Treating Neck Pain at Alliance Orthopedics
The bones and muscles near the top of your spine work in tandem to maintain a steady and well-adjusted head posture throughout the day. Unfortunately, even a slight disruption of this delicate balance may quickly lead to debilitating neck pain. The treatment for this pain depends on its underlying cause, and with the right diagnosis, the pain can often be alleviated.
At Alliance Orthopedics, our comprehensive approach to neck pain treatment helps ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis and the highest quality of care.
Causes of Neck Pain
The causes of neck pain may vary in severity, ranging from a minor muscle strain to a more serious underlying condition. Common causes of neck pain include:
Bone spurs, cervical spondylosis, and herniated discs may compress the nerves that branch out from your spinal cord. This is known as cervical radiculopathy and may result in pain or numbness in the neck and down the arm. Other causes of nerve compression may include arthritis and spinal deformities such as scoliosis.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects cartilage tissue, the cushioning tissue that covers the ends of your bones in a joint. As the cartilage wears down, bones rub against each other, causing pain, stiffness, and limited movement. In the neck, osteoarthritis may affect the joints between the cervical vertebrae. Osteoarthritis is more common in older adults and those who have had previous neck injuries.
Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, cancer, and osteoporosis can weaken the bones in your spine, which may cause neck pain. Early diagnosis and treatment of these conditions are essential for proper pain management.
When we overwork our neck muscles, they grow tense and may lead to neck pain. For instance, staring at your computer screen for extended periods of time, tensing your jaw muscles often, or even curling up with a book in bed repeatedly may cause joint and neck tension over time. One way to prevent strained neck muscles is to practice good posture and take frequent breaks to relax your neck and shoulders.
Neck injuries may be caused by a wide range of injuries, including auto accidents, whiplash due to rapid movements, sports-related incidents, and slips or falls.
Alliance Orthopedics offers comprehensive treatments for sports injuries, auto accidents, slip-and-falls, and workers’ compensation cases. Our team is devoted to developing a plan of action to help you heal quickly and efficiently, regardless of the severity or cause of your neck pain.
Diagnosing Neck Pain
To successfully tackle your neck pain, it’s essential to first identify the underlying cause. At Alliance Orthopedics, our team of professionals conducts an in-depth analysis of your neck and spine to get to the root cause of your symptoms. We may recommend the following diagnostic tests to gain a better understanding of your condition.
- X-ray: An X-ray can be a useful diagnostic tool for identifying nerves that have been compressed by degenerative conditions or bone spurs.
- CT scan: This imaging test utilizes X-ray images from various perspectives to produce a comprehensive cross-sectional image of your neck structure, granting a more detailed insight into the structures surrounding the spine.
- MRI scan: By using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan, you can obtain high-resolution images of soft tissues and spinal bones as well as the peripheral nerves originating from the spinal cord.
- Electromyography: This diagnostic test may uncover issues with nerve functioning, muscle coordination, or the transmission of signals between the nerves and muscles.
Symptoms of Neck Pain
Neck pain may vary from mild to extreme and present alongside a myriad of symptoms, including:
- Sharp and radiating pain
- Difficulty lifting objects
- Neck stiffness
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
Treating Neck Pain
Although mild neck pain may often be relieved with self-care practices, more severe cases may need the specialized attention of experienced professionals at Alliance Orthopedics. Depending on the underlying cause of your neck pain, our team will design a treatment plan to address the root issue and assist you in relieving your pain.