Neck pain symptoms

Neck pain can have many causes, from a simple muscle strain to a degenerative spine issue like a herniated disc. Factors like the frequency, severity and location of your neck pain symptoms can be an indicator of the underlying cause. While your primary care doctor should be the one to diagnose your condition, educating yourself as a patient is an important part of treatment as well. Learning about neck pain symptoms can help you work with your doctor to get the treatment you need to get back to an active life.

When neck pain symptoms need treatment

Minor cases of neck pain, like soreness or stiffness from a sports injury, can generally be treated with basic methods like rest, over-the-counter medication and ice packs. Symptoms typically subside after a few days. However, if the pain lasts for more than a week it could be related to a more serious issue. If you are experiencing some of following neck pain symptoms, it could potentially be related to a spine issue like degenerative disc disease, a bulging disc or an arthritic bone spur:

  • Dull, consistent ache
  • Stiffness
  • Sharp or radiating discomfort
  • Numbness or tingling in arms or hands
  • Muscle weakness in the arms or hands
  • Severe headaches

When you do see your physician, being able to name these neck pain symptoms can give him or her insight into the origin of your condition. In addition to asking about your symptoms, your physician should also perform a physical examination of the area and will often order diagnostic imagery like an X-ray or MRI to confirm a diagnosis. Treatment for most spine conditions usually begins with a course of conservative options, including physical therapy, medication and lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.

Get the help you need

Surgery is usually considered when neck pain symptoms have not improved and conservative methods have been exhausted. Many patients are anxious at the prospect of traditional open neck surgery because it is associated with difficulties like an overnight hospital stay, risk of infection and long recovery periods.

Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive spine surgery as an alternative to traditional procedures. Our highly skilled surgeons can access the spine with a small incision, often less than an inch, allowing for an outpatient procedure that offers a shorter recovery time^ compared to traditional open spine surgery.

To see if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures, Contact Laser Spine Institute for your no-cost MRI or CT scan review.*