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Discogenic Neck Pain

About Discogenic Neck Pain

Discogenic neck pain is a general term that is used to describe pain that is caused by the degeneration of one or more of the discs that are in the first seven vertebrae of the spine, or the cervical spine or neck region. Discogenic neck pain is pain that originates from one or more damaged vertebral discs and is most often due to degenerative disc disease or a herniated or “slipped disc” in the neck region of your spine. Not all degenerated discs cause pain. Disc degeneration occurs naturally with age and is not necessarily a painful process. Discogenic pain usually begins with a disc injury that fails to heal properly over time. This results in a highly sensitive disc that causes pain when pressure is applied to it. This is ironic as healthy discs are designed to cushion large loads in the cervical spine and normally handle great pressure applied to them without symptoms.

Symptoms of Discogenic Neck Pain

The symptoms of discogenic neck pain will vary from patient to patient, but may include neck pain, stiffness and pain that radiates to the shoulders, up into the head or down the spine between the shoulder blades. For some people, this condition can be debilitating. It is common that the symptoms of discogenic neck pain are more obvious when you turn or tilt your head. The pain may get worse when you hold your neck in one position for a long period of time such as when you are driving, reading, or working at a computer. Many people also experience muscle tightness and spasms in their neck.

Causes of Discogenic Neck Pain

Discogenic neck pain is most often due to degenerative disc disease or a herniated or “slipped” disc in the neck region of your spine. While discogenic neck pain is most often due to degenerative disc disease, any type of disc injury can result in a chronic, degenerative micro-environment inside a disc. This environment is sustained by pro-inflammatory chemicals leaking from the jelly-like nucleus of the disc into the portions of the disc that have a nerve supply that can transmit pain signals to the brain. These chemicals support enzymes that degrade disc cartilage and are toxic to cells in the disc known as chondrocytes that are responsible for keeping disc cartilage healthy. Injury to the disc results from any sudden loading of the disc that can occur in car accidents or falls or while participating in activities such as football, soccer, wrestling, diving, surfing, skiing and sandlot games. Those playing football are the most likely to sustain trauma or injury to their neck or cervical region of the spine.

Non Surgical Treatment for Discogenic Neck Pain

The main goals are to provide pain relief and improved mobility and range of motion. Typical non surgical treatment for discogenic pain includes exercise and changing activities to avoid loading the discs. Getting stronger in the neck and shoulders can provide support to painful discs and help by reducing the load placed on them. A dedicated stretching program can also help to reduce stress on painful discs. Chiropractic treatment, traction, and acupuncture can relieve symptoms for short periods of time. Oral anti-inflammatory and pain medications can help facilitate participation in painful activities but when used on a daily basis carry significant health risks.

To learn more and get help for discogenic neck pain please Schedule an Appointment with Regenerative Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialist Daniel Southern, M.D. in Danbury or Wilton in Fairfield County Connecticut by calling 203-456-5717.

Surgical Treatment for Discogenic Neck Pain

Patients who are simply unable to function because of the pain or who are frustrated with their activity limitations may consider spinal fusion surgery or artificial disc replacement. Spinal fusion surgery is designed to reduce the pain because it stops the motion at a painful motion segment. Unfortunately, this results in loss of motion at the fused segment which can result over time in breakdown of disc levels above and below the fusion level. This may require additional surgery to extend the fusion. Artificial disc replacement works to replace the disc, instead of fusing the disc space together, and maintain more of the normal motion in the spine, thereby reducing the chance that adjacent levels of the spine will break down due to increased stress. Recovery time and rehabilitation from surgical treatment of discogenic back pain can be lengthy and uncomfortable requiring careful pain management.

To learn more and get help for discogenic neck pain please Schedule an Appointment with Regenerative Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialist Daniel Southern, M.D. in Danbury or Wilton in Fairfield County Connecticut by calling 203-456-5717.

Regenerative Orthopedic Medicine Treatment for Discogenic Neck Pain

Regenexx® Procedures provide non-surgical treatment options for those suffering from pain related to osteoarthritis, joint injuries, spine pain, overuse conditions, and common sports injuries. These medical procedures are only performed by highly-skilled doctors and are used to help reduce pain and improve function. Regenexx procedures have helped thousands of patients improve their quality of life, return to the activities they enjoy, and avoid the need for surgery or joint replacement*.

Regenexx Physicians represent a very selective, highly-skilled, interventional orthobiologics network that is 100% focused on orthopedic conditions. All Regenexx physicians are musculoskeletal experts with extensive training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, as well as complex, image-guided injections of your body's own healing agents to treat orthopedic issues. Regenexx patient outcomes are tracked in a registry and with that information, we provide transparent outcome data (below) for those who may be considering this treatment option.

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