Neck Pain Treatment

Neck Pain Treatments and Causes

Our expert physicians give optimal care for patients with serious neck pain by providing ground-breaking treatments and personalized treatment plans. NSPC is the premier choice of referring doctors in the Tri-state area for good reason. With an expert multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons and convenient offices on Long Island and NYC metro area, patients receive the best possible outcomes with world-class care close to home.

Neck pain is another broad classification of distress or pain that can occur anywhere in the tissue of your neck, extending all the way from the bottom of your head down to the top of your shoulders. In fact, because the neck and spine are so central to your overall posture, problems with your neck can even cause pain to spread to your back and arms. This is an extremely common condition that nearly everyone will experience at some point in their lives, particularly those over the age of 50.

Neck Pain Causes and Symptoms

While neck pain is an extremely common problem, the underlying problem can vary dramatically, from infection to tissue damage through injury; the result is usually the same: a good deal of pain, stiffness, and discomfort, which you likely want to alleviate as soon as is possible.

Most Common Neck Pain Causes
Here are the five most frequently encountered neck pain causes:

  • Stressful Activity – Most pain is caused by performing an activity that leaves your muscles and joints in the area strained. Poor posture, activities like painting a ceiling or sleeping in a bad position can all cause muscle spasms, joint swelling and other uncomfortable conditions.
  • Injury – Injury is another frequent cause of chronic neck pain. Falls and whiplash in particular are known to often result in neck and back issues.
  • Infection – Although fairly rare, infections are still labeled as one of the major pain causes people can suffer from.
  • Cervical Stenosis – This condition refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal in the area of your neck. It can lead to pain and stiffness as you develop joint and spinal cord issues. Many other conditions can lead to spinal stenosis such as herniated discs, bone spurs and tumors.
  • Diseases – Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause neck pain; your neck has a lot of joints, which are just as vulnerable to this progressive condition as any other area.

How Is Neck Pain Diagnosed?

You can prepare for your visit to the doctor by thinking about these questions ahead of time:

  • When did your pain first appear?
  • Does exercise or stretching help?
  • What makes it better? What makes it worse?
  • What treatments have you tried?
  • Has it gotten better over time? Worse?

After a physical exam that will include a test of your range of motion, your physician will look at spinal imaging tests to determine what is causing your pain. X-rays, CT (computerized tomography) scans and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging to view bones and soft tissues) are used to diagnose neck, back and spine conditions

Non-surgical treatments for neck pain can be effective in alleviating pain in many cases involving overexertion of muscles or poor posture:

  • Rest
  • Proper posture
  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Epidural injections

Neck Pain Treatments at NSPC

When over-the-counter pain medication and simple heating or icing don’t work for sudden, sharp pains from muscle spasms, other pain relief is needed.

For more severe or persistent chronic pain, your physician may recommend therapeutic neck pain treatments. These can include anything from simple exercises and stretches up to complete traction or immobilization when needed.

Finally, you may require a surgical or more long-term medical solution for your neck pain, particularly when it results from trauma or injury. Physicians may need to regularly inject your nerve roots with steroids, lidocaine, or other agents intended to reduce pain. In extreme cases, surgery must be employed (usually when nerve roots or spinal cord compression is involved).

For more information about surgery for chronic neck pain or other severe pain relief options, contact a helpful specialist at NSPC. At our New York area locations, we provide cutting-edge treatment for patients to cope with spinal injuries and other spinal problems.

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