While a pinched nerve in your neck can be a painful and frustrating condition, it is also a fairly common condition that can easily develop due to injuries or degenerative changes in the cervical spine. Anything from an inflamed ligament to a herniated disc to bone spurs can compress a cervical nerve root and give rise to symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in the neck and upper extremities.
If you are exploring different bone spur treatments to try and relieve neck pain due to cervical osteophytes, there are a wide range of nonsurgical therapies out there that may be able to help. Once you have gotten a diagnosis of bone spurs in your upper spine from your doctor, he or she will likely suggest a course of conservative treatments. These may include prescription or over-the-counter pain medication, hot compresses, cold compresses, physical therapy, or behavior modification, among others.
That neck pain you’ve experienced for far too long is no longer a mystery – the cervical spinal stenosis diagnosis you received from your primary care physician or spine specialist has finally given the condition a name. Yet, now that you know what is causing those excruciating symptoms, what can you do about it? Chances are, that is the very question you asked your doctor (or some variation) once you found out that the spinal cord or other neural openings in the cervical (neck) region of your spine were being restricted by some sort of anatomical abnormality. And while you might be well into a conservative treatment plan designed to manage your symptoms, some lingering questions might still remain. Chief among them: What happens if the conservative treatment doesn’t work?
If you’re researching laser spine procedures as an option to treat your back or neck pain, it can be helpful to learn and understand the benefits of laser spine surgery as they compare to open spine surgery before you make a final decision. These two approaches to surgery are similar in that the main goal is to relieve pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness caused by pressure on nerves in the spine. Several common conditions and anatomical abnormalities can cause spinal nerve irritation, such as a herniated or bulging disc, bone spur, osteoarthritis, or calcified ligament in the spine.
A laser spine procedure takes a minimally invasive approach and involves the insertion of an endoscope (camera with light), a laser, and small surgical tools through a small incision in the back or neck to access the affected area. An open spine operation, however, is highly invasive, requiring a large incision in the neck, throat, stomach, or back, the dissection of soft tissues to access the spine, and the removal of spinal anatomy where necessary.
Bone spurs in the neck (osteophytes) are bony growths that can be responsible for neck pain and back pain. These bone spurs may occur following a fracture of the vertebrae, due to rheumatoid arthritis, ligament degeneration, whiplash, or through general wear and tear resulting in spondylitis. Read more
What is Facet Disease in the Neck?
The cervical facet joints are synovial joints in the back of the spine that are contained within a fibrous capsule. Superior and inferior facet joints interact in order to allow the flexibility of the spine and are, therefore, subject to considerable wear and tear over the years through everyday movement, increasing the likelihood of facet disease in the neck. Although the facet joints themselves do not contain free nerve endings, they are innervated by mechanoreceptors, of which there are more in the cervical spine compared to the lumbar spine. Read more