roots from injury.
Invertebral discs have a minimal blood supply, which means they are not supplied with healing nutrients and oxygen and do not heal once they are damaged. Damage to the discs, either through traumatic injury or as a result of normal aging, causes the spine to weaken, leads to degenerative disc disease, and may result in pain.
Surgical treatment of neck pain
When the part of the disc or a bone spur is pressing on a nerve as it leaves the vertebra (through an exit called the foramen), a foraminotomy may be done. Otomy means "to make an opening." So a foraminotomy is making the opening of the foramen larger, so the nerve can exit without being compressed.
We have a bony plate at the back of each vertebra that protects our spinal canal and spinal cord it is called as lamina. Surgeon removes all or a part of the lamina to make more room. Read More >>
Anterior cervical discectomy surgery
When a person is having a bulging disc or a herniated disc, it may be pressing on his nerves. In a discectomy, the surgeon will remove all or part of the disc. Read More >>
Total disc replacement
Total disc replacement (TDR) may be a solution for some people with degenerative disc disease as an alternative to spinal fusion. During disc replacement surgery, the surgeon removes the damaged disc and replaces it with an artificial disc. Read More >>
"Corpus" means body and "ectomy" means remove. Another method for relieving pressure on the spinal cord that may be causing spinal stenosis or cervical myelopathy is to remove the front of the spinal canal. This means that the large part of several of the vertebrae must be removed — the vertebral bodies and the discs between. This procedure is called a corpectomy. Read More >>
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