Neck Pain Treatment in New Jersey
Jan 31, 2017 @ 3:23 PM — by Aron D Rovner, MD Tagged with: Surgery | Sports Medicine | Neck Pain
The neck is a highly complex part of our body. The cervical spine, has immense freedom of movement while still having the strength to support a human head weighing upwards of fifteen pounds. However, the complexity and mobility of the neck also means that it is especially prone to injury or trauma.
Neck pain is a common occurrence and can encompass everything from chronic dull aches to acute and intense periods of pain. When it strikes, it can be extremely debilitating, affecting your ability to participate in your usual day to day activities.
Causes of Neck Pain
The complexity of the structure of the neck means that when pain is experienced, it can be caused by any number of factors. Some extremely common causes include:
- Falling asleep in an awkward position
- Prolonged periods of time sat at a computer
- Accident or injury
Neck pain as a result of injury is a particularly common result of road traffic accidents. People who suffer from whiplash, a neck injury caused by sudden movement of the head that stretches and strains the soft tissues in the neck, can find it takes weeks or even months for the pain to fully subside.
Sometimes there may be a more serious, underlying cause of the neck pain. These include:
- Herniated discs. This is where the jelly-like material inside one or more of your vertebral discs leaks out. When this happens, the disc can tear the ligaments surrounding your spine and press against the cervical nerve, causing pain.
- Cervical radiculopathy. Otherwise known as a pinched nerve, this can be a result of a number of cervical problems including herniated discs, degenerative disc disease and tumors that put pressure on the spinal nerves.
- Degenerative disc disease. Usually caused by ageing, this is where the discs in your vertebrae begin to wear down, becoming smaller and causing a range of symptoms including pain, numbness, tingling nerves and muscle weakness.
- Cervical myelopathy. This condition occurs when disruptions in the transmission of neural signals in the cervical area, lead to problems with the limbs and bowel and bladder function. It is usually caused by trauma, tumors and degeneration of the cervical spine as a result of ageing.
Types of Neck Pain
Neck pain can manifest in a variety of ways.
- General pain in the neck area.
- Stiffness of the neck muscles.
- Pain that radiates outward from the neck, into the shoulder or shoulder blades.
- Pain that radiates out into the arms.
- Pain that radiates into the head and causes headaches. The headache may appear localized in one part of the head.
- Weakness of the neck muscles, shoulders or arms.
- An inability to hold your neck in a normal posture without serious pain. This condition, known as torticollis, means that you may feel that you are forced to hold a position with your head twisted to the side.
- A tingling or pin-prickling sensation in the arms and hands, which is often an indicator of problems with your neck.
Diagnosing Neck Pain
In order to accurately diagnose the cause of your neck pain, it will be necessary for you to attend a consultation appointment. During this meeting, Dr, Rovner will give you a comprehensive physical examination and ask your about your medical history. It may also be necessary to arrange for some imaging tests so that Dr. Rovner and the team can assess the structures inside your neck and check for damage or other underlying problems.
After your consultation, Dr. Rovner will be able to recommend the best course of action to treat your neck pain and help you to enjoy your usual daily activities without discomfort once again.
Treating Neck Pain
Treating neck pain usually starts at home with pain relief and hot/cold therapies to help relax the muscles, reduce any inflammation and enable movement. In some instances of short term pain, manual treatment in the form of physiotherapy or chiropractic care may be recommended. A trained physiotherapist will also be able to make recommendations on how to protect the neck in future, for example advice on posture and support aids available.
An increasing number of patients are also looking at holistic pain relief methods such as homeopathy or acupuncture.
However, some causes of neck pain can only be treated with surgical intervention. The three most common reasons to have surgery in the neck are:
- Decompression of the spinal cord.
- Stabilization of the cervical spine.
- Removal of damaged/herniated discs.
If medical tests and imaging show that you have a tumor present in your neck or spine, this may also need to be surgically removed.
Don’t live with the discomfort of neck pain. Here at New York Spine and Sports Surgery, we have the knowledge and experience to deliver the highest quality treatment and patient care in New Jersey. Schedule an appointment at our New Jersey practice today to treat your neck pain.