FAQ’s on Neck Pain
Acute neck pain can strike at any time. On average with rest and limited use, the stiffness and pain will subside with time and is generally what is recommended for a speedy recovery. Chronic pain symptoms may persist despite all precautions the patient takes and may need further evaluation.
The head is supported by the neck and the upper torso (cervical region), sometimes pain symptoms can be present due to stress to the joints in this region. There are seven cervical vertebrae that are stacked, along with ligaments, to help provide stability to the spine while supporting the weight of the head.
What generally causes neck pain?
Neck pain could be serious if not treated promptly during its initial appearance. Neck pain, which is commonly known as cervicalgia, can be present due to many reasons, such as: spinal alignment problems, muscular tightness, pinching of nerves, joint disruption, damage by injury or an accident, and many others.
What typically causes neck pain?
- Herniated discs: Sometimes the disc ruptures in the inner section causing pressure on the spinal nerve. This rupture could cause pain, numbness, tingling in the arms and hands.
- Degenerative Disc Disease: It is a condition wherein the disc loses the shock absorbing ability.
- Spondylosis: This is due to the narrowing of the spinal canal usually by a degeneration of the discs.
- Spondylolisthesis: This occurs when a vertebrae slips forward.
- Sometimes the pain is caused from lifestyle such as poor sleeping position, overabundance of stress, too much time in one position (sitting), and not practicing good posture.
What type of diagnostic imaging is used for neck pain?
For most of the cases dealing with neck pain, the patient has to undergo an MRI scan which could give a clear picture of the neck and possible reason of it. Some conditions (if present) may show up on an X-ray, such as a herniated disc condition; the diagnosis will need to be through a MRI if it deals with soft tissue.
How does a Denver pain management doctor determine the proper course of treatment for neck pain?
The treatment for a patient’s neck pain depends on the root cause. Generally, the patient’s neck pain is treated conservatively. In some cases, the applying of heat or cold compresses helps alleviate the pain. Other common treatments may include physical therapy, calming medication, and body mechanics training with proper physical therapies.
When does a physician recommends surgical intervention for neck pain?
Surgical treatment may be performed when there compression of a nerve root, which is usually as in the case of herniated disc patient. If there is neurologic deterioration or conservative treatment fails to provide relief for six weeks or more.
What medications and procedures can help with neck pain?
Generally, medication is prescribed to relieve pain symptoms. Anti-inflammatories such as acetaminophen or NSAIDs for pain relief, or cyclobenzaprine, a relaxant, can be beneficial for acute back pain.
Denver pain doctors may offer trigger point injections for relief, or medial branch blocks. Facet injections may be helpful as well.
Are there other alternative methods to deal with neck pain?
Acupuncture has been successful for many patients and improves functionality.
Spinal decompression therapy works exceptionally well for most types of neck pain, such as facet arthritis and whiplash.
When does neck pain need urgent care?
Any radiating pain or numbness in the arms or legs should be immediately reported to an orthopedic physician for proper diagnosis. When caught in the early stages, further damage can be avoided and the overall duration of the injury can be shortened with prompt treatment.
If you or a loved one is experiencing significant neck pain, let Colorado Pain help you. The pain management clinic in Denver offers expert treatment, and can bring you relief without surgery. Call (720) 306-9575 today!