The following describes the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of neck pain. For specific information regarding your health and treatment options, please contact your Hurley physician or medical professional.
What is neck pain?
Neck pain is a common ailment affecting people of all ages. It can range from a temporary discomfort to a chronic condition that limits physical activity.
What causes neck pain?
There are many factors that commonly contribute to neck pain, including disc herniation, degeneration of neck joint muscles, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, pinched nerves, poor posture, and neck injuries such as whiplash. In some instances, neck pain can be the result of infections, tumors, or malformation of the bones (vertebrae) in the neck.
What are the symptoms of neck pain?
Symptoms of neck pain vary widely, but may include:
- Soreness in the neck making it difficult to turn your head
- Numbness or tingling in the arm
- Pain that radiates down the arm
How is neck pain diagnosed?
Your Hurley physician will conduct a complete physical exam and may order MRIs, x-rays, or CT scans to further evaluate your condition.
How is neck pain treated?
The course of treatment often depends upon the underlying cause of the pain in your neck. Initial treatment recommendations include rest, massage, gentle stretching, and alternating heat and ice packs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and over-the-counter topical anesthetic creams containing menthol or camphor may be used to help reduce pain.
If your back pain does not improve, your physician may recommend physical therapy, cortisone injections, or prescription pain relievers. A neck collar, traction, acupuncture, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can also be used to treat neck pain.
Rarely is surgery necessary to treat neck pain. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to correct a disc herniation or other underlying condition causing your neck pain.