By cobaltmoe | June 22nd, 2021 |
The Basic Anatomy of Our Neck
When it comes to complex anatomical structures, your neck is first on the list. It is an area that houses how you eat, how you speak, how your brain sends signals throughout your body, and how your blood delivers oxygen-rich blood (and glucose and other nutrients) to the brain.
Some important structures contained in the neck include:
- The seven cervical vertebrae and spinal cord
- The jugular veins
- Carotid arteries
- Part of the esophagus
- The larynx and vocal cords
- The sternocleidomastoid and hyoid muscles
Ligaments are soft tissues that connect your neck vertebrae to your skull, neck, and shoulders:
- Anterior longitudinal ligament (ALL) – connects the neck to the skull. It resists and becomes stretched when the neck is extended backward.
- Posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) – connects the neck to skull from the back. This ligament stretches and resists when the neck is flexed forward.
- Ligamentum flava – short, paired ligaments that connect the vertebral arches, covering the spinal cord from behind.
Soft tissues in the neck are the intervertebral fibrocartilage known as intervertebral disc. They allow the vertebrae to move without friction, providing smoother movement.
The cartilage also helps to reduce pressure and acts as a shock absorber during shoulder movement.
Muscles of the neck include four groups of muscles:
- Suboccipital muscles – composed of four muscles situated within the suboccipital compartment of the neck: the sternocleidomastoid, trapezius, splenius, and semispinalis muscles. They allow the neck to extend and rotate.
- Suprahyoid muscles – four muscles that allow to elevate the hyoid bone, which is needed when swallowing. These muscles are located superior to the hyoid bone of the neck.
- Infrahyoid muscles – a group of four muscles that are located inferiorly to the hyoid bone in the neck.
- Scalene muscles – three paired muscles (anterior, middle and posterior) located on the sides of the neck. They act as accessory muscles of respiration, and allow the neck to flex.
The Various Causes of Neck Injury and Pain
Neck injuries are pretty common, especially if you’ve been involved in a car crash. We can help your recovery and control your pain if you suffer any of the following conditions:
- Whiplash – one of the most common car accident injuries, causing damage to muscles, ligaments, and soft tissues in the neck. It can take hours or days before whiplash symptoms appear, such as pain, stiffness, dizziness, fatigue, or blurred vision.
- Facet Joint Injury – trauma from a car collision can inflame the cervical spine or to the surrounding ligaments. This could affect your neck and head stability and mobility.
- Neck Fracture – one of the more severe injuries and causes extreme pain. You will immediately know if you have fractured your neck following a car accident. If you suspect you have a fracture, do not move without medical assistance. Improper movement could injure your spinal cord and cause paralysis.
- General Muscle Strain – constant movement or forcing can strain your neck muscles. You can over stress your muscles by doing awkward movements with your neck, causing them to strain and hurt.
- Tension Headache – headaches can cause neck pain, specifically those caused by stress, anxiety, and/or tension. When tense, your body will stand alert and–if the tension is prolonged–this can cause your muscles to tighten and hurt over time.
- Herniated Disk – a condition that can cause extreme back pain; however you can also herniate a disk at the neck level. This will cause the nerves in your neck to be pinched or restricted, causing constant pain.
- Arthritis – whether from age or other conditions, arthritis can affect any joints, including your neck. The cervical vertebrae in your neck are connected by facet joints that can inflame due to arthritis, but it can be treated.
Suffer From Neck Pain? Schedule a Consultation With 911 Pain Management Today
A Dependable Pain Management Clinic Targeting Neck Pain
Rediscover yourself by giving your neck the break it deserves. If you are looking for a reliable pain management clinic, look no further than 911 Pain Management. Our clinic offers the pain treatment and quality of care your neck needs to reduce pain and recover.
Our pain management doctors treat patients’ neck pain with a holistic approach. On your first visit, our specialists will ask you questions regarding your neck pain symptoms. They may also look at your past records, current medications, and any other information that can help us determine the source of your neck pain. From there, our pain management doctor will perform a thorough physical exam to create a viable treatment plan tailored to your neck’s needs.
The types of neck pain treated by our pain management doctor fall into three main groups
- The first is pain due to direct tissue injury, such as whiplash.
- The second type of pain is due to nerve injury or a nervous system disease, such as a pinched nerve.
- The third type of pain is a mix of tissue and nerve injury.
If you are suffering from neck pain, or are recovering from a neck injury, the specialists at 911 Pain Management can help you with:
Treating your pain with pharmacological therapy can be an effective way to help you relieve neck pain. Our medication management services can help you achieve just that, giving you the ability to not only find relief from your neck pain, but to regain the mobility and stability you need at the same time.
Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point injections are used to relax and “undo” knots of muscle in your neck caused by tense muscles, either due to stress or overworking it. Trigger point injections generally result in immediate pain reduction and can be used in several areas of the neck during the same visit if needed.
In a cervical facet injection, also known as a facet block, an anesthetic and steroid are injected into one or more of your cervical facet joints. The injection can be used to diagnose the cause or treat the pain. This injection is specifically applied in between the joint, allowing the medication to act at the source.
Tension and anxiety can greatly affect your neck and in order to truly treat the source of your neck pain, it is needed to dive in deeper. Neck pain caused by anxiety or tension can be a result of psychosomatic symptoms, straining your neck in such ways that it causes knots and pain. Psychiatry can help you learn how to identify these feelings and treat the source.