Memantine is a drug typically used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, but a new study has found it can also help with pain relief in fibromyalgia, a condition that can be a cause of neck pain. Fibromyalgia is characterised by an increased sensitivity to pain, with specific tender points, in addition to fatigue and cognitive symptoms. Read more
The most common sites of bone spur formation in the neck are levels C6-C7 as this is the segment of the spine where the intervertebral discs tends to degenerate faster with age. A combination of shocks to the discs and the general wear and tear of compression can cause the disc to collapse, leading to a loss of vertebral height and reduced mobility of that spinal segment.
When one area of the spine becomes less mobile, the areas nearby often compensate by becoming more mobile. In this case, the spinal segments C3-C5 show increased motion and the body then attempts to restore stability by remodelling bone at the outer edges of the vertebral body. Bone spurs typically indicate a loss of spinal stability, rather than simply arising out of nothing.
Causes of Bone Spurs in the Neck
Bone diseases also contribute to the development of osteophytes (bone spurs) though, as does smoking, poor nutrition, and genetic factors. In order to maintain strong bones the body needs sufficient amounts of calcium, but it also needs magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin D, and a range of other nutrients that work to create the collagen scaffold onto which these minerals are deposited in crystal form. Without adequate magnesium, for example, the bone crystals that are formed are poorly constructed and weak, leading to an increased likelihood of bones in the spine fracturing, compressing, and developing spurs.
Symptoms of Bone Spurs in the Neck
Bone spurs cause problems in the spine because they can impinge upon spinal nerves and nerve roots, as well as entering the disc space or even compressing the spinal cord itself. These bony growths may lead to symptoms such as paraesthesia, weakness, numbness, muscle wasting, and pain in the neck, back, down the arms, or even up into the jaw and head, depending on the location of the bone spurs and which nerves are pinched or section of spinal cord compressed.
Surgery for Bone Spurs in the Neck
To alleviate these symptoms, surgery is often necessary to remove bone spurs as this is a physical obstruction rather than one that can be managed with anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications. In addition to operating to remove the bone spurs in the neck, it is also important that the surgical team help a patient understand the potential factors contributing to the development of osteophytes, otherwise it may simply be a matter of time before the patient is back in for further surgery to remove more aberrant bone.
Turning back the clocks this fall might help you get an extra hour of sleep, which could help those suffering from neck pain to recover more quickly. New research, published in the Clinical Journal of Pain, found that people with poorer sleep quality are less likely to show improvements in neck pain, regardless of other factors including age, sex, depression and treatments applied. Read more
The majority of neck pain is caused by muscle strain and is typically resolved without medical intervention within a few days. However, pain in the front of the neck that persists, or which is severe and acute, can be a sign of a serious health issue that warrants medical attention. Read more
Botox injections have long been used to relax muscles that are associated with frown lines and deep wrinkles, and such injections have also been found helpful in treating neck pain, headaches, and other types of pain connected to underlying muscles tension.
Myofascial pain is a condition where muscle pain and stiffness are typically centred on certain trigger points, and a new study shows that directly injecting Botox into painful muscle groups can effectively relief myofascial pain in the neck and shoulder. Read more
Smoking not only leads to wrinkles it also makes you much more likely to suffer from neck pain. This is because smoking impairs blood circulation, tissue oxygenation and nourishment, causes dehydration, depletes vitamin C and other antioxidant nutrients, increases the risk of cancerous growths in the neck, and even adversely affects bone metabolism. Read more
As neck pain remedies go, few are simpler than a glass of water. This is, however, a surefire way for many people to tackle both acute and chronic neck pain. Dehydration can affect the muscles, nerves, joints and spinal discs and yet is frequently overlooked as a potential cause of sudden neck pain and ongoing neck pain so how can you tell if you’re dehydrated and what should you do about it? Read more
There are few natural remedies for neck pain that are backed by a good amount of quality clinical trial data but Celadrin is one such product. This cetylated fatty acid supplement can be taken in capsule form or used topically and results from human studies suggest that it can start relieving pain within just 30 minutes of application, so what is Celadrin and how could it help your neck pain? Read more
Diabetes could increase your risk of head and neck cancer by 50% according to a newly published retrospective cohort study carried out in Taiwan. The research, published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology looked at data from 89,089 patients with diabetes and found that compared to closely matched people without diabetes they were 47% more likely to develop head and neck cancer. Read more
Differentiating multiple sclerosis and cervical spinal stenosis symptoms can be challenging and new research suggests that for patients with both conditions preoperative MRI results may not offer a clear indication of the likely success of spine surgery. Typically, people with cervical spinal stenosis can be given a pretty good idea of the benefits they could see after neck surgery, but evaluating patients with concurrent MS and cervical stenosis causing myelopathy appears to offer little indication of its usefulness. Read more