Chronic neck pain is a common problem that occasionally affects most people. For 20-70% of them, that pain becomes severe enough to interfere with their ability to work and engage in daily activities. The experienced physicians at Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group determine the cause of your neck pain and create individualized treatment plans that alleviate your symptoms and help you get back to enjoying your life. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Fresno, California, or use the online booking feature.
The seven small vertebrae in your cervical spine support the full weight and movement of your head, making your neck especially vulnerable to soft tissue injuries.
While sports injuries often lead to neck pain, you can also strain neck muscles and overstretch the supporting ligaments during normal daily activities. For example, spending too much time with your head bent while using electronics results in neck pain.
As you get older, problems like herniated discs, slipped discs, facet joint arthritis, and bone spurs are a common cause of neck pain. These conditions narrow the spinal canal and cause radiculopathy or pinched nerves.
Neck pain is often associated with headaches, a stiff neck, and limited mobility. If the condition causing your neck pain also pinches a nerve, you may experience symptoms such as pain and tingling that travel down your arms and into your hands.
In some cases, cervical radiculopathy leads to numbness or muscle weakness in your arms and hands, affecting your ability to grip objects and use your hands.
After reviewing your medical history and symptoms and performing a physical exam, your doctor at Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group may perform diagnostic studies to verify the underlying cause of your neck pain.
If your neck pain was caused by an injury or traumatic accident, they also perform a neurological evaluation to be sure you didn’t suffer a concussion.
Though your treatment plan is always customized, most cases of neck pain are initially treated with steps such as limiting your physical activity, immobilizing your neck, and taking medications to reduce inflammation and relax your muscles.
Your doctor may recommend a trigger point injection or an epidural steroid injection to further relieve your pain while giving your neck time to heal.
If your pain persists after six weeks of conservative treatment, your doctor may talk with you about additional interventional treatments or surgery. Interventional options such as a facet joint injection, medial branch block, or radiofrequency ablation block pain signals and provide long-lasting pain relief.
You may decide to consider surgery to decompress nerves, repair the underlying problem, or stabilize your neck. For example, a minimally invasive discectomy treats a herniated disc, a laminectomy decompresses nerves, and an artificial disc replacement restores movement after a damaged disc is removed.
If you need relief from neck pain, call Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group or book an appointment online.