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The cervical spine is a complex structure composed of bones, nerves, muscles and joints. It supports the head, enables movement and contains the spinal cord and nerves. Most instances of neck pain resolve within a few days or weeks. If the discomfort persists, it may indicate an underlying condition that requires medical treatment.

An Overview

Common causes of neck pain among our New York patients include acute and chronic cervical strain or sprain. Neck pain that develops from overuse—such as cradling the phone between the ear and shoulder, or poor posture while working at a computer—is considered neck strain. A forceful injury, such as whiplash, may constitute a severe neck sprain. Both types of injury can be successfully managed with Dr. Stieber's conservative neck pain treatment in New York.

Persistent or recurrent neck pain, accompanied by numbness or tingling in the arms or fingers, suggests degenerative changes in the spine. Cervical spondylosis is a collective term describing wear and tear of the joints. Degeneration of cervical discs and joints may appear in young adults, but more commonly occurs after age 40.

Causes of Neck Pain

Neck Pain Treatment New York

Symptoms

Neck pain symptoms depend on the type of condition or injury. For example, varying degrees of pain, along with a headache and stiffness, are common with soft tissue injuries. However, a stiff neck accompanied by a high fever, nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light could indicate meningitis – a condition that requires immediate medical attention.

Radiculopathy, or a “pinched nerve,” refers to symptoms resulting from the compression of a nerve root. Herniated disc and/or degenerative changes alter the anatomy of the spine, affecting the nerve root branching out from the spinal cord. When the spinal cord itself is compressed or subjected to infection or disease, the symptoms that result are termed myelopathy.

Neck Pain Treatment New York

Symptoms of Radiculopathy Include:

  • Pain that radiates to the shoulder, shoulder blade, or down the arm
  • Numbness and/or tingling in the arms or hands
  • Weakness with or without muscle atrophy

Symptoms of Myelopathy Include:

  • Loss of normal motor coordination in the arms or hands
  • Difficulty with fine motor movements (e.g. writing, buttoning, using keys)
  • Dropping objects (e.g. drinking glasses / coffee mugs)
  • A feeling of heaviness or weakness in the affected arm or hand
  • Disruption of walking gait or balance
  • Tripping and/or falling

When to See a Doctor

Most instances of neck pain will gradually improve with rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, heating pads, cold compresses and gentle stretching. Patients should make an appointment with our New York office if the pain fails to respond to at-home remedies or is:

  • Severe and persistent
  • Spreading down the arms and legs
  • Associated with numbness, weakness, and/or headache or other neurologic symptoms
Neck Pain Treatment New York

Neck Surgery

For those NYC patients who do ultimately require neck surgery, Dr. Stieber offers a variety of advanced treatment options including a variety of minimally invasive outpatient procedures and motion-preservation treatments. Dr. Stieber prides himself in delivering among the top neck surgery New York has to offer and as always, he and his staff welcome questions and ensure that all patient concerns are thoroughly addressed.

Candidates for Dr. Stieber's NYC neck surgery are individuals who have failed to experience an improvement in their symptoms with rest, medications and physical therapy. In general, neck surgery is only recommended once all other approaches have failed. It is often performed to:

  • Address a nerve that is pinched by bone spurs or a herniated disc
  • Relieve spinal cord pressure due to bone spurs
  • Prevent vertebrae from grinding together

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