Stiff neck treatment

A stiff neck is something nearly everyone has experienced at one point or another. It can come from a bad night’s sleep, a tough workout or a seemingly minor tweak. But the results are the same: a sore neck. And while this inconvenience is usually something that’ll go away after a day or two, for some, stiff neck treatment may be needed if the pain lasts for more than a week.

Causes of a stiff neck

A stiff neck usually refers to a strain on the muscle that connects the neck to the shoulder, but it can also be caused by conditions affecting the cervical spine. For example, a spinal disc that has become herniated may compress a nerve in the neck causing neck stiffness. This is why the most effective treatment of neck problems generally begins with a diagnosis of the underlying cause by a qualified medical professional like your primary care doctor.

Diagnosing and treating a stiff neck

Diagnosing the source of a stiff neck typically requires:

  • Review of medical history — your doctor will want to see if you have a predisposition to spine problems
  • Discussion of symptoms — this is accomplished through a series of questions to pinpoint the origin of the problem
  • Physical examination — hands-on examination of your neck, and range of motion tests to identify whether you have a muscle strain, tear or other problems
  • Diagnostic imagery — an MRI or CT scan can clearly confirm the existence of spine conditions like a herniated disc or bone spur that may be causing neck stiffness

For many patients, stiff neck treatment is accomplished with conservative options that can bring improvement within a short period of time. However, if weeks or months of conservative treatment do not bring relief and the underlying cause of symptoms is a spine condition, surgery can become an option.

Laser Spine Institute is an alternative to the risks and difficulties that can come with traditional open spine procedures. Our minimally invasive spine surgery uses a less than 1-inch incision to access the spine, treating spine conditions with less disruption to the surrounding muscles. The result is a shorter recovery period^ and less risk of complications, like infection and scarring, when compared to traditional open spine procedures.

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