Neck Pain Treatment

Neck Pain Treatment

Neck Pain Treatment

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Are you interested in Neck Pain Treatments?  Obviously, you have neck pain.  Your physician must now figure out why.

Initially, your physician may ask a series of questions about the pain:

When did the neck pain start?

Is there any associated trauma, such as a fall, accident, or altercation?

Was the development of pain gradual, or sudden?

Does the neck pain have associated numbness, tingling or weakness to the arms, hands, or legs?

Have there been any associated changes in your bowel or bladder function?

Has there been prior history or similar complaints?

Has the pain improved or worsened?

Is there any prior history of cancer, diabetes or infection?

Is there any recent history of fevers, chills, sweats or unexpected weight loss?

By these questions, your physician can determine the likelihood that the pain is a typical presentation of a neck sprain, or manifestation of neck arthritis.  But, depending on your answers, possibilities include a broken bone, an infection, cancer, disk herniation, or bone spurs causing nerve entrapment in the spine.

Without history of a recent traumatic event, or suspicion for an infection, or cancer, usually, the treatment includes use of activities modifications, ice, use of medications, and home exercises or physical therapy.  Chiropractic care can also be considered.  The majority of neck pain episodes respond to these less invasive treatments.  On average, by 6-8 weeks, most episodes of neck pain will improve.  Usually, testing such as x-rays or MRI’s are not necessary.

With suspicion of a fracture, usually x-rays are ordered.   Please remember, however, that there is a small but real radiation dose with each x-ray.  If there is concern for instability or loosening of the spine bones, special flexion and extension views will be obtained.  If the x-rays do not demonstrate a break or instability, usually the pain can be treated with the above regimen.  And, similar to the above, most will improve.

For patients with complaints of arm and leg radiations, if there is no improvement within a 4-6 week time period, or if there is increasing weakness of the arms and legs, usually further diagnostic tests are necessary.  MRI’s demonstrate excellent visualization of the muscles, disks, ligaments and nerves.  MRI’s can identify disk herniations, disk bulges, and nerve entrapment.  MRI’s can also identify infections or tumors of the examined area.

With certain patients that have metallic implants (cerebral clips, corneal implants, recent angioplasty, etc, MRI’s cannot be performed.  In this circumstance,  depending on the  presentation,  a physician may order a CAT scan,  or a myelogram followed by a CAT scan.  These tests will better define any fractures or bone spurs, and with the myelogram, any nerve or spinal cord entrapment.  With any CAT scan study, however, there is a very large radiation dose.  The use of CAT scan therefore must be justified, considering the radiation risks.

If the cause of the neck pain is secondary to nerve entrapment from disk herniations, and there is no improvement with the above therapies, more aggressive measures such as steroid injections are offered.  In rare instances, surgery may be the only remaining option.

If the cause of the neck pain is bone spurs, or arthritis, and without improvement with the above therapies, steroid injections to the facet joints may be beneficial.  Surgery may also be an option for arthritis causing nerve entrapment.

Please seek medical attention if you have persistent neck pain, and especially if it causes numbness, tingling or weakness.

Citations

  • Valero R, Varela E, Küçükdeveci AA, Oral A, Ilieva E, Berteanu M, Christodoulou N, UEMS-PRM Section Professional Practice Committee.. Spinal pain management. The role of physical and rehabilitation medicine physicians. The European perspective based on the best evidence. A paper by the UEMS-PRM Section Professional Practice Committee. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2013 Oct;49(5):715-25. PubMed PMID: 24145230

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 

The Best Orthopedics in Tampa

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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