Neck Pain Treatment Questions and Answers
Are you looking for an experienced neck pain specialist who can help you relieve your pain? Look no further than Renew Health! We have experienced pain management doctors in Katy, TX who provide a variety of treatment options for neck pain. For more information, please call us or request an appointment online.
What is the cause of neck pain?
Neck pain can be very common for a couple of reasons, mostly having to do with posture as the neck is flexible and responsible for supporting the head. Poor posture as the result of hunching over a desk or work area, or leaning over a computer, can easily strain the muscles in the neck. Additionally, gritting your teeth or reading in bed, as minor as they are, can cause strain in the neck muscles. Another common cause of neck pain is osteoarthritis, which is caused by the deterioration of the cartilage between the vertebrae in the neck as a result of age. Nerve compression can cause neck pain if there are bone spurs or herniated disks in the vertebrae that press onto the nerves. And of course, injuries such as whiplash from a rear end car accident or diseases such as cancer, meningitis or rheumatoid arthritis can cause people to experience pain in their neck. It is rare that neck pain acts as a symptom of a more serious condition, however if the pain is accompanied by shooting pain in the shoulder or arm, loss of strength in the arms or hands, or numbness, it is a good idea to get checked over by a doctor.
When should I go to a doctor for neck pain?
Although most neck pain won’t be an indication of a serious condition that requires medical treatment, there are times when it can be worth a trip to the doctor to get checked over. Symptoms of neck pain that should be checked out by a doctor include:
- Pain that doesn’t improve with treatment at home.
- Severe pain that stems from an injury, such as a car accident, fall or diving accident.
- Severe pain.
- Is ongoing for several days without experiencing any relief.
- Spreads from the neck down to the arms or legs.
- Has additional symptoms such as headache, weakness, numbness or tingling.
What are symptoms of neck pain?
While many people will think the symptom of neck pain is simply that, neck pain, it can actually show up in a couple of different forms. Neck pain can be a simple pain in any part of the neck but primarily along the vertebrae. This can get worse when your hold your head in one position for long stretches of time, most often when looking at a computer screen without moving your head or when driving. Neck pain can also be experienced in the form of muscle spasms and tightness in the neck or by a decrease in the ability, or complete inability, to move your head. Headaches can also be a symptom of neck pain as a result of strain on the neck that can spread up into your head, even if you aren’t experiencing pain in your neck. It can be a sign that something is off in the alignment of the vertebrae in your neck.
How is neck pain treated?
Most neck pain that is mild to moderate can be treated through self-care at home, with symptoms fading in about two or three weeks. In more severe cases, or if the neck pain doesn’t respond to at-home treatment, your doctor can recommend different treatments to try to relieve symptoms. Doctors may prescribe a stronger pain medication than what you have tried already, a muscle relaxant or tricyclic antidepressants that can be used for pain relief. Other options include physical therapy in order to correct alignment and posture, as well as providing exercises to strengthen the neck, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) that use tiny electrical impulses near the pain spots to relieve pain, traction to provide a gentle stretch to your neck to relieve pain caused by nerve root irritation and short-term immobilization which requires wearing a soft collar to remove some of the pressure off of the neck structures. Your doctor can help you determine if one of these methods is needed for your severe neck pain or if you have chronic pain that isn’t responding to other treatments. If you have neck pain, then we encourage you to reach out to our multidisciplinary medical team today. Renew Health offers treatments for neck pain and we care about your health and well being. We serve patients from Katy TX, Brookshire TX, Houston TX, Richmond TX, Fulshear TX, Sealy TX, Pattison TX, and Cypress TX. Looking forward to serve you!