Neck PainPain Conditions
Neck Pain, Stiffness And Radiculopathy
The neck, or cervical section of the spine, is a crucial area of the body since it supports the skull and brain. While mild stiff necks are a common complaint, more serious neck pain, particularly pain that is radicular, or travels down the arm, may be cause for concern. There are two types of neck pain: mechanical, which is caused by injury and subsequent inflammation of the soft tissues of the region, and cervical radiculopathy.
While mechanical neck pain is typically the result of a pulled muscle, ligament or facet joint, cervical radiculopathy usually results from degeneration or herniation of a disc that results in a compressed (“pinched”) nerve. Radicular pain is often accompanied by numbness, tingling, or muscular weakness along the arm and fingers. Radicular pain may also radiate into the shoulders and upper back or result in headaches. Reflexes in the area may also be affected.
Different Treatments For Neck Pain
Because there are many different causes of neck pain, there are also many different treatment options. At Genesis Pain Clinic, we use a combination of techniques to ease the patient’s pain and restore a normal range of motion.
Facet joint syndrome is common in patients with neck pain. This condition is diagnosed after a physical examination and review of symptoms. An MRI scan may be performed to provide internal images of the back and spine. A diagnostic facet injection is also used to confirm a diagnosis of facet joint syndrome. Diagnostic facet injections contain a corticosteroid, and an anesthetic to temporarily relieve discomfort. If the patient experiences relief, the facet joint is likely the cause of the pain.
In addition to pain management, your doctor might also recommend the following:
- Cervical Epidural Injection
- Cervical Medial branch block
- Cervical RFA
- Deep tissue massages
- Electrical stimulation
- Passive range of motion
On occasion, depending on the individual patient’s condition, the provider may recommend rest and icing for a day or two before any treatment is begun. Sometimes, a temporary neck brace may be recommended to immobilize the neck, preventing further nerve irritation. Patients should not put on neck braces, however, without consulting with a medical professional and should never wear such a brace for more than a few days since such devices may impede the healing process.
Because the cervical spine is a very delicate area, it’s important that providers take a gentle and holistic approach to treating the neck. Your doctor will review your full medical history and any necessary diagnostic images before beginning a therapy program.
Typically, patients experience relief after the first few interventional treatments. While mechanical neck pain normally resolves within 3 weeks, patients with radicular symptoms report a 60 percent improvement after 6 weeks of therapy, and it may take as long as 5 months for them to experience a full return of sensation and grip strength.
Our Approach To Neck Pain Treatment
Our providers approach neck pain and other issues from a holistic point of view. By offering both traditional medical treatments and also holistic advice, we are able to provide fast and powerful pain relief while also addressing long-term issues that need to be resolved. This whole-body approach leads to effective relief and better patient care as a more understanding, long-term partnership forms between the doctor and the patient.