Degenerative arthritis in the neck is one of the causes of degenerative disc disease. When cartilage wears away, it puts extra pressure on the discs between the vertebrae in your neck. Degenerative arthritis neck issues can be very painful, leading to degenerative disc disease neck treatment. Your treatment may include surgery as a last resort, but treating your pain is the first step. Come to our NYC sports injury and pain management clinic to get your neck pain evaluation and treatment. Meet our pain doctor Melepura M.D. to get the pain relief you need in the safe, reassuring hands of the best neck specialists in NYC.
Your neck and lower back are the two most common places to feel pain as you get older. Your neck contains seven bones, called the cervical vertebrae. They sit at the very top of your spine, connecting your head to your shoulders. When anything happens to these bones or their support system — the vertebral discs, muscles, tendons and cartilage — the result is neck pain.
Between each of the vertebra in your neck is a disc that acts as a shock absorber. Each disc is made up of a gel-like center surrounded by a thick shell. Discs keep your vertebral bones apart and facilitate movement. If a disc becomes compromised, it may collapse or leak. When your vertebrae squeeze closer together, they often impinge on nerves, and that’s what causes pain.
Participants in contact sports — including football, soccer and hockey — are more susceptible to neck injuries than most people. But other ailments can cause pain in your neck, such as:
- Muscle spasms
- Pinched nerve
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative arthritis in the neck
- Degenerative disc disease
Sometimes, your pain goes away on its own without the intervention of degenerative disc disease neck treatment. Maybe it was a tight muscle and you worked out the kink. Other times, though, a damaged disc is causing of the pain. In this case, you need to visit your sports and pain doctor in New York City.
That Pain in Your Neck…
Your symptoms can include pain, numbness or weakness. Moreover, even though the cause of your pain is in your neck, you can sometimes feel the symptoms in your spine, neck, arms or hands. You need a doctor’s help to determine where your pain originates.
Unless you’ve been in an accident of some kind, the onset of neck pain usually starts in your cervical spine. If your pain doesn’t respond to over-the-counter pain medicine or if it gets worse, it’s time to see your Manhattan sports and pain specialist. If you have a degenerative arthritis neck condition or a pinched nerve, the real cause may be degenerative disc disease.
Diagnosing the Cause of Your Neck Pain
If your pain is due to degenerative disc disease or degenerative arthritis in the neck, there are a number of tests that your Midtown Manhattan physician can run to reach an accurate diagnosis. The first steps involve a physical examination and a medical history. Make sure to tell your doctor if you’ve been in an accident or had an injury from sports. Then your doctor may decide on additional tests, including:
- X-rays, a common test that can show bone spurs or injuries to the vertebrae themselves
- MRIs, which illuminate soft tissue, like the spongey discs in your spine
- CT scans, which can detect other diseases, such as spinal stenosis
- An electromyogram or an EMG, which tests muscles that are experiencing weakness
Osteoarthritis is the most common diagnosis for explaining degenerative disc disease in the neck. Other terms your doctor may use to describe this condition include a degenerative arthritis neck condition, osteoporosis or degenerative joint disease. All are due to a damaged disc in your cervical spine. Even a diagnosis of a herniated disc or spinal stenosis is related to the breakdown of the discs in your spine.
Degenerative Disc Disease Neck Treatment
If your doctor finds degenerative arthritis in the neck or a similar malady, a degenerative disc in neck treatment plan is the next step. Surgery is always the final option; non-invasive treatments to ease your pain enough to let you return to your daily routine may include:
- Physical therapy
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Cervical epidural steroid injection
- Spine facet injections
- Sympathetic block injection, usually for chronic pain
If you don’t respond to conservative treatments, surgery may be necessary. Surgical procedures include disc replacement and fusion, but these operations may result in a loss of range of motion. Other risks from surgery include nerve damage and infection.
Keeping the Pain at Bay
Degenerative arthritis in the neck is often caused by aging. But there are some things you can do to lessen your pain and delay the onset of degenerative arthritis neck conditions:
- Quit smoking
- Practice good posture
- Don’t carry heavy bags on one shoulder
- Take frequent breaks from sitting to walk and stretch
- Don’t tuck the phone between your cheek and shoulder
- Find a good sleep position, using pillows that support your neck
Do you have any questions about the degenerative disc disease in the neck treatment we offer in NYC? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the best rated neck pain management doctor Febin Melepura MD of sports pain management clinic in New York City? Please contact our office for consultation with the neck specialist in Midtown Manhattan.