Neck pain, technically known as cervicalgia, is a common pain complaint. It is pain — often accompanied by muscle soreness, tightness, tension, aching, and spasms — that occurs in the region from the bottom of the head to the top of the shoulders. In severe cases, neck pain can be incredibly debilitating and interfere with your ability to perform daily tasks. If you’re not able to move your neck freely simple tasks, such as driving a car, become dangerous. Trying to follow your child’s soccer game becomes unbearable. Attempting to play golf or even carry on a conversation in a group becomes a struggle.
THERE ARE TWO CLASSIFICATIONS OF NECK PAIN: ACUTE AND CHRONIC.
Acute Neck Pain
Acute neck pain is often caused by a muscle strain or a ligament or tendon sprain that occurs as a result of overuse or misuse. Acute neck pain usually resolves within a couple of weeks. Examples of causes of acute neck pain include:
- Poor posture
- Sudden force to the neck or head (such as whiplash from a car accident)
- Sleeping in an awkward position
- Straining to carry a heavy object
- Bending your neck to look at your cell phone
- Craning your neck to paint a ceiling
- Working at your desk for long periods
If you’re even remotely concerned about neck pain, even if you can pinpoint the cause as one of the above scenarios (or one like it), it’s wise to consult a neck pain specialist. Even acute pain can benefit from a neck pain treatment regimen. And, sometimes, untreated acute neck pain can become chronic neck pain, which becomes more challenging to treat.
Chronic Neck Pain
Neck pain that persists for more than 3 months is considered to be chronic neck pain. Chronic neck pain is surprisingly common; it affects about one-third of the population. While acute pain that has not been addressed by a neck pain specialist leads to some cases of chronic neck pain, most cases are caused by spinal conditions such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated discs
- Pinched nerves
- Other cervical spine problems
If you’re suffering from chronic neck pain, it’s very important to have a neck pain specialist diagnose and treat you. They can find the root of the problem and treatment the pain at the source and, in turn, correct your chronic neck pain.
Neck Pain Treatment Options
Effective neck pain treatment options vary from patient to patient. In some mild cases of acute neck pain, simple lifestyle changes (such as wearing a brace to stabilize the neck and/or improve posture, purchasing a pillow to keep your neck stable while sleeping, or switching to an ergonomic office setup) can reverse neck pain.
Often, though, patients require intervention by a neck pain specialist. Depending on the patient, a neck pain specialist may prescribe injectable pain medications or one of the following:
These and other non-narcotic options for neck pain treatment are available at Space City Pain Specialists. Pain relief is available; achieve it by requesting an appointment with one of our neck specialists today.