Neck pain, also known as cervical pain, is a common medical condition that affects many Americans at some point in their life.
Any of the neck structure can be affect by pain. These include the: muscles, nerves, bones (vertebrae) or the disks between the bones. No matter what the root of pain is, a spine specialists at VIP Centers can pinpoint the source of pain and develop a customized, advanced treatment plan to provide relief. Our multidisciplinary approach and conservative treatment methods are usually used to help treat the symptoms, decrease pain and improve function. If you are experiencing cervical symptoms, contact the pain management specialists at VIP Centers to schedule a consultation. Conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and pinched nerves can commonly cause cervical symptoms and can be easily fixed by non-surgical treatment options.
Symptoms of Neck Pain
The cervical spine (neck) is a complex structure between your head and back; because of this, it’s not uncommon for neck pain to radiate to other areas in your body and cause other symptoms as well. Symptoms of neck pain varies, however, the most common ones are:
Along with your neck pain, depending upon the cause, you may also experience:
Your muscles can feel sore or tense in the neck, face, or shoulders. Muscles can spasm when they go into a state of extreme contraction (e.g., after whiplash) and your movement may be limited: you may not be able to turn your head. If nerves are involved, pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness can develop also in your shoulders, arms and hands. Furthermore, if nerve compression is severe, symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling in your legs, loss of bladder or bowel control, or loss of strength and problems with coordination. These symptoms require immediate medical attention.
In order to better understand the nature of the patient’s pain, it is very important to identify and recognize the type, severity, frequency and location of the neck pain. These specifics sheared with your physician will help to make a complete and accurate diagnosis and ensure the proper treatment.
What causes neck pain?
There are many different causes of neck pain, including disorders, diseases or just everyday tweeks in the neck. Some of the most common are sprains and strains, which typically resolve in a few days or weeks with rest and pain medication. The common causes of ACUTE NECK PAIN include:
CHRONIC NECK PAIN is often caused by a degenerative spine condition, which is a condition that develops as the spine naturally wears down with age. Chronic neck pain can last several months and typically requires a treatment regimen for pain relief. These conditions can cause the spine to move out of alignment and press a nearby nerve root, causing your pain.
The most common degenerative spine conditions that cause neck pain include:
What are the Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Neck Pain?
Because there are so many causes and symptoms of neck pain, there are multiple ways to treat it.
Which treatment options are most appropriate depend on the diagnosis, the severity, the current symptoms, treatment goals and preference.
Epidural steroid injections
Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection is a minimally invasive, simple, safe, and effective non-surgical treatment that involves the injection of a steroid medication similar to cortisone into the epidural space of the spine. The epidural space is a specific area where inflamed nerves are located in the spine. The intent of this procedure is to reduce inflammation and therefore relieve pain in the neck, shoulders and arms caused by a pinched or inflamed nerve in the cervical spine. Conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, or arthritis can compress and press nerves, causing inflammation, discomfort and pain. The cervical epidural steroid injection procedure involves injections into the surrounding area that help with pinched nerve pain management and decrease the swelling and inflammation.
Trigger point injections
Neck pain is often associated with trigger points, commonly known to be a sensitive areas within muscle or connective tissue that becomes painful when touched or overworked. These injections are considered to be a very effective treatment option for inactivating trigger points and providing prompt relief of symptoms from neck pain. These injections are used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, these are band or knots of muscle that form when muscles get contracted and do not relax. The most common sites for trigger point injections are the neck, back of head and shoulders. In this procedure, a small needle is inserted into the patient’s trigger point. The injection contains a local anesthetic and corticosteroid, and can be performed very safely with no side effects or complications. With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated. Typically, a brief course of treatment will result in longer term relief. Injections are done in the office setting by the doctor and usually take just a few minutes and several sites may be injected in one visit.
Cervical Facet Block: a cervical facet joint injection is a simple, safe, and effective minimally invasive treatment for spinal pain that involves the injection of a small amount of local anesthetic or steroid medication into the facet joints in the cervical spine, which can anesthetize the facet joints and block the pain. This is done using fluoroscopic guidance for precision imaging. Often cervical facet blocks work well patients who have arthritis of the neck and they can get significant relief after 1 or 2 injections. Often, cervical facet blocks are known as medial branch blocks which can be done in the office setting and only takes about 30 minutes to perform.
At VIP Centers, our goal is to maximize patients ability to function through muscle, tendon, nerve, and joint strengthening and protection. The non-surgical treatment options allow us the opportunity to carefully restore your mobility. Because we believe that every patient deserves to live a healthy and comfortable life, our VIP Centers spine specialists work to develop multidisciplinary treatment plans that are personalized for each patient’s needs and. Our Harvard trained physicians will explore all of the more conservative options available that may be effective at relieving your symptoms. Steroid injections are just one of the treatments that we offer to treat persistent pain in your neck.
At VIP Centers, you’re in good hands.
We are experts in minimally invasive procedures that are clinically proven to give the best results.Expect no downtime and to resume your regular activities the same day.
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