The need for relief of neck pain generally arises because of a strained muscle or sprained ligament, sleeping with your head in an awkward position, repetitive poor posture, or a violent collision. Over-the-counter pain medicine is normally enough to manage the discomfort associated with a strain or sprain, and the injury will heal in time.
There are, however, other conditions that produce pain within the cervical spine – the seven vertebrae located at the top of the backbone. These conditions include bulging disc, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, cervical spinal stenosis, and bone spurs. When one of these conditions causes impingement or irritation of a nerve root, it can produce symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in the neck, shoulders, arms, or hands.
Conservative treatments can usually help patients achieve relief from neck pain. In most patients, discomfort will diminish and fade over time, especially in conjunction with a course of non-surgical pain management techniques that include prescription pain medicine, physical therapy, exercise, rest, massage, behavior modification, or exercises for neck pain relief.
Sometimes, relief of neck pain is only achievable through surgery. Traditional surgery typically requires the removal of a large portion of the vertebral body, ligaments, or disc material in order to decompress the affected nerve root. Major procedures like spinal fusion or disc replacement use bone grafts and metal rods to stabilize the spine. This type of surgery involves a long hospital stay and lengthy recuperation.
Thousands of patients have discovered an alternative to traditional surgery at Laser Spine Institute (LSI). The surgeons at LSI use gentle, endoscopic techniques to perform minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that can help you discover. Contact LSI to learn more about relief for neck pain, or for a free review of an MRI or CT scan.