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 discs, herniated discs, 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 open spine 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 open spine 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.
Tens of thousands of patients have discovered an alternative to traditional surgery at Laser Spine Institute. The surgeons at Laser Spine Institute use minimally invasive techniques to perform outpatient procedures that can help you find relief from pain. Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about relief for neck pain, or for your MRI or CT scan review.