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Neck Pain Specialist Treatments

Most people have neck pain at some time in their lives. In many cases, neck pain isn’t serious and goes away with rest. But chronic neck pain, which lasts for several weeks or longer, is more likely to require treatment.

Common Causes of Neck Pain

Your neck is made up of seven vertebral bones. These bones, which are supported by tendons and muscles, are separated and cushioned by intervertebral disks. Nerves that go to the muscles of your upper back and neck extend between the spaces in your spine.

Poor posture, arthritis, injury, or the wear and tear of age can all lead to chronic neck pain.

As you get older, the disks that act as shock absorbers between your neck bones can wear out. As the space between the bones narrows, the bones absorb stress, and bony spurs can develop and press on nerves. Disks can also push out from between the bones and press on nerves, a condition called a herniated disk. Both herniations and bone spurs can cause tingling, numbness, and weakness as well as pain. You may feel symptoms in your neck or all the way down into your arms.

Chronic Neck Pain Management

Determining the best treatment plan will depend on the location and the cause of your chronic neck pain.

Approaches to relieve chronic neck pain include:

Rest and pain relief. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory pain medications and muscle relaxants to relieve pain and inflammation. You may need to wear a cervical collar, or neck brace, to keep your neck still and allow healing to occur. Stronger pain relievers may be needed in some cases.

Physical therapy. This can include exercises to improve mobility and strengthen muscles that support your neck. A physical therapist, working with your doctor, should guide you through these exercises, and might also show you better ways to move that won’t strain your neck.

Manual therapy. In this commonly used type of therapy, therapists use their hands to manipulate or massage your neck. Manual therapy may be combined with physical therapy.

Physical treatments. These are methods that use electrical stimulation, heat and cold, ultrasound, or traction to relieve chronic neck pain.

Treating emotional factors. Studies show that psychological and social issues are important contributors to both back and neck pain.

Surgery. Surgery is rarely required. But when you can no longer control your neck pain and neck pain is controlling you, surgery becomes an option to consider.” Reasons to have surgery include trouble with balance or difficulty walking.

Chronic neck pain can be a serious problem and is responsible for a considerable amount of disability and time lost from work. Stress and other emotional issues can make neck pain worse, but the good news is that, for most people, chronic neck pain can be relieved through an individualized treatment plan combining rest, medication, and physical therapy.

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Doctor Root is a caring Pain Management Specialist in the San Fernando Valley. He treats a variety of pain conditions and is committed to walk this journey to a life with less pain!

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