Neck Pain Diagnosis and Treatments
Diagnosing Neck Pain
Getting an accurate diagnosis of what’s behind your neck pain allows our doctors to provide the best neck pain treatment options. To reach that diagnosis, they’ll take you through a diagnostic process that could include the following:
- Getting your medical history, including your current symptoms and any treatments you’ve tried before.
- Going through a physical examination. Your spine doctor will look for issues such as limited range of movement, issues with balance, or muscle weakness.
- Doing diagnostic testing. X-rays and other imaging may be done to give your spine specialist a view of the internal structures of your spine. This can help rule out concerns like tumors and infections and allow your doctor to see the soft tissue and any abnormalities that may be happening within the structure of the spine. This could include herniated, ruptured, or bulging discs.
Neck Pain Treatment Options
Conservative neck pain treatments are usually suggested for up to two months and may include:
- Pain medications, including anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxers, and (on rare occasions) narcotic painkillers.
- Alternating hot/cold compress therapy for 24 to 48 hours.
- Physical therapy exercises to stretch, massage, and strengthen the muscles.
- Epidural steroid injections to reduce inflammation and to potentially help the doctor pinpoint the cause of your neck pain.
Pain Management Procedures for Treatment Of Neck Pain
There is a number of least- or minimally-invasive pain treatment options that can help reduce or alleviate painful symptoms in the neck, shoulder, arms, and hands, including:
- Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection – These injections can help reduce the inflammation in the spinal cord and alleviate pain. They can also help the spinal doctor diagnose the source of the pain.
- Cervical Facet Radiofrequency Ablation – This neck pain treatment is useful for those suffering from pain or spasms in their shoulders, too. The spine specialist uses radiofrequency thermal energy to ablate the nerve that’s causing the pain. This is useful for precisely targeting pain.
- Triggerpoint Injection – These injections target areas in order to relieve spasms and inflamed areas of the shoulders and upper back.