Neck Pain Treatments

Neck pain is a common discomfort experienced by individuals of all ages and backgrounds. From muscle strain to nerve compression, the causes of neck pain vary widely, impacting daily activities and overall well-being. In this article, we will discuss the common causes and when it’s time to seek professional medical assistance.

Whether you’re seeking relief from persistent neck pain or aiming to prevent neck pain altogether, the experts at Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine are here to help. Feel free to call us at our office in Granville or Coshocton, Ohio today!

Structure of the Neck

Your neck is made up of the first 7 bones of your spine coming down from the base of your skull. These bones are called vertebrae. The vertebrae, ligaments, and muscles work together to provide stability and movement to the neck.

Your spinal cord passes through the middle of each vertebra in what’s called the spinal canal. Nerve roots extend out from the spinal cord to carry signals to the muscles and brain.

Between each vertebra are disks that act as shock absorbers. They protect your spine when you walk and run.

What is Neck Pain?

Neck pain refers to pain in and around your spine beneath your head. It is also known as cervicalgia. There could be one of many reasons why you have neck pain.

Neck pain can be classified by where it is and how long it lasts. Axial neck pain is pain that affects your neck, whereas radicular neck pain can be felt in other areas, such as your shoulders or arms. Acute neck pain is when the pain lasts from a few days to six weeks, and chronic neck pain is when it lasts longer than 3 months.

Neck pain can have a detrimental effect on the quality of your life, and therefore, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Non-surgical treatments such as pain relief medications, neck pain exercises, physical therapy, and stress management are usually sufficient to relieve neck pain. These approaches not only target the muscles and nerves directly involved in neck discomfort but also promote blood flow, which aids in the healing process.

A woman who requires neck pain treatments in Newark, Ohio.

What Are the Causes of Neck Pain?

There are many possible reasons why you could have neck pain. The most common reasons for neck pain include the following:

  • Muscle pain: Sore shoulder or neck muscles following physical exertion or stress can cause neck pain. You may develop knots in your neck muscles that are tender to the touch.
  • Muscle spasm: This is when you develop sudden neck stiffness. Muscle spasms are painful and it may be difficult for you to turn your head. If you have ever woken up with a painful, stiff neck, then it is likely caused by a muscle spasm. You could have a muscle spasm because of a muscle injury, poor posture, a spinal disc or nerve problem, or even due to emotional stress.
  • Headache: Muscle tension or spasms can cause a neck-related headache. It is usually felt in the back of the head and upper neck. You would likely have a dull, aching pain rather than a sharp pain. Neck movements will likely make it worse.
  • Facet joint pain: The facet joints are found between the vertebrae. Pain in these joints is often sharp and deep. The pain may radiate towards your shoulder or upper back. If arthritis is causing facet joint pain, then it will often feel worse in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
  • Nerve pain: This occurs when the roots of the spinal nerves are pinched or irritated. It causes a sharp or severe pain that may also accompany pins and needles. You may also feel a shooting pain down the arm towards the hand.
  • Referred pain: This is when your neck has pain because of a problem in another part of your body. For example, you could have neck pain because of a heart problem or a problem in the esophagus.
  • Bone pain: Neck pain is rarely caused by the bones. However, this type of neck pain requires medical attention.

Symptoms That Accompany Neck Pain

When you have neck pain, you may also experience other symptoms, including the following:

  • A headache
  • A stiff neck, shoulders, and/or upper back
  • Difficulties turning your neck or tilting your head
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in your shoulders or arms

When to See a Neck Doctor

Being aware of certain symptoms is vital. If a neck issue can be diagnosed and treated early on, then further neck, back, or spine damage and pain could be avoided in the future. Sharing this information with your doctor allows them to provide you with the best neck, back, and spine care. 

If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have damaged your neck:

  • Arm or hand tingles
  • Intermittent muscle spasms
  • Your neck is sensitive and tender to the touch
  • Pain that is worse in the morning after sleeping
  • Radiating pain that either goes down to the shoulders or up toward the head
  • Sensations of grinding when you turn your head
  • Tension in the neck that is constant

What Neck Conditions We Treat

The neck doctors at Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine can treat the following neck conditions:

  • Cervical disc damage
  • Cervical kyphosis
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Compressed nerve or nerves
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stenosis
  • Spondylosis

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you are seeking to relieve pain in your neck or back, schedule an appointment with the experts at Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine in Granville and Coshocton, OH. We offer personalized solutions for alleviating back and neck pain and promoting overall well-being. Contact us today!

Medically reviewed by Alex Tancevski, MD