You will find that neck pain can start at any time and for a variety of reasons. It is not always easy for the Doctor to understand what has happened to set off the pain, but once they have been able to diagnose the cause, they can start to treat the pain. Pain management and rehabilitation are both important when it comes to recovery and patients should make sure they leave themselves plenty of time for both. It may take a little time to get a diagnosis, but the doctors will: –
- Go through your medical history. If something had been tried before and not worked, there is no point trying it again.
- Hands on examination. You will be asked to move, and the doctor will monitor the ease with which you can do this. Balance problems, or muscle weakness will also be recorded.
- Diagnostic testing. A variety of imaging procedures will take place – this will include an x-ray and anything else that allows the structure of the spine to be determined. This will allow the fear of infections and tumors to be eliminated, therefore leaving the options of damaged discs or ones that have a rupture or hernia.
There are certain conditions were there can be home remedies given, but neck and spine pains are not among them. There would be too much risk as there can be serious consequences of not treating them correctly. Jacuzzi treatment and neck pillows do not begin to compare with things such as ultrasound, cortisone injections. Along with hot pads, home remedies can be of some use for minor issues, or additional treatment for more serious ones, but should not be used as the only form of help. New York pain care will be easy to obtain, so you should start looking for it right away.
Find a doctor for spine problem
You will need to make an appointment with a doctor once the diagnosis has been made, as there will be a choice of treatments. Some will be via an operation. Others will be less invasive and not require surgery of any kind. It will be best to leave surgery as a last resort and try other methods first. It is likely that the options will be: –
- Medication – these may be muscle relaxers or tablets to deal with inflammation. If they do not work the doctor may then prescribe painkillers, but this should not be long term.
- Compresses – this will be in minor cases and should only last for a short time. If they don’t work quickly, it is unlikely that they will work at all. The patient should alternate between using a cold compress and a hot one.
- Exercise – stretching the area may help but should be carried out in front of a medical expert. Massage can also be included with the intention of making the muscles stronger.
- Steroid injections – again this will help to reduce the inflammation and once that has happened, the doctor will be better placed to make an accurate observation.
Once the problem has been identified, the neck and shoulder pain doctor can then go ahead and carry out more detailed treatments.
Cervical epidural steroid injection
If the source of the pain has been the spinal column, inflammation can be reduced, and the pain will go away. It has been proven to be effective when it comes to treating neck pain and is easy to carry out.
A Doctor of Physical Therapy will locate an area around the nerve roots and spinal column. Swelling will reduce and the pain will begin to subside. The downside is the fact that this will not necessarily get rid of the neck pain for good. It will return mobility and allow the patient to carry on their normal life. It is seen as the beginning of the process to become pain free but sadly may not be the end, and often the next step will be a form of physical therapy. It is believed that 50% find a great deal of relief because of this injection, and some do say that the pain goes altogether.
Cervical facet radiofrequency ablation
Some people are unfortunate and find that the pain and spasms affect the shoulder area as well. The way to deal with this is to ablate the nerve, and the spine specialist will do this to ensure that they are accurate when targeting the pain.
The nerve will be heated by the radio wave and as a result will be less able to feel pain. It is vital that only the nerves causing the pain are affected. Doctors are happy to do this treatment as they see the advantage of targeting the correct area. The procedure is considered to be safe and very few who receive it find they suffer from any form of complications.
Trigger Point injection
Again, the treatment can be targeted to the exact point of the pain, and again inflammation and spasm can be controlled. The trigger injection tends to be made into the rhomboid or trapezius muscles of the back.
The requirement for this treatment can be caused by the day to day way you sit and work, or because of a specific action. It can be wear and tear because of aging or due to a sport or exercising injury. Muscle strains are a common cause as is osteoarthritis and nerves that have become compressed. The soft tissue can be damaged as a result of a whiplash injury. These are common when a car hits another from behind. The people in the cars are thrown around and the neck moves in an irregular way and as a result damage is caused and the pain begins.
