Most people know that worn-out spinal discs are a common source of lower back pain. If you’re dealing with neck pain, you might be wondering whether a disc in your neck might be to blame.
With offices in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, California, Dr. John Regan and our expert team at Spine Group Beverly Hills can help diagnose and treat your neck pain. Here’s what you need to know about wearing out discs in your neck.
Your neck, also called your cervical spine, contains seven bones (C1-C7) and six intervertebral discs. Each intervertebral disc is made of two main parts: the outer layer and the inner core.
The outer layer, called the annulus fibrosus, protects the inner core. The inner core, called the nucleus pulposus, helps to cushion the disc and contains a gel-like center.
Because your neck is so moveable, these cervical discs are thinner than the lumbar discs in the lumbar spine. Intervertebral discs provide cushioning between each of your bones, but they require adequate hydration to maintain their strength and cushioning.
Degenerated discs are a common back problem, but it’s not limited to your lower back. Any disc in your spine, including your neck, can wear out due to age, disease, injuries, or physical trauma.
The inner core of your disc is normally soft and gelatinous, and these cushions add height while separating each of your vertebrae. But as you age, your discs may lose hydration which can contribute to stiffness, pain, and even a reduced height.
Without the proper cushion and space between your bones, disc degeneration can lead to degenerative disc disease, which occurs when your bones rub together and can cause serious neck pain. Degeneration can also lead to disc herniation if any of the soft-gel centers protrude out of the disc and press on your nerves.
Chronic neck pain, regardless of the cause, can make it hard to perform daily tasks. Even driving can become a hazard if you can’t safely turn your neck to check for blind spots.
You may have a worn-out disc in your neck if you experience pain that is:
Luckily, there are many treatments for neck pain causes, including herniated discs that may develop as a result of a worn-out disc. Before embarking on any treatment plan, Dr. Regan starts with a physical exam, a review of your symptoms, and an analysis of any imaging tests.
Here at Spine Group Beverly Hills, we over a variety of treatments for neck pain, including:
We also provide guidance on at-home treatments to help ease neck pain, including hot and cold therapy, lifestyle modifications (such as switching your pillow), and stretches.
Don’t settle for a status quo of neck pain. To learn more about your treatment options for worn-out neck discs, book an appointment at our Beverly Hills or Santa Monica, California office today.