The neck, also known as the cervical spine, is a complex structure composed of bones, nerves, muscles, and joints. It serves to support the head, enable movement and contain the spinal cord and nerves. Neck pain will often resolve within a few days or weeks on its own, but if the discomfort persists, an underlying condition that may exist and require medical treatment.
Common causes of neck pain include acute and chronic cervical strain or sprain. A neck strain can develop from overuse of the neck such as holding a phone between the ear and shoulder, or poor posture while working in front of a computer. A neck sprain is caused by a more forceful injury, such as whiplash from a car accident. Both types of injury can be successfully managed with Dr. Stieber's conservative neck pain treatments 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 the wear and tear of the joints. Degeneration of cervical discs and joints may appear in young adults, but more commonly occurs after age 40.
Arthritic disorders can contribute to neck pain by causing inflammation and degeneration of the joints in the neck, leading to stiffness and discomfort.
A herniated disc in the neck can cause severe neck pain as the disc's inner material irritates nearby nerves, resulting in localized pain and potential radiating symptoms down the arms.
A vertebral compression fracture in the neck can cause neck pain due to the collapse or compression of the vertebrae, potentially resulting from osteoporosis or trauma.
Injury to the bones, joints, or ligaments in the neck can cause neck pain, such as whiplash from a car accident or sports-related trauma, leading to muscle strain, ligament sprains, and discomfort.
Certain diseases, such as cancer or meningitis, can cause neck pain as they affect the structures or tissues in the neck, leading to inflammation, nerve compression, or infection-related discomfort.
Neck pain symptoms can vary depending on the type of condition or injury. For example, varying degrees of discomfort, along with a headache and stiffness, are common with soft tissue injuries. However, a stiff neck accompanied by a high fever, vomiting, nausea, or sensitivity to light could be signs of meningitis – a condition that requires urgent medical attention.
Radiculopathy, also referred to as a “pinched nerve,” is attributed to symptoms resulting from the compression of a nerve root. Degenerative and/or herniated disc changes alter the anatomy of the spine and can affect the nerve root branching out from the spinal cord. When the spinal cord itself is compressed or subjected to disease or infection, the symptoms that developed are termed myelopathy. .
If you are in need of neck pain treatment in NYC, contact us today!
Most instances of neck pain will slowly improve with rest, over-the-counter pain medications, cold compresses, heating pads, mild stretching. An appointment with our New York office should be made immediately if the pain fails to respond to at-home remedies or is:
For the patients in NYC who do ultimately require neck surgery, Dr. Stieber offers a number of advanced treatment options including a variety of motion-preservation treatments and minimally invasive outpatient procedures. Dr. Stieber prides himself in specializing and performing the top neck surgery New York has to offer and as always, he and his staff welcome any questions and ensure that all patient concerns are thoroughly addressed and handled.
The best candidates for Dr. Stieber's NYC neck surgery are individuals who have not been able to experience an improvement in their symptoms with physical therapy, medications, and rest. Neck Surgery is only recommended once all other approaches have failed to improve your condition. It is often performed to:
Following neck surgery, patients are provided with a collar to keep them comfortable throughout the healing process. It must be kept on for a period of at least three weeks. However, the collar need not be worn while sleeping, eating, or showering. Patients are usually asked to refrain from getting behind the wheel of a car for at least three weeks following the treatment.
During the healing process, it is normal for patients to experience some numbness and tingling underneath their chins and around the treatment areas. The incision is usually very sensitive at this time, and patients may also experience difficulty with swallowing or even hoarseness of voice.
It is recommended that patients take the medication they are prescribed only if they are actively feeling pain. Narcotic prescriptions should not be taken for longer than three weeks. Heavy lifting (anything over 10 pounds) must be avoided for at least three weeks. At the three-week mark, patients will meet with Dr. Stieber and receive further instructions.
Full recovery typically takes 2 to 3 months.
The results from the procedure and the length of time it takes for them to settle in will depend on a few factors. For example, a patient's age and pre-existing health conditions have a major impact on the speed of recovery. Patients who are in better overall health prior to undergoing the surgery will heal much faster. This means being a non-smoker, eating a healthy diet, and getting exercise on a regular basis.
While being active is important, having a lifestyle that is too physically demanding can be problematic. For example, patients who have jobs that require an incredible amount of physical exertion may recover at a slower rate. Other sources of activity, such as sports or raising children, can also have an impact. Generally speaking, patients who have fewer physically-demanding obligations heal in a much quicker, more efficient way.