Relief of neck pain
The need for relief of neck pain normally comes from minor causes like a strained muscle or sprained ligament, sleeping with your head in an awkward position or poor posture. Rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medicine is usually enough to manage the discomfort associated with a strain or sprain, allowing the injury to heal with time.
Neck pain that lasts longer than a couple of weeks and is accompanied by radiating symptoms could be related to a condition in the cervical spine (upper). These conditions include bulging and herniated discs, cervical spinal stenosis and bone spurs caused by arthritis of the spine. When one of these conditions causes compression of a nerve root or the spinal cord, it can produce pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness in the neck, shoulders, arms or hands.
Nonsurgical relief of neck pain
Diagnosis and treatment of neck pain should always be performed with the partnership of a medical professional, such as your primary physician. Conservative treatments help many patients achieve meaningful relief from neck pain. A course of nonsurgical pain management techniques typically includes:
- Prescription pain medicine
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
- Lifestyle changes such as losing weight or quitting smoking
- Epidural steroid injections
Patients often find success with these methods by following a comprehensive plan. For example, epidural steroid injections can offer pain relief and mobility to allow someone to complete physical therapy and a weight loss plan, which can lead to long-term relief of neck pain.
When surgery becomes an option
In some cases, the best option for relief of neck pain is surgery. Traditional open spine surgery requires a large incision that tears supporting muscles so the surgeon can access the spine and decompress nerves. This type of surgery typically involves a long hospital stay, lengthy recuperation, risk of complication and significant scarring.
More than 60,000 patients have discovered an alternative to traditional open spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. The surgeons at Laser Spine Institute are experts in minimally invasive surgical techniques, performing outpatient procedures that can help you find relief from chronic neck or back pain. By using a smaller incision to access the spine, muscles are spared, allowing our patients to enjoy a shorter recovery time§ with less scarring and less risk of complication than traditional open neck or back procedures.