Living with persistent neck pain makes it difficult to get things done - and doing those things anyway can make your neck pain worse.
As an experienced orthopedic surgeon, Gbolahan Okubadejo, MD, FAAOS treats all types of chronic neck pain and their underlying causes. Dr. Bo offers some insight into what might be causing your neck pain and what solutions he offers to treat it.
There are several causes of acute and chronic neck pain. Acute neck pain occurs most often from the overuse of your muscles due to strenuous physical activity, bad posture, and sitting too long at your desk.
When your neck pain is chronic, it might be due to underlying issues that affect your cervical (upper) spine. These conditions may include:
Osteoarthritis occurs as normal wear causes the protective cartilage that lines the ends of your spinal joints to deteriorate and wear away.
Between your spinal vertebrae are rubbery discs that absorb the shock of your movements. When damaged, the disc gel-like center of a herniated disc can bulge outward and push on surrounding nerves in your upper spine.
Compressed spinal nerves can be the result of a herniated disc, bone spurs, or spinal stenosis (narrowing of your spine). All of these conditions can put pressure on nearby spinal nerves and cause neck pain, as well as tingling, weakness, and numbness in your shoulders, arms, and hands.
Certain diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and meningitis, can also contribute to ongoing neck pain.
Treating chronic neck pain often starts with lifestyle changes to improve your posture and ensure you’re getting daily physical activity to keep your spine flexible and strong.
If you need more help, treatments for neck pain available at The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care include:
If your pain is serious enough to make movements difficult, Dr. Bo can recommend medications to ease pain and relieve associated inflammation. He also offers epidural steroid injections that deliver these medications directly into the nerves of your spine, so you move freely.
Physical therapy is also an effective way to improve your spine health. We can refer you for physical therapy sessions where you learn exercises you can do during your session and while at home to increase your neck’s flexibility and prevent ongoing neck pain.
When you can no longer find relief from chronic neck pain due to herniated discs or other spinal conditions with conservative therapies, Dr. Bo can evaluate your situation and determine if you’re a candidate for surgery.
Surgery is generally a last-resort option for treating neck pain, but you might need a procedure to remove bone spurs or a herniated disc that presses on your spinal nerves. Spine surgery is also an option for widening your spinal canal in the treatment of spinal stenosis.
If over-the-counter medications are no longer effective at treating chronic neck pain, you can find help by calling The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care office nearest you or by booking an appointment online today.