What Are Some Symptoms of Cervical Spine Disorders?


Quick Answer

Patients with cervical spine disorders experience an inflexible or stiff neck and tingling or numbness due to disk degeneration, explains Spine-health. Symptoms may also include weakness in the shoulders, arms or neck when the cervical area is pinched or irritated.

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Full Answer

Cervical spine disorders develop when natural shock absorbers in the back, arms, neck and shoulder begin to degenerate, and the nerve roots become pinched as a result of narrowing vertebrae, according to WebMD. The neck is less flexible, and symptoms often peak at the end of the day.

Medical professionals diagnose cervical spine disorders by evaluating existing symptoms and assessing the patient's flexibility and neck extension while noting movements that can produce pain, notes Spine-health. Physicians commonly request an MRI, X-ray or CT scan to further investigate the extent of degeneration. Scans and X-rays can also help detect medical conditions causing pain such as arthritis or calcification.

Treatment for cervical spine disorders includes over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medication, such as ibuprofen, to reduce inflammation and pain, explains WebMD. Extreme pain may need to be treated with narcotic painkillers or steroids. Some patients benefit from physical therapy to rehabilitate from cervical spine disorders. Most disorders can be treated without surgical intervention.

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