Neck pain is a common condition. The neck (cervical spine) is made up of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso. The neck muscles and bones support the head and allow for motion. Any abnormalities, inflammation or injury of the neck can result in pain and stiffness.
Most people experience neck pain at some point in their life. The condition may occur as a result of stress or improper body mechanics like poor posture or muscle strain resulting from unusual or awkward positions. If neck is in a forward flexed position, it places excessive strain about the cervical spine and shoulder musculature. These stresses may lead to early degeneration of the soft tissues, which decrease the blood flow and oxygen to the tissues, ultimately causing pain.
In many cases, symptoms usually resolve within a few days. However, if the pain is severe and accompanied by other symptoms that continue for more than a week, you should seek medical attention immediately. The good news is that professional healthcare centers offer effective nonsurgical modalities to treat most spinal conditions and neck pain. In fact, reports show that more than 95% of patients get relief from symptoms through such non-surgical therapies. At a reliable multi-specialty healthcare center, the physician would develop the treatment plan based on factors such as the severity of symptoms and the root cause of the pain. Here are some effective non-operative treatments for neck pain –
- Physical therapy – This treatment approach involve therapeutic programs that help to alleviate ache and stiffness in the region around the neck. Exercises are prescribed to stretch and strengthen neck muscles. Additionally, performing physical therapy exercises allows patients to improve their posture and range of motion as well.
- Cervical epidural injections – Injecting steroids into the epidural space reduces inflammation around the irritated nerve and improves severe ache and inflammation.
- Chiropractic care – This hands-on treatment helps loosen up the joints of the vertebrae in the neck. Chiropractors provide specialized care to reduce chronic pain and muscle spasms, and correct overall posture and spinal alignment.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): The TENS machine delivers small electrical impulses to the affected area, which block or reduce the pain signals going to the spinal cord and brain. This can help reduce or relieve pain or muscle spasm and also stimulate the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers.
- Massage – Massage helps to alleviate muscle spasm in the neck that occurred due to an injury.
- Prescription medications – Medications such as corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), analgesics, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants can reduce inflammation and muscle spasms associated with neck pain.