Neck pain is extremely common and a frequent reason for visits to a doctor. It can occasionally occur secondary to an injury or trauma although most commonly presents without a specific incident.
head & NECK Pain
Like the low back, neck pain can come from many sources. The pain could be secondary to a muscle strain/spasm, facet joint inflammation and/or arthritis, herniated disk, spinal stenosis or pinched nerve. In today’s electronic age, we are looking at our phones more, sitting at desks that may not have proper ergonomic set up, and suffering with poor posture. Some folks have neck pain that is referred from the base of the skull or the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Some patients suffer with fibromyalgia or other myofascial pain syndromes.
Neck pain resulting in tight muscles and muscle spasms can lead to headaches, as many of the muscles attach to the base of the skull. The occipital nerves are located at the base of the skull and can cause pain in the head, which may radiate to the face. Some patients have an early form of a muscle spasm condition called cervical dystonia, which can lead to abnormal head/neck posture and considerable pain.
Pain can be isolated to the neck region itself. They may have sharp, stabbing, aching, pulsing, electrical sensations, burning, with associated numbness. It can also radiate into the scalp and may be associated with headaches.
Some patients will describe pain radiating into the shoulder blades and mid back area. If the nerve inflammation is significant, patients may experience pain, numbness, and even weakness in the arms and/or hands. An MRI, CT, or NCS/EMG may be necessary to better determine the source of pain and optimal treatment.
Nonsurgical treatment options include, but are not limited to, trigger point injections, epidural steroid or stem cell injections, facet joint injections with steroid or stem cells, radiofrequency ablation (burning of the nerves), nerve blocks, interferential stimulation, Biowave, trigger point injections, protein rich plasma (PrP), epidural and physical therapy.