Neck pain and symptoms caused by a spinal condition are a common problem for many adult Americans. The cervical spine is composed of different anatomic structures, including muscles, bones, ligaments, and joints. Each of these structures has nerve endings that can detect painful problems when they occur.

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The different parts of the neck are normally well balanced and able to handle the movements, stresses, and strains of the body gracefully. However, when parts of the neck are injured or start to wear out, it can be a significant source of pain and discomfort.

Studies show that approximately fifty percent of the population has evidence of degenerative changes in their cervical spine by the age of fifty. These changes happen because the intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers between the vertebral bodies of the neck wear out as we grow older. As the discs wear out, they begin to collapse, or herniate, and become less flexible.

Any patient suffering from neck, shoulder or arm pain should be examined by a doctor. The history of the pain and any activities that may have triggered your symptoms are important factors in diagnosis and treatment.

If you are suffering from neck pain or pain you believe may be caused by a cervical spine condition, you should seek the medical advice of a physician. To find a doctor near you, visit our physician locator.

The materials on this Web site are for your general educational information only. Information you read on this Web site cannot replace the relationship that you have with your health care professional. We do not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice as a part of this Web site. You should always talk to your health care professional for diagnosis and treatment.

Published: February 23, 2007
Updated: April 24, 2007