Pain that starts in your neck may radiate to your shoulder, back, arms and hands. This kind of pain can stop you from fully participating in life’s activities. Lingering pain may even force you to over-the-counter pain remedies. If this description resonates with you, you need to find trained pain management doctors, like those at Redefine Healthcare in northern New Jersey. They get to the source of your pain and treat it with a variety of effective techniques that do not involve surgery. For expert care and pain relief, call the New Jersey office near you and schedule a consultation. It’s the first step to a pain-free life.
As people age, the risks of experiencing cervical degenerative disc disease increase. Researchers associate this disease with the progressive wear and tear of aging. Your cervical spine, which runs from your shoulders to your head, takes a lot of abuse, especially in the era of cell phones. Discs are the soft, spongy pads between each bone. With age, most people suffer some degree of degeneration.
When you’re a child, your spinal discs are primarily composed of water. Over the years, your discs lose hydration. When a disc dries out, its shell becomes brittle enough to crack or tear, allowing the viscous gel inside to seep out. This causes two problems that may cause pain:
- The disc itself becomes less able to act as a cushioning buffer that protects your vertebrae. When vertebral bones rub against one another, it may lead to arthritis in your neck, creating friction that instigates pain.
- The leaking gel may press on nearby nerves exiting your spinal cord in your neck. The resulting pinched nerves may send pain to other parts of your body.
The pain management physicians with New Jersey’s Redefine Healthcare determine which treatment modality best suits your needs after an accurate diagnose. Subsequently, these doctors manage your pain by addressing its root cause.
Risk Factors for Cervical Disc Disease
You may get cervical degenerative disc disease if you live long enough. But whether you experience any notable symptoms remains uncertain. Some factors, however, make you more susceptible to developing symptoms, such as:
- Repetitive use of computers, smartphones, and other electronic devices;
- Obesity or a high body mass index;
- Smoking cigarettes;
- Excessive alcohol consumption;
- Certain contact sports;
- Previous surgeries;
- Chronic inflammation;
- Occupations that often require you to drive long distances.
These factors speed up the degeneration of the spinal discs in your neck, although studies are inconclusive about the rate of degeneration from these risk factors. Additionally, genetic factors may intensify the severity of the disease.
To avoid the largest risks of becoming symptomatic, listen to the best doctors in New Jersey. They recommend that you avoid these factors as much as possible. Once you experience symptoms, consult with the professionals at Redefine Healthcare for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. The pain management experts determine your best course of action.
Symptoms of Cervical Disc Disease
If your neck pain, upper back pain, or shoulder pain is a direct result of cervical degenerative disc disease, it doesn’t go away on its own. Instead, it tends to get worse over time. If you’re in agony already or if your symptoms last for more than a couple of months, you need to seek medical attention. Your symptoms may include:
- A stiff neck or neck pain;
- Pain that you feel only on one side of your body;
- A sharp electric pain spreading down your shoulder to your fingertips;
- Impaired movement and flexibility;
- Numbness and tingling in your shoulder, hand, or fingers;
- Neck spasms;
Cervical degenerative disc disease commonly starts with a stiff neck. Many dismiss this pain as “sleeping on the wrong side of the bed.” But if your neck pain doesn’t subside within a week, seek medical care. The pain from a neck sprain doesn’t usually last that long, but even if it does, it’s still wise to get an accurate diagnosis.
Effective Treatments for Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease
Some pain may be part of the normal aging process, but living with constant pain or experiencing severe pain is not normal. As you advance in age, chances are your vertebral discs in your neck degenerate somewhat from use and abuse. You may experience little or no symptoms, but for minor pain, bed rest and over-the-counter pain medications help. If you’re still experiencing chronic pain or lasting symptoms, possible treatments include:
- Prescription medications, such as oral steroids or muscle relaxers;
- Comprehensive, individualized physical therapy
- Endoscopic laser discectomy;
- Cervical epidural steroid injections;
- Cervical facet injections.
Chronic, debilitating pain is a game-changer, as it affects all aspects of your life. The qualified team at Redefine Healthcare, guided by Dr. Eric Freeman, uses the latest medical technology, including diagnostic imaging equipment, to determine what‘s causing your pain and other symptoms. They offer a wide range of no-invasive and minimally invasive treatment modalities to address your issues. For the best in pain management care in New Jersey, contact Redefine Healthcare.