Neck and back pain often come together. Patients often describe their neck pain in the following ways:
- Localized to the sides of the neck and the back muscles
- Pain in the muscles that extend over the back of the neck and shoulders
- A sharp pain between the shoulder blades and down the arm
- Headaches that start in the back and at the base of the skull
There are seven discs in your neck. These are called the cervical discs. Discs are doughnut-shaped, spongy cushions that fit between each vertebra to absorb shock and tie the vertebrae together to ease bending and twisting.
Treating neck pain starts with diagnosing the underlying cause. This may include:
- Muscle strain
- Spinal cord compression
Neck Pain Treatment
With a combination of nonsurgical, surgical and innovative techniques, we typically can help relieve neck pain.
Treatment options include:
- Observation is recommended for minor neck pain that isn’t getting worse or causing significant difficulties. Observation includes visits at regular intervals to ensure the condition isn’t progressing.
- Prescription medication can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Physical therapy and occupational therapy can help relieve symptoms.
- Injections can treat pain and reduce swelling.
- Severe neck pain may be treated with surgery if the condition causes pain or weakness, or if it worsens.
- Surgical options include:
- Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
- Cervical disc replacement
- Posterior cervical decompression and/or fusion