Neck pain is quite a common problem in the United States. This is because some day-to-day activities are not very kind to the neck. You may have experienced the strain that occurs after working with computers all day long. In most cases, neck pain does not develop overnight. It evolves over the years, and it can be spurred by arthritis and accentuated by stress, declining muscle strength, and poor posture. If you are suffering from neck pain, you should visit a West Orange, NJ pain management specialist for diagnosis and treatment. Below are some important things you should know about neck pain.
What Causes Neck Pain
In most cases, neck pain occurs as a result of staying without changing the position of the neck for too long. Other factors that can cause or aggravate neck pain include:
- Stress or worry
- Whiplash resulting from accidents
- A strain or a sprain
- Cervical spondylosis flare-ups, which happen when joints and discs age
- Sleeping awkwardly
Still, many people develop neck pain and stiff neck for no apparent reason. It may occur after a minor twisting injury or after sitting in a draught. This is known as non-specific neck pain, and it can disappear in a few days.
Some neck issues can easily be diagnosed based on a simple physical exam and symptoms. It is very unlikely that you will have to undergo any special tests. In other cases, your doctor may advise you to go in for a blood test, X-ray, CT scan, and MRI scan to rule out other critical factors that may cause neck pain.
Depending on the cause of your neck pain, there are a number of techniques that a pain management specialist can use to treat it. Some of the common treatment options include:
The doctor can prescribe stronger pain medication than what you can obtain over-the-counter to manage the pain. Tricyclic antidepressants and muscle relaxants may also be recommended.
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy through which you can learn about the correct posture, neck alignment, and neck strengthening exercises. During these therapies, electrical stimulation, ice, and heat may be used to give you relief from neck pain.
Advanced neck pain treatment options include steroid injections and surgery. Your doctor may inject corticosteroids near the nerve roots and into small joints of the cervical spine. The medication can also be injected into the muscles. In very rare cases, your doctor may decide to perform a surgery to relieve spinal cord or nerve root compression.
Overall, it is apparent that neck pain is quite a common problem. In some cases, it can come and go on its own within a few days. But if it persists, it is imperative for you to seek the assistance of a pain management specialist for diagnosis and treatment.