Harvard-Trained Pain Doctors Reveal How to Treat Neck Pain and a Stiff Neck
Where does the phrase “pain in the neck” come from? It’s been around since the early 1900’s and is used to describe something that is annoying, or a nuisance. What is a literal pain in the neck? This is when your cervical spine is out of sorts. Your cervical spine consists of 7 vertebrae, muscles, nerves, joints, and discs, and is responsible for housing the spinal cord that controls all messages to and from the brain. Not only is neck pain a “pain in the neck”, but it can also be a medical condition that requires professional care.
At Pain Treatment Specialists, our team of Harvard-trained neck pain doctors are experts in interventional pain medicine. This means that no matter the source or cause of your neck pain or stiff neck, our expert pain doctors have a minimally invasive pain treatment that will work for you. If you have questions such as “can gout cause neck pain”, “should I go to work with neck pain”, or “what is pain in right side of neck under jaw”, it’s time to meet with a pain expert. The pain doctors at Pain Treatment Specialists, with locations in NYC and northern NJ, are the perfect place to start to get rid of the literal pain in your neck!
Should I Go To Work With Neck Pain?
Not all neck pain is the same. When you wake up with a stiff neck, you likely slept in an awkward position. This might cause neck and back pain when looking down, or the inability to turn your head properly. A gentle stretch or a hot shower is likely to alleviate your neck pain. It might also be time to replace your old, lifeless pillow with something more robust, or even a forward neck posture pillow, which is known as the best pillow for neck pain. This type of neck pain tends to resolve itself in a few hours or days, and is fine for you to go to work. You can even take Advil for neck pain, or another over-the-counter pain reliever. This small neck muscle injury is easy to resolve.
However, if you feel back pain and a numb arm, pain in the ride side of the neck under jaw, throbbing pain in the back of the neck, or tingling in your arms or hands, you may be dealing with a more serious neck injury. If you’re experiencing the above symptoms, then the answer to “should I go to work with neck pain” is no. Immediately call Pain Treatment Specialists and schedule an appointment with our pain doctors. If at any point you become nauseated, feel confused, have pain that spreads to your arms or legs, or cannot stand upright due to your neck pain, you should consider a trip to an urgent care facility or the emergency room. This may indicate a more serious underlying injury or trauma that needs immediate medical attention.
What Are The Best Treatments for Neck and Shoulder Pain?
Not all neck pain treatments need to involve surgery. At Pain Treatment Specialists, our neck pain doctors use minimally invasive neck pain treatments that avoid surgery and focus on pain management. Surgery is only utilized as a final course of treatment if other, more conservative, modalities have been exhausted. Our pain doctors avoid neck surgery because surgery in this region is exceptionally delicate, and the potential for very serious complications exist. Instead of making surgery the first choice for neck pain management, pinched nerves, muscle spasms, or cervical spine pain, we instead employ one of the following neck pain treatments:
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- Cervical Epidural Spine Injection: Your pain doctor uses a corticosteroid injection that is administered in the epidural space of your spine. This type of injections reduces pain, swelling, and inflammation in your neck, back and shoulders. If you suffer from spinal stenosis, arthritis, or herniated discs, this pain treatment is highly-effective.
- Trigger Point Injections: Also known as “sensitive areas” trigger points are places where knots or bands form when the connective tissue or muscle cannot fully relax. Trigger point injections target these knots with a steroid and local anesthetic injection, which deactivates these knots and provides neck pain relief.
- Cervical Facet Block Injection: Your neck pain doctor uses a special x-ray to determine the exact facet joints in your cervical spine that are affected, and then injects a local anesthetic and steroid. This is an outpatient procedure that is quick, effective, and produces instant results.
Don’t spend another day dealing with rheumatoid arthritis neck pain and dizziness, or other neck pain issues. Book an appointment at Pain Treatment Specialists and see how our pain doctors use cutting-edge treatments to get your neck mobile and moving again.
How Can I Treat a Stiff Neck At Home?
Treating your stiff neck at home is a smart first step before seeking medical advice. If you’ve woken up and are having a hard time turning your neck, you might feel like Frankenstein for the rest of the day. Whenever someone speaks to you, you have to turn your entire body in order to make eye contact. Even though this condition can be painful, uncomfortable, and even embarrassing, you can treat a stiff neck at home with the following steps:
- Monitor your screen time and adjust your computer’s position. Looking down at your phone or computer screen can make your stiff neck worse. Limit your screen time for the day, or use a standing desk if possible while working.
- A massage is an excellent way to loosen up stiff neck muscles. Be sure to communicate honestly and openly with your masseuse about the levels of pressure you’re comfortable with.
- Gently stretch your neck and avoid sudden turning movements. Try rolling your shoulders forward, and then backwards in a circular motion. You can also squeeze your shoulder blades together for a few seconds, and then release. Turning your neck slowly from side to side also helps improve your neck’s mobility.
- Ice and heat therapy are effective at reducing swelling and inflammation. A hot shower or heating pad also feels good while keeping your neck supple.
Even though neck pain is a pain in the neck, it doesn’t have to linger and ruin your day. Schedule an appointment at Pain Treatment Specialists and see how our Harvard-trained pain doctors are able to get rid of the pain in your neck, and restore your range of motion.
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