Neck Injury Introduction
Have you ever wondered why the expression “a pain in the neck” is used so commonly? It’s because nearly all of us have experienced neck pain at one point or another. In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons people see an orthopedic doctor. It can be as mild as a mere annoyance or so severe that it interferes with your quality of your life.
A neck spine doctor, like the ones at AOSMI, will tell you that your pain has to do with your cervical spine, an area composed of seven vertebrae that connect your upper torso to the base of your skull. The bones, along with ligaments and discs, provide stability to your spine. The muscles provide support and motion. Unfortunately, with all these components, your neck ends up being very vulnerable to injury from trauma or overuse.
Neck Pain Causes
- Inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Degeneration (otherwise known as spondylosis), which is more common as people age
- Trauma, which is most often caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls and sports-related injuries
The most common diseases related to neck and back pain include:
- Cervical Herniated Disc – A disk pushes out of its normal space and compresses the spine or nerves
- Cervical Sprain – Muscles or supporting structures are torn or damaged from injury or overuse
- Radiculopathy – A nerve becomes compressed, often sending pain down the arm(s) and sometimes causing numbness and/or weakness in the arms
- Cervical Stenosis – The spinal cord becomes compressed in the neck region
If you’re suffering from neck pain, it’s a good idea to visit your physician or a cervical spine specialist. At AOSMI, we will perform a detailed physical examination and take X-Rays of your spine to ensure a thorough diagnosis. Further studies that may be required to fully diagnose your problem include MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT-scan (Computed Tomography), EMG (Electromyography)/Nerve Conduction studies, Discogram and a Bone Scan. Depending on your condition, we may order flexion/extension or bending X-rays of your spine to see how the alignment changes with positioning of your neck.
AOSMI can provide non-invasive, common treatments for your pain including:
- Physical Therapy – With techniques such as active release and fascial manipulation, our therapists are experts in making your neck feel better
- Massage – Experienced massage therapists can relieve muscle soreness with a variety of manual techniques
- Acupuncture – Proven to help treat spine pain especially when traditional methods do not work
- Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, narcotics and pain patches
- Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections – Very effective in relieving the severe pain that radiates from your neck down your arms
If your condition is serious and doesn’t improve with conservative treatments, cervical spine surgeons can help.
- Microdiscectomy – A herniated disc can be surgically removed to relieve pressure on the spine and nerves.
- Laminectomy – Removal of bone that is placing pressure on the spinal cord
- Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion – Stabilization of the vertebrae using metallic devices and bone from another part of your body, a bone bank or artificial bone
If you’ve recently had a neck injury or have unexplained discomfort, contact neck pain New Jersey specialists AOSMI. With a thorough evaluation and the appropriate treatment, we can put you back on the path of pain-free living.