What is the Spinal Column?
You have successfully answered the question of what is hurting and now are probably wondering why it is hurting. But before we move on to the complex mechanisms of nerve pinching and radiculopathy, we should know some basics about the spinal column.
The Spinal Column is a group of 33 bones which are called vertebrae. These bones are irregular in shape and have elastic disks present between them to help them support weight. These disks are the reason you can freely bend your neck. Since we are interested in the neck region, also called “cervical” region, we will focus only on the 7 bones present. The spinal cord passes through these bones from behind the elastic disk we mentioned above. Now, the spinal cord gives out nerves from inside the vertebrae and these nerves exit the bone by passing between two successive vertebrae. The nerves that exit this spinal cord in the neck are the ones that supply your hand and if there is too much pressure on them, it can cause pain in the neck and the arm.
You could watch the video alongside to know more about the spine.
Wait! Why Do I Have Pain?
Hopefully, by now you have a basic understanding of the anatomy of the spine and we can start dwelling into what underlying pathology (medical term for unwanted condition) is causing your pain. Well, multiple factors including the type of pain, the area of pain and the involvement of arm pain can point you in the direction of what might be causing your pain. The doctor will even look at your X-Ray and your MRI to see what could be wrong with the basic anatomy of your spine.
Now to answer your question. The most common cause of neck pain is stretching the muscles surrounding your spinal column. This could be due to something as simple as sleeping in an odd position to something as serious as a car crash. If your neck pain lasts for more than 8 weeks, simple muscles pain is not usually the cause. The usual culprits for this pain are given long medical names but we will shortly make them more familiar. These are termed Disk Herniations, Spinal Stenosis, Cervical Myelopathy and Cervical Fracture to name a few. Out of these, disk herniations are the most common.
You could watch the video alongside to know more.
How Did This Even Happen?
Some problems can be attributed to genetics. You could have inherited genes that could cause you to develop this disease. Another reason could simply be age. As you grow older, the strength and elasticity of your discs decreases, even the bone weakens. This is especially true in patients with osteoporosis. Therefore, when the disk is weak, it can easily tear and this can cause it to rupture and press on a nerve root.
The only known prevention of these problems is to exercise and maintain your weight, try to stand and sit properly (maintain good posture) and avoid neck strains.You could watch the video alongside to know more about your condition. Just to mention, some basic symptoms of these features are neck soreness, pain, stiffness, pain around shoulder blades, pain, numbness or weakness in one or both arms or clumsiness, dropping objects from your hand or being unable to write.
Herniated Disk Refers to tear in the elastic disk which causes its contents to leak out and start pressing on the nerve roots. This causes large amount of pain
There is narrowing of the spinal column that causes excess pressure on the spinal chord or narrowing of the openings through which the spaniel nerves exit. This excess pressure on the spinal nerves can cause extreme pressure in the neck and arm.
This condition refers to loss of function in the arm due to compression of the spinal chord within the neck. This can cause loss of function in the arm and extreme pain in the neck and arm region.
This is a fracture in one of the bones of your neck, the vertebrae, that help in supporting your head. This can also be called a broken neck.
If you want to know more about your condition, you can either contact us or please click on the images and you will be redirected to a Wikipedia Page of that condition.