Neck and Arm Pain Information

Neck & Arm Pain Related to Cervical Spine Disorders

Symptoms, Causes, Risks Factors, Prevention and Treatment

Symptoms of Neck & Arm Pain

  • Neck Soreness
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Pain around the shoulder blades
  • Pain, numbness or weakness in one or both arms
  • Clumsiness, loss of dexterity

Causes of Neck & Arm Pain

  • Disc Herniation: The extrusion of the central disc material (nucleus) is pushing through the outer part of the disc (annulus) causing compression of the nerves or spinal cord, causing pain.

    Herniated Discs are one of the most common causes of neck and arm pain.

  • Spinal Stenosis: The narrowing of the spinal column that causes pressure on the spinal cord, or the narrowing of the openings where the spinal nerves exit the spinal column.
  • Cervical Myelopathy: This refers to a loss of function in the upper extremities secondary to the compression of the spinal cord within the neck.
  • Cervical Fracture: This is a fracture in one of the cervical vertebrae bones in the neck that support your head and connect it to the rest of the body. A fracture is a break or crack in one of the cervical vertebrae also called a broken neck.

Risk Factors of Neck and Arm Pain

Who is At Risk?

Everyone who is active and many people who are sedentary…

What Can You Do?

  • Don’t Smoke
  • Keep your weight under control
  • Don’t ignore the warning signs

People with a history of neck pain are 3X more like to have an injury in the future prevention of neck and arm pain.

The TOP 3 things YOU can do to prevent neck & arm pain are:

  1. Exercise and maintain a healthy weight
  2. Try to maintain good posture
  3. Avoid neck strains, limit prolonged computer use

Warning Signs of Neck & Arm Pain

  • Pain lasts longer than 8 weeks
  • Neck Pain with arm pain
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Muscles don’t respond like normal

Treatments for Neck & Arm Pain

  • Rest
  • Physical Therapy
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Epidural injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Surgery

Most Common Surgical Treatments

  • ACDF (Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion): This procedure involves removal of the herniated disc(s) that impinging on the spinal cord or nerve root and fusing the cervical vertebrae above and below the herniation. The procedure is performed from the anterior, or front of the neck.
  • Cervical Disc Replacement: The Insertion of a Disc Prosthesis to replace a herniated or injured disc.
  • Foraminotomy: Usually performed as a minimally invasive procedure from a posterior approach where a small window is made on one side of the spinous process at the junction of the lamina and facet joint. A small piece of bone is removed relieving pressure on the spinal serve.
  • Cervical Laminoplasty: The procedure is done from the back of the neck, with the goal of the procedure being to decompress the spinal cord and/or nerve roots. Partially cutting the bone overlying the spinal cord known as the lamina or both left and right sides. This created a hinge on one side and a small opening on the other side allowing the bone to open up allowing the cord more space, preserving the motion of the spine.
  • Cervical Laminectomy and Fusion: The procedure is done from the back of the neck and involves removing parts of the lamina to decompress the spinal cord. In addition, fusion is also performed in conjunction, to stabilize the spine

Download Infographic from Mount Sinai