no such thing as a typical pain in the neck. Neck pain can be caused by injuries
like whiplash as well as everyday strains like hunching over a computer monitor.
Or neck pain can be a warning of a more serious problem.
we age, neck pain is inevitable and a natural phenomenon. Years of swiveling your
vertebrae (neck bones) and the cartilage that cushions it (discs) creates wear
and tear on their flexibility.
Pain Isn't All The Same
pain is generally diagnosed as acute or chronic. Acute neck pain is temporary
and strikes immediately, usually because of a sudden muscle strain. Chronic neck
pain is persistent and can linger indefinitely.
neck conditions overlap both classifications of pain. In some cases, whiplash
may be acute at the time of injury but may progress into a chronic problem.
Pain Type #1: Osteoarthritis
triggers a breakdown in cartilage, making discs thin and inelastic. It's accompanied
by the development of bony outgrowths called spurs which make the neck stiff and
painful to move.
Neck Pain Type #2: Pinched Nerves
age related source of neck pain are pinched nerves. Overtime, discs become dry,
constricting the space in the spinal column where nerves come out. This results
in these nerves becoming impinged and producing neck pain. Nerves can also become
pinched when discs herniate due to muscle strain.
Pain Type #3: Whiplash and Other Injuries
injuries are a serious source of neck pain which may involve spinal cord damage.
Besides whiplash caused by rear end collisions, diving into shallow pools and
contact sports are frequent sources of neck injuries.
neck injuries require immediate medical attention. Fortunately, most neck injury
pain, including whiplash, is located in muscles and ligaments and usually disappears
in a few months.
an early diagnosis, treatments can be started that not only provide pain relief
and management, but help slow the progression of neck problems. The most frequently
used neck treatments are surgery, medicine and alternative therapies.
medicine and physical therapy fail to bring relief, surgery is often thought as
a last resort for neck pain management. However, there are limits to what surgery
can accomplish. It can't undo damage from wear and aging. And it also carries
of the most common types of neck pain surgeries is an anterior cervical discectomy.
This procedure relieves nerve pressure on the spinal cord by enlarging the nerve
opening, removing the disc and any bone spurs irritating the spinal nerve roots.
The space between vertebrae left after disc removal is filled with bone and reinforced
with a metal plate through a procedure called "fusion". This operation
carries with it the risk of stroke and paralysis.
Corpectomy, is a more complicated version of an anterior cervical discectomy in
that it also involves removing vertebrae as well as discs. It's also carries the
additional risk of spinal cord damage and total paralysis.
much less invasive type of neck pain operation is an epidural, which is a specific
type of nerve block. This is performed by injecting medication into and around
the epidural space on the spinal canal where nerves are located. While this procedure
provide relief from small disc herniations and mild spinal stenosis, it's only
this procedure involves corticosteroids, there's the danger of serious health
risks and potentially life threatening side effects. This neck pain therapy should
only be administered once or twice a year due to the risk of permanent cartilage
Pain Management and Relief Medications
treatments for neck pain range from over-the-counter medicines like aspirin to
prescription drugs. Pain relievers like acetaminophen may be helpful to osteo
neck pain sufferers since their condition involves little inflammation.
people with rheumatoid neck pain, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs),
which include ibuprofen, aspirin and newer drugs like are helpful. NSAIDs with
COX-2 specific inhibitors that block an enzyme known to cause an inflammatory
response are often prescribed by medical doctors for neck pain management and
relief. However these drugs carry with them the risk of side effects like heart
disease, digestive disorders, ulcers and liver damage.
neck pain sufferers who don't respond to NSAIDs are often given DMARDs, disease-modifying
antirheumatic drugs. These drugs are believed to correct immune system deficiencies
contributing to rheumatoid neck. They include Arava and methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine,
penicillamine, and gold injections, all of which may cause side effects if not
Another, newer class of drugs known as biological response modifiers, reduce rheumatoid
neck pain by blocking an immune system protein involved in an inflammatory immune
disadvantage of using medications for neck pain relief and management is the risk
of addiction over an extended period. Medications can't cure degenerative neck
pain, they're prescribed for the management of its inflammation and pain.
Natural Pain Management and Alternative Medicine Doctors
alternative medicine professionals offer neck pain sufferers the option of natural
pain management and relief therapies without the risks of surgical and pharmaceutical
approaches. Their methods of treating neck pain ranging from whiplash to osteoarthritis
are more conservative than the medical establishment's and often just as effective
if not more so.
Relief Professionals connects you to natural, alternative medicine practitioners
of Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Naprapathy. The state licensed status of each
assures patients that their education and expertise in pain management exceeds
that of other unregulated alternative medicine healers.
natural, alternative neck pain management and relief, click a button below to
find Pain Relief Professionals near you.