Whiplash symptoms and treatment
The area around the neck will be covered as the back and shoulders can also be affected. There is a range of pain felt, and whereas some find it a little uncomfortable, others find it very hard to bear. Most of the time the pain will disappear in a week or so, but if this does not happen, then further avenues will have to be explored. With a full recovery there are no long term affects such as arthritis. In order to give comfort, a soft neck collar may be used, and this can also prevent too much movement. A series of physical therapy may be needed, and if all else fails, a visit to a spinal expert. There is a back-pain doctor called Dr. Michael Nguyen who will be able to give a great deal of relief.
If you live in New York, there is a physician who is seen as an expert in the field of pain relief. Dr Michael Nguyen is based at Pain Centers of America and Vein Institute. He specializes in pain management and is very experienced after treating thousands of patients over the years and has become well respected as well as being a member of the Medtronic advisory panel.
Having trained at Harvard he was a named “Fellow of the Year” and this was followed by both “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” and later “Mentor of the Year.” To provide the best possible treatment for his patients, he insists on keeping up to date with the latest procedures and practices.
Along with being the pain specialist, he also works in venous medicine and cosmetic practices, so has knowledge of a wide range of conditions and cures.
Spine surgery NYC
New York City is a great place to live if you need spine surgery is a great place to live as there are many clinics and surgeons who will be able to carry out a plethora of treatments. As this is a dangerous operation, you will be well advised to find one who can carry out minimally invasive surgery. This means that there will not be a large cut, but the procedure will be carried out via a small incision. As you would expect, the normal implements can not be used as they will be too big, so the specialist doctor will use a camera that allows them to see what the problems are.
It could be that you are not suitable for this sort of surgery and while this will lead to you requiring more serious treatment the surgeon’s decision must be accepted. The main reason for this form of treatment is simple. There needed to be a way in which there was as little damage as possible inflicted on the surrounding muscles. If there is limited damage to the muscles, the recovery period will be much shorter. It is also going to lead to less blood loss during the procedure, and less risk of requiring a blood transfusion.
There are advantages for the surgeon as well. Due to the use of video assisted equipment, the surgeon will be able to have a clearer view of what is happening. The structure of the body as well as the internal organs will look bigger and therefore there is much less chance of there being a mistake made.
Blood banks will be pleased about this as well as there will be less of a rush on their products. Patients can go back to a normal ward quickly rather than having to spend time on a specialist ward. Who would not be pleased about being able to leave hospital after a few days rather than having to stay for a few weeks? Recovery and return to work will also be speedy and pain will be at a minimal. The biggest problem you are likely to face is remembering to rest as you have had surgery and will need time to get over it.
If you need spinal surgery, you will be well advised to find out who the top spine doctors are and who is going to give you the best experience. As many will carry out different procedures, you should find out what you want done and then who you want to do it.
Check out the doctor you want
There are ways to determine the best and this applies to neck surgery as well. Waiting time may be an issue, but if it is, you may be better of having the job done quickly to make sure there are not complications. When you choose an accepted top surgeon, the journey should be simple. The diagnosis will be the right one and it will be delivered quickly. Then there will be the surgery. You are likely to want to know a bit more about that. Questioning them will be the way to get the answers you want, and you should not be worried about doing that. There will be many questions you want to ask but some vital ones will be: –
- Are you experienced with this sort of procedure? Unless you are in a desperate situation and no one will be able to do what you need, then you should only go with an experienced surgery.
- While there may be certificates on the wall, you will hope they will tell you that they are a member of a specialist board. With this sort of injury, it will be either the American Board of Spine Surgeons or the North American Spine Society,
- Second opinion. You could ask them for the name of someone who will back up their diagnosis and if they agree to a name right away, you should have confidence that they believe their own views.
- Finally, you could ask about their success rate and it would help if you know the overall success percentage.
If there are objections to any of the requests – other than a suggestion that you hurry up if the case is serious, it may be best to look elsewhere. If you visit a chronic pain treatment center, you will be able to find a doctor who can deal with your problem, or at least send you in the right direction. Don’t trust treatment on a vulnerable part of your body to be carried out by someone you don’t have total confidence in. There are enough well qualified surgeons out there to allow you to select the best one for you and your needs.