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Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Neck Pain
Wednesday, December 26, 2018

People who develop neck pain should know that there are a number of treatment options available for them. In most cases of chronic neck pain, surgery is not required and the patient can get relieved through non-surgical treatment.

In this post, we’ll explain how neck pain is diagnosed and treated.

Diagnosis

The doctor will conduct an exam of the patient. They will check for muscles weakness, tenderness and numbness and see how far the patient is able to move their head side to side, forward and backward.

Imaging Tests

Imaging tests may be ordered to get an idea about what’s causing the neck pain. Examples of these tests include:

MRI

With the help of a powerful magnetic field and strong radio waves, comprehensive images of soft tissues and bones are created. This includes images of the nerves that stem from a patient’s spinal cord.

X-Rays

X-rays may be used to find areas in the neck where the spinal cord or nerves may be pinched by degenerative changes like bone spurs.

CT Scan

CT scans may be used to evaluate the neck’s internal structures.

Treatment

A person may get relief from moderate to mild neck pain within three to four weeks. However, if the pain persists, other treatments may be recommended by the doctor.

Medications

Stronger pain medicines might be prescribed by the doctor. They may also prescribe tricyclic antidepressants and muscle relaxants to provide relief to the patient.

Therapies

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is effective for neck pain management. A physiotherapist may use electrical stimulation, ice, heat, massage and other therapeutic measure to ease the pain and prevent it from reoccurring.

Traction

Traction involves use of air bladders, pulleys or weights for gently stretching the neck. This therapy is preformed under a physiotherapist’s supervision and can provide relief for neck pain.

Immobilization

For some people, doctors recommend use of soft color for reducing neck pain.

Manipulation

Manipulation or spinal manipulation (performed by physiotherapists or osteopath is another option for treatment of neck pain. The joints in the neck are adjusted by the therapist using their hands with the aim to relieve stiffness and pain. Manipulation isn’t suitable for all people and there’s a risk for side effects like neck injuries.

Surgery

If the pain persists after all other treatment options have been used, the doctor may consider surgery as a last resort. Neck pain rarely requires surgical intervention. Signs for a surgical treatment include:
  • Dysfunction of the spinal cord
  • Excruciating pain that isn’t relieved by non-surgical treatments
  • Prolonged weakness and/or pain
For example, a herniated disc or vertebral fracture might lead to a compression of spinal cord resulting in severe neck pain. Surgery may be required in such cases. If you are experiencing neck pain, contact us and we’ll provide effective treatment to address the pain.



 
 
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