Pinched Nerve In Neck

Pinched nerve in neckPinched nerve in neck, also known as a pinched cervical nerve, is increasing in numbers of people today. They are suffering and they can tell you how painful it can be.The neck is the second most common area where a pinched nerve can happen and it can be due to a number of factors.

Risk Factors For Pinched Nerve in Neck

A pinched nerve in neck is caused by degenerative disc disease, herniated disc or trauma.

Degenerative disc disease is a condition generally present in the elderly and is considered as a normal aging of the discs due to the regular wearing and tearing of tissues. As the tissue wear off and thins out, it can cause the vertebrae to come in contact with the nerves, causing pain.

Herniated disc, also known as a slipped disc, can pinch a nerve since the disc protrudes into the spinal column creating a bulge which can then cause pressure on the nerves. The common site for this is in the lumbar, or low, back but it can also happen in the neck.

Trauma with injury is another risk factor since a blow to the head can result in nerve damage that may be irreversible. 

Symptoms Of A Pinched Nerve

It may be difficult to readily diagnose a pinched nerve in neck because of all the possible issues that may cause the problem. However, there are still diagnostic procedures that may help out. Also, knowing and being able to describe your symptoms can help in locating the source of the pain.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain when the head is moved up and down or side to side. The pain may be worse with coughing, sneezing or straining.
  • Stiffness of the neck and pain radiating down to the shoulders and even to the arms.
  • Muscle spasm, weakness and numbness in the affected areas
  • Headache may begin as a result of muscle stiffness or tightness.

Diagnosing The Problem of Pinched Nerve in Neck

To achieve an accurate diagnosis of a pinched cervical nerve, tests like CT scans, MRI and X-ray may be used. These tests could help the doctor identify the exact site of the affected nerve.

Fighting the Pain

If you are currently experiencing pain and discomfort caused by a pinched nerve neck, there are non-operative measures that might help ease your pain.

The number one thing you can do is rest. A pinched nerve in neck can be aggravated by continuous demanding activities that can result in more nerve swelling. Avoid lifting or bending and keep yourself away from activities that require your head to be moved frequently or suddenly, such as driving.

Applying a cold pack may also help. Apply this for 10 to 15 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. Always make certain that the ice pack is covered by a cloth thick enough to let the cold get all the way through it but not too much that it can cause frostbite. 

Finally, a pinched nerve in neck may be eased with the use of a specially designed neck pillow. A neck pillow can offer you comfort and can help reduce the neck pain. This kind of pillow is sold in almost all stores and is used to pad your neck muscles. This will lessen the pain while you are sleeping. With neck pillows, you can change your sleeping position easily and get the rest you need for proper healing