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ABOUT NECK CARE
Neck pain can significantly impact your daily activities, making it difficult to sleep comfortably or even turn your neck. If you are suffering from neck pain or stiffness, our physicians and physical therapists can help.
WHAT CAUSES NECK PAIN?
The majority of neck pain cases are the result of muscle strain in the neck, often brought on by poor posture, awkward sleep positions or a jarring movement. If your nerves are affected, you may experience tingling, numbness or a weakening of your neck, arm or hand. More serious causes of neck pain include falls, accidents, problems in the spinal canal or vertebrae and fibromyalgia.
HOME CARE FOR NECK PAIN
In most cases, neck pain should go away after several days of reduced activity, use of over-the-counter pain relievers and applications of heat and ice. If your neck pain does not improve, your doctor can perform an examination of the area to determine whether there is an underlying medical condition causing the discomfort.
Seek medical attention immediately if the neck pain is accompanied by a headache and fever, as those symptoms together may indicate a meningitis infection.
DIAGNOSING NECK PAIN
During your appointment, your doctor will take a medical history and ask you various questions about the specifics of the neck pain you are feeling. Your doctor will also do a physical examination of your neck and the surrounding area in order to diagnose the problem. Due to the wide range of causes for neck pain, further testing, such as X-rays, a CT scan, MRI imaging or a blood test, may be required.
TREATMENT FOR NECK PAIN
Your treatment plan may include:
- Home care. Heat or ice, careful stretching and changing your daily habits (sitting differently or using a different pillow) may help.
- Medication. Medicines can relieve neck pain and reduce inflammation of the soft tissues. Pain relief will allow you to move your neck gently, so you can begin easy exercises and start the healing process.
- Surgery. Surgery is rarely needed for neck pain, but it may be an option if your neck injury causes a fracture, if there is pressure on your nerve roots, if you have spinal cord arthritis of the neck, or if you suffer from a herniated disc in the neck.
TYPES OF SURGERY
If you are suffering from neck pain that requires surgery, you can trust our skilled physicians to use the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques to get you back on your feet faster. Types of surgery include:
- Discectomy (with or without fusion). The surgeon removes herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord.
- Cervical spinal fusion. Selected bones in the neck are joined (fused) together.
- Spinal decompression. Pressure is reduced on the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots by removing part of a bone or disc.