If you suffer from neck pain, you’re not alone. Millions of adults worldwide suffer from some form of neck pain, with many cases being chronic. Neck pain isn’t just a pain in the neck—it can affect your ability to perform daily activities and even be a contributor to depression and anxiety. Fortunately, there is treatment for neck pain—here are some of the top causes, symptoms and treatments.
Symptoms of Neck Pain
Symptoms of neck pain can vary from patient to patient, depending on the cause and severity of the discomfort. However, the most common symptoms of neck pain include tense muscles, headaches, restricted range of motion, and pain when keeping your head in one position for too long. Others may experience stiffness, sharp pain and even numbness or weakness in their arms.
Neck Pain Causes
Neck pain can result from an injury, arthritis or poor posture. The most common injuries include muscle strains and age-related wear and tear, which can contribute to arthritis. Injuries such as those from car or sports accidents can also damage the neck, resulting in discomfort.
However, for some people, neck pain accompanied by other symptoms—such as numbness or weakness—could point to a bigger problem, such as a herniated disc or even cancer. Getting the cause of your neck pain evaluated at a pain and joint clinic can help you determine the source of your pain.
Treatment for Neck Pain
To determine what’s causing your neck pain, your doctor will usually order scans (which could range from x-rays to an MRI) to help identify the problem. If you have numbness or weakness in your arms, your doctor may also need to conduct an electromyograph—a test that records electrical activity in the muscles—to identify any nerve dysfunction. Once the cause of your neck pain is identified, you may have several options for treatment, including:
- Physical therapy. For some patients, specific exercises and stretches can help ease neck pain and support proper posture for long-term pain relief or management.
- Cervical collar. This soft collar may be helpful for patients who have neck pain resulting from an injury or even a fracture, and is used as a short-term solution.
- Steroid injections. Some patients experience pain relief success with corticosteroid injections, which may help alleviate pain for a few weeks up to a few months.
What works for one patient may not work for another. For some patients, medication or surgery may alleviate pain, but for others, these aren’t viable long-term options. The right approach is one that takes your unique case into account.
Make an Appointment at Our Pain & Joint Clinic Today
If you need treatment for neck pain, it’s time to make an appointment at Summit Spine & Joint Centers. The physicians at our pain and joint clinic will work with you to diagnose your specific pain and customize a treatment plan to help ease your discomfort so you can return to doing what you love. Contact us today at (770) 962-3642 to book an appointment with one of our pain management specialists.