What Causes Degenerative Disc Disease in the Neck?

Degenerative Disc Disease in the NeckIf you have degenerative disc disease in your neck (or the cervical region of the spine), you should know that the condition is a fairly common cause of neck pain. It is characterized by the dehydration and weakening of your intervertebral discs over time and the normal wear and tear process. Although many individuals aren’t aware of it, most people in their 50s and 60s will have some evidence of disc degeneration, but this does not mean they will be diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. The condition also can affect patients in their 20s and 30s if other factors lead to the early deterioration of the discs.

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Spondylolisthesis in the Neck and Cervical Nerve Compression

Spondylolisthesis in the NeckSpondylolisthesis in the neck, or displacement of the cervical vertebrae, is usually a result of traumatic injury or the gradual development of small fractures within the vertebrae. Vertebral slippage is much more common in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine than in the cervical (neck) region. However, fractures to a small bony segment (known as the pars interarticularis) adjacent to vertebral joints can cause one cervical vertebra to slip out of place on top of another. This can produce symptoms that include neck stiffness, focal pain, radiating pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness in the upper body. Read more

Pain Medications Linked to Rare Birth Defects

NSAID birth defectsNSAIDs, including commonly used neck pain medications, have been associated with a small to moderate increase in the risk of a number of birth defects according to new research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The scientists found that prenatal use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications did not cause a major increase in risk but were connected with a small increase in the incidence of oral clefts, neural tube defects, anopthalmia, and a number of other abnormalities. Those taking medications for chronic pain may wish to revise usafe of these drugs prior to conception in order to ameliorate risk. Read more