Neck Pain

 Common Cuases for Neck Pain

Neck pain and stiffness is a common complaint. Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture — whether it is due to leaning over your computer or hunching over your workbench, trauma such as motor vehicle accidents or whiplash types of injuries, or Osteoarthritis.

Rarely, neck pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem. Discovering the source of neck pain is essential to receiving proper treatment. It is necessary to know when to see a doctor for pain relief. People often ignore neck pain and believe it will go away without consequence eventually. Sometimes the pain does go away, but the lingering effects on the spine can cause problems in the future. Over time, without treatment, the pain can become recurring, with specific movements becoming almost impossible. In extreme cases, patients have waited so long that they need surgery to fix the problem. To receive a consultation for your neck pain relief Newport Beach, feel free to contact Dr.Gilak.

 Neck Pain Symptoms 

  • Pain that's often worsened by holding your head in one place for long periods, such as when driving or working at a computer

  • Muscle tightness and spasms

  • Decreased ability to move your head

  • Headache

When to see a doctor

Seek immediate care if severe neck pain results from an injury, such as a motor vehicle accident, diving accident, or a fall. Or if you experience the following symptoms:

 neck pain is accompanied by numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands, or you feel shooting pain into your shoulder or down your arm. In today’s society, people with neck pain often rely on medication from a local pharmacy. These medications will sometimes relieve the symptoms or illness but will not heal the underlying issue. Massage therapy is another popular method, but this solution only relaxes the muscles, and spinal manipulation is necessary to align and prevent further injuries. You can also use proper pillows and neck support to assist in the healing process.

Contact a doctor if your neck pain:

  • Is severe

  • Persists for several days without relief

  • Spreads down arms or legs

  • Is accompanied by headache, numbness, weakness or tingling

Causes of Neck Pain

Your neck is flexible and supports the weight of your head, so it can be vulnerable to injuries and conditions that cause pain and restrict motion. Neck pain causes include:

  • Muscle strains. Overuse, such as too many hours hunched over your computer or smartphone, and poor posture often triggers muscle strains. Even minor things, such as reading in bed or gritting your teeth, can strain neck muscles.

  • Worn joints.  Also known as Osteoarthritis or other forms of arthritis, Just like the other joints in your body, your neck joints tend to wear down with age. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage between your bones (vertebrae) that acts like cushions to deteriorate. Your body then forms bone spurs as a form of defense mechanism that affects joint motion and causes pain

  • Nerve compression. Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.

  • Injuries. Rear-end auto collisions often result in a whiplash injury, which occurs when the head is jerked backward and then forward, straining the soft tissues of the neck.

  • Diseases. Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, or cancer, can cause neck pain.

How Can I relieve my Neck pain?

Self-treatment: To help prevent neck pain, Be mindful of your head position and keep your head centered over your spine. Some simple changes in your daily routine may help. Consider trying to:

  • Maintain good posture. When standing and sitting, be sure your shoulders are in a straight line over your hips, and your ears are directly over your shoulders. Self-check time to time to make sure your body is in the ideal position.

  • Take frequent breaks. Whether you drive or fly long distances or work long hours at your computer, get up, move around and stretch your neck and shoulders. Set your alarm clock for every hour to give yourself a break for 10 minutes of a postural check, stretch.

  • Computer, Desk ergonomics, sit in height so that the monitor is at eye level. Knees should be slightly lower than the hips. Use your chair's armrests. Or choosing standing desks also is very efficient.

  •  The phone Placement: Phone must be placed between your ear and shoulder when you talk. Use a headset or speakerphone instead.

  • Quit Smoking. Smoking can put you at higher for disc and cartilage deteriorations.

  • Be Mindful of your bag. If your bag is too heavy, the weight can strain your neck.

  • Sleep hygiene.  When sleeping your head and neck should be aligned with your body. Use a small pillow under your neck. Try sleeping on your back with your thighs elevated on pillows, which will flatten your spinal muscles.

Diagnosis

To get some neck pain relief in Newport Beach, a consultation with Dr. Gilak can be the answer you are looking for. The doctor will take a medical history and do an exam. She will check for tenderness, numbness, and muscle weakness, as well as see how far you can move your head forward, backward, and side to side, followed by standard Orthopedic examination to determine the causes of your pain. Sometimes referring to imaging is also part of the investigation process. 

Imaging tests

  • X-rays. X-rays can reveal bony strucrue in your neck where your nerves or spinal cord might be pinched or reveal bone spurs or other degenerative changes.

  • CT scan. CT scans combine X-ray images taken from many different directions to produce detailed cross-sectional views of the internal structures of your neck.

  • MRI. MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create detailed images of bones and soft tissues, including the spinal cord and the nerves coming from the spinal cord and to evaluate your disc structure.

Other tests

  • Electromyography (EMG). If your doctor suspects your neck pain might be related to a pinched nerve, he or she might suggest an EMG. It involves inserting fine needles through your skin into a muscle and performing tests to measure the speed of nerve conduction to determine whether specific nerves are functioning correctly. Dr.Gilak usually works with local neurologists and other specialists and refers you to the right specialist for these tests.

  • Blood tests. Some times ordering Blood tests is necessary as it can provide evidence of inflammatory or infectious conditions that might be causing or contributing to your neck pain.

Therapy Option

  • Chiropractic Treatment. A Chiropractor can teach you correct posture, alignment and neck-strengthening, and strenghthening exercises, and can use heat, ice, electrical stimulation, and other measures to help ease your pain and prevent a recurrence in addition to Spine manipulation.

  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Electrodes placed on your skin near the painful areas deliver tiny electrical impulses that may relieve pain.

  • Therapeutic Ultrasound: This is used to decrease inflammation and muscle spasm.

  • Traction. Traction uses weights, pulleys, or an air bladder to stretch your neck gently. This therapy is done under the supervision of your chiropractor at the office, which may provide relief of some neck pain, especially pain related to nerve root irritation.

  • Short-term immobilization. A soft collar that supports your neck may help relieve pain by taking pressure off the structures in your throat. However, if used for more than three hours at a time or more than one to two weeks, a collar might do more harm than good. This is usually recommended when a patient suffers from sever muscle spasm.

  • Medication: Your doctor might recommend a visit to your primary care of spine specialist for a prescription of stronger pain medicine than what you can get over-the-counter, as well as muscle relaxants and tricyclic antidepressants for pain relief.

  • Steroid injections. We do refer patients out to pain management where they receive a dose of corticosteroid medications near the nerve roots, into the small facet joints in the bones of the cervical spine or into the muscles in your neck to help with the pain. Numbing medications, such as lidocaine, also can be injected to relieve your neck pain.

  • Surgery. Rarely needed for neck pain, surgery might be an option for relieving nerve root or spinal cord compression.

  • using  the right pillow.

In case that Dr.Gilak feels it is necessary, she will send you to Spine surgeons for consultation regarding your options.

The most common types of mild to moderate neck pain usually respond well to Chiropractic and Spine Manipulation Therapy within two or three weeks. If neck pain persists, your doctor might recommend other treatments.

References:Neck pain Disease Reference Guide - Drugs.com. https://www.drugs.com/mcd/neck-pain

  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Facebook
  • RSS Social Icon

Newport Beach Chiropractor serving: Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Corona Del Mar, Irvine, Tustin, Costa Mesa, Orange and Los Angeles County