Torticollis

Torticollis, also known as a stiff neck, is a condition where the muscles on the side of the neck tighten causing an abnormal, asymmetrical head or neck position. Often a stiff neck or painful neck with limited range of motion can be the result of stress, tension, injury, or age related deterioration of the cervical facet joints. Other causes of Torticollis can include whiplash injury, poor posture, abnormal stress or strain during exercise, arthritis, and other degenerative changes in the cervical spine.

Sports Injuries

Sports injuries of the neck generally include neck sprains and strains, whiplash injury, nerve root or brachial plexus injuries (injury to the portion of the spinal nerve that exits at the vertebral segments in the neck), and cervical stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal that houses the spinal cord). Age, position, and style of play can all effect a person’s injury risk. Statistically the direct blows in full-contact sports like hockey and football predominantly lead to these types of conditions, however, any athlete can sustain a neck injury given the right sequence of events during the course of play.

Chronic Pain

Over the course of a year, approximately 15% of adults in the United States experience neck pain that lasts at least one full day. On average, most incidents of neck pain will resolve within a few days or weeks, but pain that persists for 3 months or more is considered Chronic Pain requiring treatment. Chronic Neck Pain can be intermittent or become constant. Onset of symptoms can be sudden from injury or develop over time due to age related degeneration. The most common causes of Chronic Pain in the neck include poor posture, trauma, arthritis and other degenerative conditions that can progress to Facet Imbrication, Facet Syndrome, Disc Herniation, and Cervical Stenosis. If the nerve roots or spinal cord become compressed, these conditions can cause Peripheral Neuropathy symptoms, such as, radiating pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness that can advance into the shoulders, arms, hands, legs, or feet.

Disc Degeneration

Also known as Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Disc Degeneration is not actually a disease; rather, it is a description of changes in spinal discs that can occur as a person ages. It is estimated that 30% of the population between the ages of 30-50 years old will develop some degree of disc wear that leads to disc degeneration. Unlike most tissues of the body, discs have a very low blood supply, making it difficult to heal once injured. Causes of Spinal Disc Degeneration include the drying out of the disc over time, poor posture, overuse, and traumatic injuries.

Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Cervical Spinal Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that houses the spinal cord in the neck. This narrowing can compress the spinal cord and the surrounding nerves causing pain, tingling, or numbness in the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, or legs. Cervical Spinal Stenosis affects men and women equally and usually occurs in people over the age of 50. Symptoms are typically gradual at the beginning and worsen over time. Some people are born with a congenital form of Spinal Stenosis, but most conditions arise as a result of degeneration that occurs with aging. Causes of Cervical Spinal Stenosis can include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, herniated discs, traumatic injury, cervical spinal tumors, and Paget’s Disease of the bone.