Neck Pain Treatment in Montclair, NJ
There are a number of reasons you may be experiencing neck pain. It can be the result of an injury such as whiplash or just the strain of sitting in an uncomfortable position for extended periods of time. It can arise in the form of arthritis from years of wear and tear. It may also simply be a trait you inherited through your genes such as spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal). Some diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, or certain types of cancer can also lead to neck pain.
The pain can be local, or in the case of a compressed nerve caused by a herniated disc or bone spurs, the sensation can shoot down your arm resulting in a loss of strength or even numbness.
Whatever the cause or symptoms may be, seeking help can alleviate your pain and prevent future injuries.
Neck Pain Diagnosis
Your doctor will likely begin with a consultation to review what movements increase your pain, and what conditions may have led to your discomfort in the first place.
Your doctor may need to perform an x-ray if the problem is caused by compressed vertebrae, arthritis , a slipped disc, a narrow spinal canal, or a fracture . For problems created by the tendons or ligaments, an MRI or CT scan may be the best option for diagnosis. Nerve problems can be identified with electromyography (EMG). Your doctor may also perform a blood test to rule out any infections that may be causing your pain.
Neck Pain Treatment
The first step in any treatment plan is to reduce your pain. This can be done with a combination of heat and ice coupled with medication. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, or pain relievers like acetaminophen. For pain caused by arthritis, a corticosteroid injection may provide the quickest relief.
Your doctor may be able to perform a massage or traction, which is a system of weights and pulleys designed to stretch the muscles, connective tissues, and bones in your neck. The therapy you receive in the office can be supplemented by at-home neck exercises.
Some other non-surgical treatments for neck pain include:
- Chiropractic care
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
Neck Pain Prevention
There are several simple techniques that you can adapt into your daily routine that may reduce your chances of developing neck pain. Here are just a few:
- Maintain the correct posture by keeping your head over your spine
- Adjust your chair at your desk to a more comfortable position
- Avoid holding your phone between your ear and shoulder
- Stretch at regular intervals throughout the day
- Don't sleep on your stomach
- Acquire a pillow that supports your neck's natural curvature
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