Cervical Annular Tear

Cervical Annular Tear | BEST

Annular tears are injuries occurring in the spinal discs that support and cushion the vertebrae in the spine. If the pain associated with the annular tear is minimal, there is a great chance there are conservative treatment methods that could be effective. However, if the pain is severe, more serious treatment methods may be recommended. 

Cervical annular tears are located in the cervical region of the spine. This form of an annular tear can be caused for a variety of reasons, but most commonly is due to natural degeneration. However, in some cases, whiplash or other traumatic injuries can lead to a cervical annular tear. 

Annular tears in the cervical region are very common because this area is responsible for supporting the weight of the head. As we twist our heads and look down, all these motions require support from the cervical spine. If you are concerned that you might have an annular tear, or are interested in learning more about preventative measures available, reach out to our team at BEST Health System. 

Causes

Annular tears can stem from a wide range of reasons; however, the natural degeneration of the spinal discs is the most common cause. With age, these discs weaken and lose the lubrication necessary to prevent bones from rubbing against each other. Aside from this, annular tears can develop from repetitive movements such as looking down at a computer screen for extended periods of time. 

Posture is an essential part of spine health. If the back is constantly forced out of its natural shape, it adds pressure to certain areas of the back, increasing the stress on the spinal discs. If this occurs daily, it can have lasting effects on the back and can lead to an annular tear.

Although exercise is necessary for a healthy lifestyle, there are certain workouts that can have harmful effects on the spine. Weight lifting has been known to cause back problems because it can add stress to the areas around the spine. If the individual rounds their back or is not familiar with the correct form, this can lead to serious injuries, including annular tears. If you lift weights as part of your exercise routine, it is important you understand spinal anatomy to ensure you are protecting your back.

Injuries resulting from trauma are another cause of cervical annular tears. Sudden injuries such as car crashes or sports-based injuries can both lead to whiplash, causing the neck to be thrown back and forth. 

Treatments

Upon diagnosis of an annular tear, you should begin by focusing on conservative treatment options. Many patients find relief from therapies and pain relief methods that can allow them to return to a normal lifestyle. 

Conservative treatment methods include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Natural supplements
  • Massage therapy
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Steroid injections

If conservative methods are ineffective, the patient may be a candidate for surgery. One potential option patients might consider is minimally invasive surgery. These procedures require smaller incisions and allow for a faster recovery time. If you are interested in learning more about BEST Health System’s surgical procedures for spinal care, reach out to our team today.

Symptoms

Cervical annular tears can have lasting effects, causing pain and discomfort localized in the neck. Some patients may develop an annular tear and experience no symptoms, however, if the tear is more severe, they may suffer from a range of symptoms. 

Common symptoms include:

  • Neck pain
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain running along a nerve path

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, there are treatment options to help you return to your everyday tasks.

Contact BEST Health System!

If you are experiencing back pain, you do not have to suffer in silence. Get in touch with our dedicated team and get started on your path to recovery. 

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