That Pain in the Neck
- Posted on: Sep 30 2016
There are lots of things that could be deemed a “pain in the neck:” your boss, a two-year old throwing a tantrum, your mother-in-law, your neighbor’s yippy dog. But a real pain in the neck is worse than any of those things. It can limit your head movement, your ability to exercise, even your overall quality of life.
At the DFW Center for Spinal Disorders we deal with neck pain every day. From fixing your posture to possible surgery to relieve a compressed nerve, we’ll get rid of the real pain in the neck so that you can focus on those figurative ones.
The causes of neck pain
The neck is especially sensitive to you holding it in the wrong position for a period of time. This can happen when you’re slouching while watching TV, when you’re sleeping on your face with your neck contorted like a circus side show, when you’re painting the ceiling, and the like. These kinds of things lead to neck strain, a neck sprain, or a spasm of the neck muscles. And you won’t be turning your head very quickly.
Of course, injury can also lead to neck pain. A car wreck can cause whiplash. A fall in a men’s league hockey game can strain the neck muscles and be painful when you wake up the next morning. Lifting something either too heavy or doing it while twisting can strain your neck.
There are also less common medical problems that can lead to neck pain:
- Narrowing of the spinal cord in the neck (cervical spinal stenosis)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- An infection in the neck
Diagnosing Neck pain
When the DFW Center for Spinal Disorders team examines you for neck pain issues, we’ll first do a physical exam testing range of movement and the like. We’ll ask a variety of questions about activities, how you sleep, and the like.
If the pain has been chronic or started after an injury, we may opt for imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans, as they can show the neck muscles and tissues. They will also show issues with the spinal cord and discs.
Treating Neck Pain
Most treatment of neck pain is non-surgical. We may show you how your posture while sleeping or at work can be impacting the position of your neck. We’ll likely give you a series of stretching exercises that target the neck. We may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, massage, or chiropractic treatment. We may put you in a brace to minimize movement and alleviate pain.
We rarely use surgery in cases of neck pain, unless the problems are linked to a medical problem such as narrowing of the spinal cord (stenosis), pressure on the nerve roots, or a tumor.
Schedule a consultation
Do you have neck pain? Call the spinal experts at DSW Center for Spinal Disorders, 817-916-4685, and let’s get to work getting rid of the pain.
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net