Neck Pain

The cervical spine is made up of the first 7 vertebrae in the spine. It supports the weight of the head and enables it to move smoothly. Neck pain is pain or discomfort resulting from abnormalities or injuries to any parts of the neck including the muscles, ligaments, nerves, bones, and vertebral joints. Neck pain is one of the most common health problems experienced by our patients at some point in their lives.

Symptoms

Neck pain can appear as dull and constant pain or a sudden sharp pain and is usually more painful with movement. Apart from pain, symptoms may include muscle spasms, difficulty controlling hand movements, issues with balance or walking, numbness or tingling sensation, stiff neck, and swelling and tenderness. Neck pain can also cause headaches, dizziness, jaw pain, ringing sensation in the ears, and, infrequently, bowel or bladder problems.

Neck pain can be specific to the neck or may radiate to the shoulders, upper back, or arms. Cervical radiculopathy is pain that originates in the neck and travels to the arms.

Causes

Neck pain can be caused by muscle strains or sprains, trauma, poor posture, degenerative spinal diseases, nerve compression, spinal osteoarthritis and infections, and spinal tumors.

Diagnosis

Neck pain is diagnosed by a neck pain specialist after reviewing a patient’s medical history along with a physical examination and neurological examination. Our New York physicians will test your sensations, reflexes, and the strength of the neck and back muscles. Other imaging tests such as an X-ray or CT scan may be used to confirm the diagnosis and identify any spinal fractures.

Treatment

In most cases, neck pain can be treated without neck surgery. A neck pain doctor in New York may recommend treatments such as activity modifications, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, muscle relaxants, spinal injections, physical therapy, braces, and chiropractic care can help reduce pain and other related symptoms. Our collaborative care model means our physicians may recommend combining two or more therapies to improve the likelihood of a successful treatment outcome.

Neck surgery may be necessary if a patient is not responding to non-surgical treatment or has cervical spine instability or neurologic disorders.

Prevention

You can prevent or improve neck pain by:

  • Performing relaxation exercises to reduce stress on the neck muscles.
  • Doing stretching exercises before and after exercise.
  • Maintaining good posture.
    • If you work at a computer adjust the screen to eye level. Take breaks to stretch your neck frequently.
  • Using a headset or headphones, if you use the telephone often.
  • Using a pillow that keeps your neck straight and offers more neck support.

Neck Pain Doctor in New York

If you suffer from neck pain, contact the Center for Comprehensive Spine Care in New York to make an appointment with a neck pain specialist.

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