Studies show that 15% of all Americans with chronic pain suffer from neck problems specifically. And if you work a physical labor-intensive job, your risk of developing them greatly increases. But sitting hunched over a computer monitor isn’t much better for your posture, either.
Today, half of all working Americans say they experience back and neck pain symptoms every year. If you visit a doctor to decide to take steps to improve your quality of life and cut out the chronic back, you could be on a course that eventually leads to surgeries like anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, but not always. It’s good to know as much as you can about upper back and neck pain so you know exactly what kinds of health issues you’re dealing with.
What causes cervical spinal trouble in the first place?
For that question, we go to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Disc degeneration, or the wearing down of the cartilage formed between vertebrae to allow a wide range of movement, is one leading factor, as is the narrowing of the spinal canal itself. This is typically caused by the one thing that can’t be prevented with medical treatments: aging. Arthritis can also play big part in why cervical problems originate, as can severe traumas to the head or neck region.
What symptoms would I experience if I had cervical disc herniation?
A big sign that all is not right with your upper spine, as per the AANS, is numbness or tingling sensations in your neck, shoulders, arms or hands. One Yahoo! contributor also said she endured such intense numbness on her right upper body that she was no longer able to use her computer mouse at work. Of course, a stiff neck can be caused by plenty of other factors, too — especially a poor night’s sleep. A good test to determine how seriously you’re impaired is to try touching your chin to your chest. The movement of your neck should occur naturally; if it doesn’t (or if it’s accompanied with pain), it might be time to head to see your doctor for a precise diagnosis.
Is neck surgery the only treatment option available?
Luckily, cervical spine surgery is mostly seen as a third or fourth option after physical therapy and pain medication. Doctors rarely recommend surgery before trying the non-invasive treatments first. But when those simply aren’t effective, something like anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedures are necessary. Discectomy is a highly advanced surgery used to remove a portion of the affected herniated disc and replace it with a bone graft. Fusion joins two vertebrae together sometimes with the assistance of screws and plates.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion are processes that aim to improve the spinal condition of a patient and will almost always be accompanied by a long recovery. Our Yahoo! reviewer said she was told that a full recovery could take anywhere from four weeks to six months, and nine weeks after the procedure, she was already feeling greatly improved. But the key to any successful full recovery, she offers, is taking the time to let your body heal.
Time can damage your body, but it’s also one of the only things that can help make it better. Visit here for more information: www.artificialdiscinstitute.com
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