Discomfort or tension on the neck is common, and most people assume it is temporary. However, neck pain symptoms can be severe, limiting your range of actions and affecting your daily life. For this reason, you should seek out medical attention to correct the pain. With the information provided here about neck pain, you can make an informed decision anytime you experience neck pain.
If you are not keen on seeking help, your neck pain can often be misdiagnosed, and bad advice and treatment options can be given. For an accurate diagnosis of neck pain, Dennis Slavin, MD, a McAllen pain medicine physician, can help. Dr. Slavin offers precise diagnostic tools that can unveil the cause of your problem for effective treatment. They can include:
- A full assessment
- A detailed medical history
- A thorough examination of your neck, upper back, and head
- High-resolution MR scans and x-rays
Causes of Neck Pain
Your neck contains seven small vertebrae to support the head and allow the full range of motion. For this reason, it is easily susceptible to injuries and degenerative diseases. Here are several factors that can cause neck pain:
- Sprains and strains
- Cervical disk degeneration
- Herniated disk
- Narrowed spinal canal
- Pinched nerve
However, your lifestyle can also cause neck pain. This includes sports, poor sitting, and reading position.
Note that neck pain can develop other symptoms such as headache and muscle spasm. This is because it makes moving your head difficult. If the problem is caused by a pinched nerve, the pain can travel down your arms.
How to Relieve Neck Pain
Dr. Slavin can recommend several treatment procedures to relieve your pain, depending on the cause. You can be offered conservative therapy, including rest and physical therapy to relieve mild pain. However, when the problem persists, you can effectively provide targeted treatments to alleviate your chronic pain. Such include:
Epidural Steroid Injection
This involves the injection of anesthetic to relieve the pain and corticosteroids to moderate inflammation. The results can be long-lasting. For the injections, the nerves causing the problem are targeted using a particular type of x-ray called fluoroscopy.
Facet Joint Injection
This procedure is similar to epidural injections, only that it targets the inflamed and painful facet joints in the spine.
Cervical Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy
It is a procedure that uses radio wave heat to block the nerve signal. With the pain signals not reaching your brain, you can’t feel the pain. A narrow cannula is guided to the nerves responsible for sending the brain’s pain signals through fluoroscopy. Radio waves are then emitted once the cannula is in position, and they produce heat that disrupts the nerve.
Self-care Measures for Neck Pain
Several remedies can help you relieve acute pain at home. However, be sure to receive guidance on which ones are right for you. You can try over-the-counter pain relievers, alternate heat and cold therapy, and simple exercises as instructed by your provider. However, if the pain persists, don’t hesitate to contact a specialist for more advanced treatments.
Please don’t allow neck pain to make you miserable. You can reach out to Dr. Slavin to learn more about your condition. Whether acute or chronic, the expert way is the best way to go in order to prevent further complications.