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What Is Neck Pain?

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.

An Overview of Neck Pain

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.

What Are the Causes of Neck Pain?

Arthritic disorders

Arthritic disorders can contribute to neck pain by causing inflammation and degeneration of the joints in the neck, leading to stiffness and discomfort.

Herniated disc

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.

Vertebral compression fracture

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

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.

Disease (e.g., cancer, meningitis)

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.

What Are the Symptoms of Neck Pain?

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!

Neck Pain Treatment New York

Symptoms of Radiculopathy Include:

  • Pain that radiates to the shoulder blade, shoulder, or down the arm
  • Tingling and/or numbness 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
  • Trouble with fine motor movements (e.g. using keys, buttoning, or writing)
  • Dropping items (e.g. coffee mugs/drinking glasses)
  • A feeling of weakness or heaviness in the affected hand or arm
  • Disruption of walking speed or balance
  • Falling and/or tripping

When Should I See a Doctor for My Neck Pain?

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:

  • Persistent and severe
  • Spreading down the legs and arms
  • Resulting in any weakness, numbness, and/or headache or other neurologic symptoms
Neck Pain Treatment New York

Neck Surgery to Handle Neck Pain

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.

Am I a Candidate for Neck Surgery?

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:

  • Calm a nerve that is pinched by bone spurs or a herniated disc
  • Alleviate spinal cord pressure due to bone spurs
  • Prevent the vertebrates from grinding together

What is the Recovery Time For Neck Surgery?

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.

What Results Can I Expect With Neck Surgery?

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.

FAQ Neck Pain

    What are the common causes of neck pain?

    Various factors, including muscle strain, poor posture, injury, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease, can cause neck pain.

    How is neck pain diagnosed?

    Neck pain is diagnosed through a comprehensive evaluation, including a physical examination, imaging studies, and a review of medical history and symptoms.

    What are the treatment options for neck pain?

    Treatment options for neck pain may include physical therapy, medication, heat and cold therapy, injections, and, in some cases, surgical intervention.

    When should I seek medical attention for neck pain?

    It is advisable to seek medical attention if your neck pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness, tingling, weakness, or radiating pain.

    Can stress and posture contribute to neck pain?

    Yes, stress and poor posture can contribute to neck pain. Our holistic approach addresses these factors to optimize your overall well-being.

    How can I prevent neck pain?

    Maintaining good posture, regular exercise, ergonomic workstations, and stress management techniques can help prevent neck pain.

    What role does physical therapy play in managing neck pain?

    Physical therapy aims to improve strength, flexibility, and posture while addressing underlying musculoskeletal imbalances to reduce neck pain and enhance physical function.

    What are the benefits of chiropractic care for neck pain?

    Chiropractic care focuses on spinal manipulation and alignment to alleviate neck pain, improve mobility, and enhance overall spinal health.

    How can lifestyle modifications contribute to managing neck pain?

    Lifestyle modifications, including exercise, stress management, and ergonomic adjustments, are crucial in managing neck pain and promoting overall health and wellness.

    How can I determine the best approach for managing my neck pain?

    Our experienced team will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your condition and needs.

    How can I take the first step toward a neck pain consultation with Dr. Stieber, MD?

    Our experienced team is dedicated to providing personalized care tailored to your unique needs. Dr. Stieber's expertise ensures that your neck pain is addressed with the highest level of care and commitment. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and begin your journey toward effective relief under Dr. Stieber's expert guidance.

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