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How To Know If Neck Pain Means Something Worse Than a Headache

A pinch to your skin delivers pain. A pinched nerve? Not really. But if your neck is giving you a ton of pain, you could have a pinched nerve. The good news is most pinched nerves don’t need surgery—although it could be necessary in certain cases.

A pinched nerve in your neck happens when a nerve is squeezed or inflamed, a condition called cervical radiculopathy.

Often this concerns one of the discs in your neck. Those discs give a cushion for the bones of your spinal cord, but they can trigger problems if they get dislodged or hurt.

The primary reason from a pinched nerve in your neck is a herniated disc, but there are other potential reasons.

These include disc bulging because of a degenerative disc disease, bone growth or spurs from advanced spine and disc degeneration, or tumors that can pinch nerves.

While it might happen to anyone, some could be more likely to have a pinched nerve in the neck area.

Risk factors for pinched nerved in the neck

These factors tend to raise your risk of getting a pinched nerve in your neck:

  • Trauma from a car accident or any other injury
  • Incorrect lifting of weights
  • Long periods of sitting
  • Smoking
  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Neck pain is a common sign of a pinched nerve, although this pain might not be only in your neck.

“Neck pain that goes down your arm and through your elbow and into your fingers is usually only possible if you have a pinched nerve in your neck., says Kaliq Chang, a pain specialist at the Atlantic Spine Center.

How this feels can be different from person to person.

“This pain is usually described as one or all of the following sensations: burning, aching, tingling, numbing, stabbing or shooting., he says. “There could also be weakness in your arm or hand.”

Author: Steven Sinclaire

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