Chronic neck pain relief
Chronic neck pain relief usually begins with a program of conservative treatment, which can include physical therapy, pain medication, exercise, lifestyle changes or therapeutic massage. The good news is that many patients are able to find relief that can get them back to normal activities; the challenge is developing a treatment plan that is best for your specific situation.
The method of pain management used depends on your diagnosis, which can be reached with the help of your primary care physician. Your doctor will usually ask questions about your symptoms, perform tests and review your medical history. You can then work together to create a care plan with the best chance of getting you back to a better quality of life.
Diagnosis and initial treatment
Diagnosing neck pain can sometimes be difficult because the causes can range from simple muscle strains to more severe spine conditions. However, chronic neck pain — pain lasting more than 12 weeks — is likely due to an issue in the cervical (upper) spine. Spine conditions are usually related to natural age-related deterioration or injury and can include:
Many spine issues do not cause symptoms unless they put pressure on the spinal cord or an exiting nerve root. The goal of most treatment is to relieve nerve pressure and many patients achieve this through initial conservative treatments like the ones listed above.
Surgery is generally seen as a last-resort treatment due to the highly invasive nature of most hospital-based open neck procedures. To access the spine, surgeons have to use large incisions that sever supporting muscles, requiring an overnight hospitalization followed by a long, often painful, recovery period.
Laser Spine Institute
Laser Spine Institute offers an alternative to traditional open spine surgery. The surgeons at Laser Spine Institute use state-of-the-art techniques to perform minimally invasive outpatient surgery that can provide chronic neck pain relief. By using a smaller, muscle-sparing incision, these procedures provide necessary decompression of a pinched nerve while offering patients a shorter recovery time§ and less scarring than a traditional open spine procedure.