Not One More Day With Neck Pain
Neck Pain Symptoms:
Neck pain presents as mild to extreme discomfort located in the area defined by the seven vertebrae and discs of the neck and its associated musculature. Pain in this area can impact the patient’s range of motion in degrees varying with severity.
Causes of Neck Pain:
Pain in the cervical vertebrae and shoulders can be the result of a variety of conditions. In younger patients the pain often originates from muscles that have been pulled or strained, or having been sleeping in uncomfortable positions. With age, or injury, wear and tear and arthritis can set in leading to a gradually worsening case of neck pain. In the most severe cases the pain can be caused by conditions such as degenerative joint disease or in very rare instances, tumors.
As the muscles and joints in the neck weaken or degenerate with use and age, it becomes more susceptible to being injured.
Age – With age comes increased wear on the muscles, vertebrae, joints, and discs of the neck. In time this can lead to arthritis and neck pain.
Occupation – Many aspects of your job can lead to an increased chance of neck pain, especially if your job requires you to remain stationary for long periods. Even having to hold your head in the same positions for long periods, a common ailment of desk workers and drivers, can lead to an increased chance of neck pain. These issues are easily overcome with strengthening exercises that stretch out the muscles and ensure that they are capable of maintaining the integrity of your neck.
There are a broad range of testing options that can be used to single out the source of your neck pain. These include medial branch blocks, EMG testing, and facet joint injections. Additionally, imaging scan can be done by a specialist to isolate the cause of neck pain and eliminate suspected conditions that have similar symptoms.
How to Relieve Neck Pain At Home:
When attempting to treat mild, short-term neck pain at home, three primary modalities are used:
Heat – Warmth opens the blood vessels in the area it’s applied, assisting with the removal of chemicals that may be causing pain and bringing in fresh oxygenated blood to assist with healing. For mild neck pain this form of treatment can bring immediate relief.
Ice – In neck pain associated with inflammation, ice is an effective treatment. By causing the blood vessels to constrict it can assist in reducing swelling. Be sure not to apply for more than 10-15 minutes to prevent damage from cold.
Rest – Rest is the simplest and often most effective treatment for temporary neck pain. Rest in a position that relieves or eliminates discomfort, and avoid movement that provokes it.
Neck Pain Therapy:
Thankfully the options for treating neck pain are numerous, each of them suited to different manifestations and geared to help reduce your pain:
- Facet Joint Injection
- Selective Nerve Root Block
- Massage Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Pain Psychology
- Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection
- Radiofrequency Ablation
Dr. Kevin Li, MD is a strong advocate for non- or minimally-invasive techniques for treating your neck pain in the Los Angeles area. Contact our office today at (626) 538-8950 to schedule your comprehensive examination, and get ready to have your neck pain issues become a distant memory.
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