Cervical sprains and strains are common injuries of the neck, resulting in pain, stiffness, muscle spasm or weakness. A cervical sprain is an injury to the ligaments in the neck. Cervical strains are injuries to the muscles in the neck. Both injuries are caused by stretching or tearing of soft tissue.
A common cause of cervical sprains and strains is whiplash, which typically occurs during motor vehicle accidents. In this type of injury, the head moves back and forth in a very sudden movement (acceleration-deceleration), injuring ligaments or muscles of the neck by stretching them beyond their normal limits. Cervical sprains and strains can also occur from a fall, contact sports, improper lifting, poor posture while sitting at a desk, using a computer, working on a project, driving, or similar activities.
Cervical disc herniation occurs when a cervical disc (located in the neck) presses on a nerve, causing pain to radiate down the arm and also occasionally causing tingling, numbness or weakness. The extent of the symptoms depends on how much compression of the nerve occurs and the location of the pain depends on the disc that is herniated.
Cervical disc herniation can occur due to an injury or trauma to the neck, but it can also arise without any specific incident or injury.
Cervical radiculopathy is a condition in which injury that occurs near the root of a nerve located between the cervical vertebrae (in the neck) causes pain, weakness or numbness in other locations along the nerve pathway, such as the arm, shoulder, hand, wrist or fingers.Symptoms result from pressure that is exerted on the root of the nerve due to the nerve being compressed by the surrounding cervical discs.
Any situation which exerts pressure on, compresses, or pinches a nerve located between the cervical vertebrae can cause the symptoms associated with cervical radiculopathy.This includes conditions such as spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, or a herniated cervical disc, and can also be the result of a trauma or injury to the neck.
A muscle spasm is an involuntary contraction of a muscle or feeling of muscle tightness that usually occurs suddenly, is often painful, and typically does not last long. Muscle spasms are similar to muscle cramps. Muscle spasms have many causes, but if they are caused by an injury that is not treated, they may turn into muscle knots, or myofascial trigger points, which are painful and long lasting.
Degenerative disc disease relates to changes that occur in the discs throughout the spine as a person naturally ages. The spinal discs, which function as shock absorbers for the spine, separate the vertebrae, and allow the spine to remain flexible, break down over time and can cause painful conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis or osteoarthritis. Degeneration of spinal discs can occur anywhere throughout the spine, but most often occur in the cervical region (neck) or lumbar region (lower back).
Degenerative disc disease naturally occurs over time as the spinal discs age. The condition is not actually a disease at all and although all people will incur some degree of disc degeneration over time, being diagnosed with the condition does not mean that your condition will continue to get worse as you age. A loss of fluid within the discs can occur, which makes the discs thinner, resulting in decreased flexibility and vertebrae that sit closer together. The discs can also incur small tears in the exterior layer which may eventually lead to bulging or ruptured discs. The changes to the discs result from a natural aging process, although they are more likely to occur in individuals who engage in repetitive physical work such as heavy lifting, those who are obese, and smokers. An injury to the spine may also lead to a faster degeneration of the discs than would otherwise occur.
There are many type of arthritis, a condition that primarily causes inflammation, pain and limited mobility in the joints. Symptoms of arthritis are caused by a breakdown of cartilage surrounding the joint, which normally acts like a shock absorber and prevents bones from rubbing together. Some types of arthritis are a result of regular or excessive wear and tear on the joints and cartilage surrounding the joints, while others are a result of metabolic or immune system abnormalities, infections or injury. Each type of arthritis has slightly different symptoms, causes and treatments.
Causes of arthritis are based on the type of arthritis an individual suffers from. Osteoarthritis, for example, is a result of wear and tear on the cartilage around joints or can arise after sustaining an injury. Gout, another form of arthritis, is a metabolic condition. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an overactive immune system. Other types of arthritis may be caused by infections, injury or other medical or physical conditions.