Cervical neck pain treatment

Cervical neck pain can result from many types of spine condition and can often cause radiating pain around the neck and back of the head. Patients who suffer from neck and head pain due to a spine condition understand the almost debilitating symptoms that result from their condition. If you are experiencing chronic, debilitating neck and head pain, you should consult your physician to determine the source of your symptoms and the treatments options available to you.

As you continue to research the treatment options available for cervical neck pain, we encourage you to reach out to our Care Team at Laser Spine Institute for more information. Our goal is to help you find information about your condition and all available treatments so you can make an informed decision about your spine care needs.

Conservative treatment for cervical neck pain

Most patients begin treatment for their cervical neck pain with conservative, non-surgical therapies, including physical therapy, exercise, pain medication, rest or behavior modification. Because most neck pain is associated with a strained muscle or a sprained ligament, over-the-counter analgesics or anti-inflammatory medication is usually effective in managing the symptoms of pain and discomfort. However, some cervical neck pain is caused by a spine condition that affects the discs or vertebrae of the spine and results in chronic pain. These conditions require a physician’s recommendation for treatment.

If the neck pain is caused by a condition such as a bulging disc, bone spurs, a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, a physician generally will prescribe a course of conservative treatment before considering surgery. Among the conservative methods used for cervical neck pain treatment is physical therapy, exercise, rest, behavior modification, massage therapy and prescription or over-the-counter pain medication. Sometimes, a series of cortisone injections is prescribed to achieve severe neck pain relief.

If none of these conservative treatments prove effective at managing debilitating neck pain a physician might suggest surgery as an option.

Surgical treatment option for neck pain

Traditional open neck surgery is a highly invasive procedure that requires a two or three day hospitalization and several months of recovery. The surgery begins with a large incision in the neck of about 4-inches to 6-inches in length. This large incision cuts through the surrounding muscles and tissues, increasing a patient’s risk of infection and excessive blood loss. Once the incision is made and the spine is accessed, the surgeon will remove a portion of or the entire diseased disc or vertebra in the spine. If the entire disc or vertebra is removed, the surgeon will insert an implant or bone graft into the empty space and fuse the surrounding two vertebrae together to stabilize the spine.

This is a highly invasive surgery and does come with risks, such as failed back surgery syndrome. Many patients are hesitant to undergo this type of surgery because of the elevated risks involved with the highly invasive techniques and the extended recovery time.

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck surgery. Our low-risk procedure offers a 96 patient satisfaction score^ and a shorter recovery time^ than traditional open neck surgery. The surgery begins with a small incision in the neck, about 1-inch in length. Our minimally invasive techniques allow the surgeon to access the spine through this small incision without disrupting the surrounding muscles and soft tissue. Once the spine is accessed, the surgeon will remove either a small portion of the diseased disc or vertebra or the entire diseased disc or vertebra. If he removes the entire disc or vertebra, this is considered a minimally invasive stabilization surgery. The surgeon will then insert an implant into the empty space to stabilize the spine.

The type of surgery you will undergo will be determined by your surgeon and discussed with you prior to your procedure. The decision will be made after reviewing your MRI report or CT scan and completing your physical evaluation.

For more information about the types of treatment options available to you for cervical pain, please contact our Care Team. We are here to help you find answers and information so you can make the best decision about your spine care needs.