Updated: Jul 19
If you suffer from chronic neck pain that persists over time, it can take a toll on your quality of life. Neck pain prevents or limits activity for millions of people each year.
Yet, there are a lot of treatments out there to help you treat your neck pain. But conventional methods for treating neck pain, like surgery, can have a long recovery period and unpleasant side effects.
Neck pain is one of the most common health complaints and the reason why people seek medical attention at our New York pain management center. The good news is that there are treatments that address the issue that can lead to decreased pain, increased mobility, and even better than before without having to resort to surgery.
Where does your neck pain come from?
Neck pain can be a serious problem. It's one of the most common reasons people see a doctor and can cause significant disability. But where does your neck pain come from?
The neck is a very mobile area of the body and can be affected by many different factors. A simple way to think about why you might have neck pain is to ask yourself the following questions:
Is the pain located in just one spot, or does it move around? If it moves around, then it could be coming from a muscle spasm or inflammation caused by some activity you recently did (e.g., lifting). If it stays in one place, then it may be caused by arthritis or other structural problems in the spine.
Does the pain get worse when you turn your head or look up or down? If so, this could indicate that your cervical spine (the bones in your neck) needs treatment.
Does your pain improve if you hold your chin up with your hand? This means that there is likely something wrong with how your muscles are working, and they are causing the problem.
How often do you use my neck? For example, if you have a job that requires you to look down at your computer all day or you are constantly on your phone, then this could be a contributing factor.
Do you sit and sleep in an awkward position? The position we sleep in can significantly affect how our spine feels in the morning. For example, if you're lying on a pillow or if your head is hanging off the end of your bed because it's too short for you, then this could be causing problems with your neck.
What kind of non-surgical treatments are there for neck pain?
If you have neck pain, you may want to try non-surgical treatments first before opting for more invasive procedures like surgery. Here are some treatment options you can consider:
Physical therapy: Using physical therapy to treat chronic neck pain
Physical therapy is often the first line of treatment for neck pain. It may include massage, heat pads or ice packs, exercises to strengthen the muscles around your spine, and stretching exercises.
Some physical therapists also use ultrasound therapy to ease the pain. While these things can help, they aren't a cure for neck pain and don't address the underlying cause of the problem.
Physical therapists are specially trained to treat muscular-skeletal disorders and injuries through exercise and manual therapy. Physical therapy is not only used to treat chronic neck pain; it's also an option for people who have already undergone surgery but find that their pain isn't subsiding as expected.
Physical therapists can teach you exercises and stretches that will help improve your range of motion in your neck joints and muscles. They may also recommend techniques to reduce stress on the nerves in your spinal cord by stretching or strengthening certain muscles around the neck and shoulder area.
If you have arthritis in your spine (spondylosis), physical therapy can help ease stiffness and improve flexibility in the joints so that movement becomes easier and less painful for you.
At All Of Pain, we believe that physical therapy should be used as part of a holistic approach to treating chronic pain conditions. This means that we don't just focus on physical rehabilitation — we also work with our patients on learning strategies for managing their overall health and wellness long term, as well as helping them develop better-coping skills for dealing with stressors that may trigger their symptoms or flare-ups of pain.
Steroid injections: Using steroids to control neck pain symptoms
A steroid injection helps reduce inflammation and swelling around your joints, which may be causing your neck pain. This treatment is often used as a short-term solution for people with chronic neck pain who don't want surgery or other procedures.
Steroids are a type of medication that can be injected into the neck to help reduce inflammation and pain. Steroids are a natural substance that your body produces in small amounts to fight infection and inflammation.
A steroid injection is also sometimes used in conjunction with other treatments for chronic neck pain, such as physical therapy or chiropractic care (adjustments). The injections are done by a highly qualified pain physician who specializes in medicine that diagnoses and treats chronic pain, acute pain and other related disorders.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture can be the answer for your neck pain
Acupuncture is a form of medicine that has been practiced in China for thousands of years. It involves inserting very thin needles into specific areas of the body to stimulate points along the meridians or energy pathways. The idea is that by stimulating these points, you can relieve pain and treat other health problems.
Research shows that acupuncture can improve symptoms associated with neck pain, including muscle stiffness and tension, headaches, insomnia, and fatigue. In addition to relieving pain, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the production of endorphins in the brain, which promotes relaxation and relieves stress.
In recent years, acupuncture has gained popularity in the United States as a non-surgical option for pain relief and management.
A study found that by its completion, 14 million people in the United States had tried or were using acupuncture. This number is a significant increase from the beginning of the study period, when 8.19 million patients were found to be using acupuncture in the US.
Chiropractic care: Keeping the spine aligned can reduce chronic neck pain symptoms
Chiropractic treatment focuses on treating spinal misalignments and correcting joint mobility through adjustments. Keeping the spine aligned can reduce chronic neck pain symptoms. This is why chiropractic care is one of the most popular non-surgical treatments for neck pain.
Chiropractic care helps restore the range of motion to joints that have become stiff from injury or overuse; it also helps improve circulation and reduce inflammation in damaged soft tissue structures within the body (tissue known as fascia).
Chiropractic treatments may be used alone or combined with other non-surgical treatments for chronic neck pain, such as physical therapy or massage therapy.
A chiropractor will use spinal manipulation to relieve pressure on the nerves and muscles, which allows them to function properly again. The adjustments can also help improve blood flow in the area, which means more nutrients will be delivered to damaged tissue.
Medical Massage: Applying pressure to specific points associated with neck pain can relieve symptoms
Medical massage uses hands-on techniques such as rubbing, kneading, tapping, and percussion to increase circulation and relieve muscle tension. Massage can also relieve stress related to poor posture or sitting for long periods at a desk or computer keyboard.
Medical massage is a treatment focused on treating specific health conditions diagnosed by a doctor and is administered by a licensed medical massage therapist.
The first thing to know about medical massage is that it's not the same as a regular massage. Licensed medical massage therapists have gone through years of training in anatomy and physiology to target pressure points on your body that can help relieve pain and other symptoms related to chronic conditions such as back pain or arthritis.
The goal of medical massage is to reduce muscle tension and increase blood flow so that oxygen and nutrients can get where they need to go in your body. Massage also increases the production of endorphins, which are natural chemicals that help relieve stress, relax muscles and boost moods. These benefits can help relieve chronic pain conditions like neck pain.
Neck pain can adversely affect every aspect of your life. But there's no need for you to live in pain. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available that can provide some form of relief. The right treatment will depend on your situation, but the most important thing is that you have a plan in mind when dealing with your pain.
The treatments highlighted in this article are offered at our New York pain management center. Our pain experts will help address the cause of your neck pain and provide treatment options without resorting to surgery. The choice of treatment will depend on the diagnosis.
No matter what your age or ability to move, you should be able to find a treatment that works for you. Book an appointment with us today if you are interested in non-surgical treatment so you can get back to your normal, active lifestyle as soon as possible.