Neck pain can be caused by a number of factors, including poor posture, injury, arthritis, or fibromyalgia. To determine the cause of your neck pain, Dr. Ptacek and Dr. Doeden will perform a physical exam and order x-rays and imaging tests as needed. Once they have determined the cause of your neck pain, they will prescribe a treatment plan that is best suited to your needs. On the initial visit, you will meet with both Dr. Ptacek and Dr. Doeden to discuss your condition and find a treatment plan that is right for you. They want to provide you with the highest level of care possible in order to eliminate your neck pain completely. During follow-up visits, they will check on your progress and make sure you are feeling better.
Neck pain can affect any part of your cervical spine, from the base of your skull to the uppermost vertebra. The most common causes of neck pain are muscle strain, disc abnormalities, and joint damage (arthritis).
Muscle strain: The cervical spine contains several muscles that attach to it. When these muscles become overworked or strained, they can lead to neck pain. This type of pain is typically felt in the back of the neck and upper shoulders. A doctor will likely prescribe rest and physical therapy to help ease muscle spasms and improve strength and flexibility.
Disc abnormalities: Your cervical spine has a large number of small joints called facet joints where two bones meet. Unlike the discs in your lower back, the discs in your neck don’t have a lot of cartilage around them. The facet joints can easily become irritated or worn out from constant motion throughout your daily routine (stress, twisting movements, etc.) Over time this can lead to arthritis and pain. In severe cases, you may need surgery for a discectomy if you experience numbness, tingling sensations or weakness in one arm or hand.
Joint damage: Osteoarthritis affects more than one-third of adults over age 65 and can also be a cause of neck pain.
What causes neck pain?
There are many ways to identify the cause of your neck pain.
You can get checked by a doctor to determine if you have any health conditions that may be causing it. Your doctor might also order imaging tests like an MRI scan or X-ray to identify any issues with your spine, disks, muscles, or joints.
Treatment for neck pain depends on the underlying cause. If the pain is because of a condition like spondylosis or degenerative disc disease (DDD), your doctor might treat you with medications like muscle relaxants, painkillers, and anti-inflammatory medications. Surgery is also an option for people with DDD.
If your pain is due to pinched nerve(s) or herniated discs, your doctor might suggest physical therapy exercises. In some cases, he might also recommend surgery in order to treat these conditions.
In addition to medication and surgery, you can also get treated for neck pain at home using natural remedies like rest and exercise. You can also do simple stretches in order to ease neck pain and improve blood circulation around your neck area. Treating your neck pain early with conservative therapies can help you avoid surgery and save money in the process!
How do you diagnose and treat neck pain?
At the Interventional Pain Clinic, Dr. Ptacek and Dr. Doeden determine the cause of your neck pain by reviewing your symptoms, performing a full physical examination, and discussing your medical history and personal history to fully understand the source of your pain. Based on this consultation, they may also recommend additional imaging like X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans.
After reaching a diagnosis, Dr. Dr. Ptacek and Dr. Doeden will work with you to develop a targeted approach to relieve your symptoms. They might recommend a variety of therapies, such as:
Medications, like pain relievers, muscle relaxants, or anti-inflammatories
Steroid or PRP injections or nerve blocks
Interventional procedures to target the cause of the pain directly
Depending on your symptoms, Dr. Dr. Ptacek and Dr. Doeden could also suggest alternative treatments like massage therapy, chiropractic care, or acupuncture as well as stretching exercises to do at home.
For more information on neck pain, call the Interventional Pain Clinic or schedule an appointment online today.