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The neck includes the upper portion of the spinal cord from the C1 disc to the C7 disc, called cervical spine, and the surrounding muscles, nerves, tendons and blood vessels of this area. The cervical spine is located right below the skull and extends above the thoracic spine.

\"neckOne of the most common muscle problems are neck stress a minor neck injury. At first these problems do not cause much trouble and pain (neck strain), but as long as time passes symptoms neck stiffness or muscle spasm? start showing up as well as new injuries start appearing that may result in cervical spine degeneration and chronic neck pain. For the latter, it may be required a physical rehabilitation guided by a physician, in order to control the degenerative process and avoid further injury.

The discs that form the cervical area are made from connective tissue, which undergoes gradual disc degeneration-or spondylolysis as it is formally called- due to small injuries that do not represent a great discomfort, but over time may provoke more serious injuries that do cause immediate pain and dysfunction.

What Causes Neck Pain?

\"neckAs we grow old, our discs start loosing the water and its sock absorbing ability. The first thing that happens in a neck disc is the appearance of tears in the outer ring or annulus with no visible symptoms at all and gets healed forming scar tissue. Scar tissues are weak tissues that make the disc more prone to wear.

The continuous wearing of the disc starts reducing the gap between each vertebra, producing a collapse that affects the facet joints (bony knobs) on the back of the column. Since bones can not fit properly, there is produced a pressure eon the articular cartilage that may result in osteoarthritis.

When ache pain becomes chronic, it is referred as mechanical neck pain due to the fact that our neck gets worse every time we move our neck, which is possible by means of the mechanical parts of the neck that allow the neck to twist and bend. This pain seems to be originated by the inflammation of the facet joints and the disc degeneration. When the inflammation grows, our neck muscles respond with spasms in an attempt to stop the movement of the cervical area.?

You can realize you are suffering from a cervical condition if you present:

- Moderate to acute neck pain
- Headaches
- Numbness, pain and slow reflexes in shoulders, arms and hands
- Decrease motion of neck, numbness
- Walking problems

\"painNevertheless, it is a physician the ones who can establish a secure diagnose of your condition after a series of examinations that include a physical examination, X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computer Assisted Tomography (CAT Scan), Electromyogram (EMG), Myelography (Myelogram), Bone Scan and laboratory tests.
For neck pain treatment there are two defined ways: Non-surgical and surgical treatment. They are both aimed to relieve neck pain and reduce the risk of injury recidivism.

Neck pain non-surgical treatment consists of physical therapy, epidural steroid injection, and the use of medications, a cervical collar and/or a cervical pillow. The Surgical treatments are quite rare, and we say ?treatments? in plural because there are different surgeries for each type of neck pain, but in general terms they are aimed to take away the pressure of nerve roots, the pressure from the spinal cord and stop the motion between two vertebrae.

Preventing Neck Pain
The best way to avoid neck pain is by maintaining a proper position. This is quite difficult during sleep because not all of us have a proper support for our neck while we rest. That is the reason why using a neck pillow is very useful to avoid neck pain. But, you should try the Traditional Style Memory Foam Pillow, which is made of an innovative material which adapts to the shape of your neck and head to provide maximum support. Just click here to read more about this excellent pillow for neck pain.

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