Why Do I Always Have Left-Side Neck Pain?

Why Do I Always Have Left-Side Neck Pain?

Left-side neck pain doesn’t represent a unique or specific condition. You could just as easily have right-side neck pain from the same conditions causing pain on the left side. The challenge is determining whether your neck pain comes from a condition that may heal on its own or requires medical care.

As an experienced neurosurgeon, Richard B Kim, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating neck pain whether it’s caused by an injury, a degenerative disease, an infection, or a tumor. Here, he shares information about the causes of neck pain and when you should seek treatment.

Heart attack

In addition to chest pain or pressure, heart attacks cause other symptoms, including:

If your neck pain occurs together with chest pain or any symptoms in this list — and especially if the pain worsens or your symptoms last longer than five minutes — you should consider it a possible heart attack and call 911 for immediate emergency care.

Common sprains and strains

It’s relatively easy to pull your neck muscles (strains) and ligaments (sprains) — the top causes of neck pain. Strains and sprains often develop due to whiplash injuries and everyday movements like sleeping in an awkward position, bending your head for a long time, or engaging in activities requiring repetitive movements.

Strains and sprains may affect the left or right side or cause general neck pain. If you always have pain on one side of your neck, you may consistently do something that pulls the tissues on that side.

Be alert for problems such as: 

These symptoms signal a more serious neck injury or condition that we should evaluate. Early treatment helps ease your pain and prevents possible complications.

Chronic neck conditions

Chronic neck conditions always need medical care to ease your pain, support healing, and avoid permanent nerve damage. 

These are the four top conditions responsible for neck pain:

Cervical radiculopathy

Cervical (neck) radiculopathy means you have compressed nerves (usually caused by one of the following conditions). Radiculopathy specifically refers to pinched nerve roots, the area where nerves branch away from the spinal cord and go through small openings as they travel out to your body.

When any part of a cervical nerve is pinched, whether in the spinal cord or nerve root, you have neck pain. However, your symptoms can also travel along the length of the nerve. As a result, you may have pain and tingling shooting down your right or left arm, depending on which nerve is pinched.

Herniated disc

herniated disc develops when an injury or age-related degeneration weakens the disc’s outer cover. At first, the gel-like substance inside the disc bulges out through the area, pushing against the nerves. Eventually, the weakened disc tears, allowing the gel to leak out, further irritating the nerves and causing inflammation and pain.

Degenerative disc disease

Over the years, spinal discs dry out and develop scar tissue and weak areas, changes that make them shrink and collapse. When that happens, the spine loses stability and the vertebrae lose their shock-absorbing cushions. Degenerative disc disease causes neck pain, pinched nerves, bone spurs, and osteoarthritis.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when spaces in the vertebrae become narrow. These spaces include the openings that create the spinal canal and smaller openings on the sides of vertebrae that allow nerves to leave and return to the spinal cord.

A traumatic injury or bones weakened by osteoporosis could fracture the cervical vertebrae and narrow the openings. But spinal stenosis most often develops due to conditions such as:

These conditions cause tissues to protrude into the openings, narrowing them and causing neck pain.

Whether you have questions about your neck pain or need treatment to relieve the pain and treat the underlying problem, you can depend on skilled care from Richard B. Kim, MD. Don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Call the office or use online booking today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Tell If You Have a Herniated Disc

Herniated discs can affect people of all ages, but most often appear in people aged 30 to 50 years. Identifying the signs gives you the chance to seek early treatment that eases your pain and prevents potential complications.

Understanding the 5 Main Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica affects 40% of adults at least once in their lifetime, and for many, it turns into a chronic and often debilitating condition. Though sciatica has numerous causes, they all lead to one problem: a pinched sciatic nerve.

Determining Your Best Treatment for Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma is a cancerous brain tumor that rapidly infiltrates the surrounding tissues. It’s essential to seek prompt medical attention and make quick treatment decisions. Here, our doctor shares common glioblastoma warning signs and treatments.

When Should I Consider Surgery for Chronic Back Pain?

If you have chronic back pain, chances are you’ll reach a time when the pain gets so severe you wonder if you should consider surgery. Here are three signs that surgery to repair the root cause is the best way to relieve your pain.

Tips to Prevent Spinal Osteoarthritis

Nagging low back pain could arise from several possible causes, but one of the most common is spinal osteoarthritis. The key to preventing this painful condition is following a healthy lifestyle throughout your adult life.