Neck pain can stem from a variety of origins and the duration of the discomfort depends on its cause. Most cases of cervical stiffness and aching resolve within a few days to a couple of weeks, but occasionally more serious conditions can cause long-term pain. Today, our board-certified surgeons will discuss some of those conditions.
Muscular Strain or Sprain
Strains and sprains of the levator scapula muscles, located on both sides of the back of the neck, are the most common causes of soreness and decreased flexibility. They can become inflamed due to many reasons including:
- Poor body alignment
- Repetitive movement
- Sleeping in an awkward position
- Maintaining an unnatural posture for a long period
The duration of discomfort with levator scapular pain usually lasts from one day to two weeks. If the habits that cause the pain continue, the pain will likely reoccur.
Cervical Spine Problems
Chronic pain, or discomfort that lasts for several weeks and months without showing any signs of relief, is often caused by more serious conditions. When stiffness and other problems are not alleviated over time and do not respond to conservative treatments such as heat and ice applications and over-the-counter pain remedies, the underlying factor needs to be explored more deeply by a spine specialist or spine surgeon in Beverly Hills.
Trauma to the neck region that involves more than temporary muscle and tendon irritation may cause long-term problems. Whiplash and other serious blows can result in bulging discs and fractures. Unless treatment is pursued, pain from injuries may continue indefinitely.
As individuals age, osteoarthritis may settle in the spinal canal and cause a narrowing, or spinal stenosis, which results in pain due to pinched nerves. Depending on the severity of spinal stenosis, decompression surgery may be required, unless relief can be found from physical therapy, regular exercise and medications.
If you have one of the above conditions or are looking for treatment options to alleviate your spinal pain, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Our advanced diagnostic team and group of world class surgeons can help you identify the source of your pain and the best possible treatment options for your individual needs. Call (310) 828-7757 and request your in-person consultation today.