Whether your neck pain comes and goes or it’s a constant companion, dealing with chronic neck pain can be frustrating. When this relatively small area of your body runs into problems, the effects are surprisingly widespread, as the discomfort and stiffness can make everything from working to driving a car more difficult.
We recognize the impact that neck pain can have on your life, which is why the team of highly experienced orthopaedic experts here at Western Orthopaedics offers a wide range of services that treat pain along your spine, including your cervical spine, or neck.
Here, we take a more in-depth look at six of the treatments we use to help our patients find relief from neck pain.
First step — diagnosis
Before we dive into the potential therapies that may help resolve your neck pain, we want to point out that the first, and arguably most important, step is to come see us for a full evaluation of your neck pain. Determining which treatment might relieve your neck pain very much depends upon the source of the problem.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the two potential neck pain treatments we mention above, as well as four others.
If your neck can benefit from being immobilized for a certain period, we turn to a soft collar to accomplish this. We generally use soft collars for traumas such as whiplash, but the device can also lend support after neck surgery or for taking the pressure off of your cervical spine when you have a degenerative disorder, such as cervical spondylosis.
2. Pain medications
Certain medications provide excellent front-line treatments for neck pain, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. If the pain is muscle-related, we may turn to muscle relaxants. If the pain is severe, we may prescribe stronger pain management medications.
3. Physical therapy
Another great tool in the neck pain arsenal is physical therapy (PT). Through PT, we can strengthen the supportive connective tissues in your neck, which can take the pressure off of your cervical spine. As well, PT is designed to also help you preserve your neck’s range of motion.
If your neck pain is caused by an issue that’s compressing a sensitive nerve root, we may recommend interventional injections, such as:
- Epidural steroid injections
- Facet joint injections
- Medial branch blocks (a nerve root block)
These injections typically include a combination of a local anesthetic and a steroid. The anesthetic works almost immediately to reduce the pain while the steroid works longer to address inflammation.
5. Regenerative medicine
If you have damage to the soft tissues in your neck, you may benefit from regenerative medicine, including platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapies. Our goal with regenerative medicine is to harness the human body’s natural healing resources and redirect them into areas that can use a boost in healing agents.
If your neck pain persists after more conservative treatments, we may recommend a surgical solution, which might include:
- Cervical spinal fusion
- Diskectomy — removing one of your cervical discs
- Laminectomy — removing part of your vertebral bone
- Laminoplasty — creating more space for your spinal cord
- Disc replacement
Again, we typically only recommend surgery if we’ve exhausted all other options for remedying your neck pain.
Which neck pain treatment is right for you
It’s impossible to say here which of our many different treatments for neck pain may benefit you the most. As we pointed out, the best way to find out is to schedule a diagnostic consultation with us, after which we can outline your best options moving forward.
To get on the road to relief from your neck pain, we invite you to contact one of our two offices in Arvada or Denver, Colorado, to set up an appointment.