Neck pain is shockingly common.
In the course of one year, as many as 15 percent of adults in the United States will suffer minor to severe neck pain that lasts at least a full 24 hours. Neck pain can develop slowly, caused by age, wear and tear, or from computer use. It can also develop suddenly, from an acute injury. Your neck is a complex network of muscles, joints, bones, and nerves, which take their cues from the brain and the spinal cord. If you have persistent neck pain which is more than very minor, you may have an underlying medical issue which needs to be addressed.
Typical Symptoms of Neck Pain
If you have severe or chronic neck pain, you may feel as though you are prevented from doing many of the things you would like to do because of the pain. You may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- A stiff neck, which makes turning your head painful and difficult
- General soreness or tenderness
- Neck pain which radiates into the shoulders, fingers or arms, or up into the head
- Sharp, stabbing pain in one particular spot on the neck
- Weakness, tingling or numbness in the neck area which radiates into the shoulder, arms or fingers
- Trouble lifting objects
- Trouble gripping objects
- Problem with coordination or balance (serious)
- Trouble walking (serious)
- Loss of bladder or bowel control (very serious)
Causes of Neck Pain
There are many, many causes of neck pain, however the most common causes include:
- Sprains and strains—A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is irritated by overuse, and a sprain occurs when a ligament is irritated by overuse.
- Sleeping in the wrong position - (getting a “crick” in the neck).
- Poor posture - this is a common cause of neck pain, usually when the head is tilted forward for long periods of time.
- Repetitive motions - such as those in a work situation, dancing or swimming, can lead to overuse of the neck muscles, and resulting pain.
- Car accidents - can lead to whiplash, damaging the soft tissues and causing moderate to severe pain and headaches.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Neck Pain
Diagnosis of neck pain occurs through observation, palpation, range of motion tests, and diagnostic testing. Some of these diagnostic tests include x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, Myelogram tests, blood tests and bone scans. While rest, ice and anti-inflammatory drugs are the first line of defense for neck pain, there are times when these treatments fail to relieve your pain. When this occurs, the Seattle Pain interventional pain management specialists will customize a comprehensive pain treatment program which fully addresses your neck pain. We may include:
- Pharmacotherapy (NSAIDs, acetaminophen, muscle relaxants, and membrane-stabilizing medication)
- Cervical epidural steroid injections
- Cervical medial branch blocks
- Nerve blocks
- Trigger point injections
Are you suffering from severe neck pain that doesn’t respond to traditional pain medications?
Contact Our Seattle Interventional Pain Management Specialists
We understand that neck pain can completely derail your life. At Seattle Pain, our primary goal is to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life. We believe in treating the whole patient – and not just the injury. You do not have to live in pain. Call us today at 253-944-1289 or complete a contact form today.