Your neck is made up of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso. Cervical discs absorb shock between the bones. The bones, ligaments, and muscles of your neck support your head and allow for motion. Any abnormalities, inflammation, or injury can cause neck pain or stiffness.
Many people experience neck pain or stiffness occasionally.The neck is particularly vulnerable to injury, especially in falls, car accidents, and sports, where the muscles and ligaments of the neck are forced to move outside of their normal range. If the neck bones (cervical vertebrae) are fractured, the spinal cord may also be damaged. Neck injury due to sudden jerking of the head is commonly called whiplash.
At Advanced Pain Management, we will perform a physical exam and take your complete medical history. Be prepared to tell your doctor about the specifics of your symptoms. You should also let them know about all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplements you’ve been taking. Even if it doesn’t seem related, you should also let your doctor know about any recent injuries or accidents you’ve had.
Treatment for neck pain depends on the diagnosis. In addition to a thorough history and physical exam by your doctor, you may also need one or more of the following imaging studies and tests to help your doctor determine the cause of your neck pain: blood tests, X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, electromyography, which allows your doctor to check the health of your muscles and the nerves that control your muscles lumbar puncture (spinal tap). Depending on the results, your doctor may refer you to a specialist. Treatment for neck pain may include:
Many people experience neck pain because of poor posture and muscle strain. In these cases, your neck pain should go away if you practice good posture and rest your neck muscles when they’re sore. Make an appointment with Dr. Gupta if your neck pain isn’t improving with home treatments.