Neck Pain that is Related to Certain Activities or Positions

Neck pain that develops slowly (often over a number of years) and tends to occur during or after certain activities or neck positions is frequently caused by cervical foraminal stenosis. Usually, impingement of one nerve root on one side of the spine causes most of the symptoms.

This type of spinal stenosis is caused by wear or aging related changes in the joints of the neck (facet joints) or at the margins of the discs. These changes may be diagnosed by either an MRI or a CT scan with a myelogram. As with a herniated disc, the mainstay of treatment for stenosis is medical care (medicine, therapy, exercise, injections, etc.). If the pain is severe or prolonged, or the functional impairment is sufficient, surgery may be recommended to open up the disc space and give the nerve root more room.

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