While your family or friends may think you’re a pain in the neck, many people experience true neck pain. Eighty percent of adults experience neck pain in their lifetime, and 20-50% suffer from it annually. In many cases, neck pain resolves within days with rest and stretching. However, if your neck pain lasts longer than a day or two and interferes with your daily activities, you should see a specialist.
At Midwest Sports and Interventional Spine in Franklin and Kenosha, Wisconsin, board-certified interventional pain medicine specialist Cyril Philip, MD, can help find the root cause of your neck pain and develop a treatment plan specified to give you relief.
Fortunately, neck pain rarely requires surgery. Here, Dr. Philip explains three nonsurgical methods that effectively treat neck pain.
In many cases, neck pain is the result of inflammation. Over-the-counter (OTC) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Additionally, pain relievers such as acetaminophen and aspirin can help. You should always take these medications as directed.
If OTC pain medications don’t do the trick, Dr. Philip may recommend a prescription-strength pain reliever or muscle relaxer – also to be taken as directed. Misusing these medications can result in severe side effects.
Physical therapy works well in conjunction with medication. Through a series of stretches and strengthening exercises, physical therapy can help improve your range of motion and reduce pain and stiffness.
Additionally, a physical therapist can help promote good posture and spinal alignment, reducing the stress on your neck and back. Lastly, a physical therapy session may include heat or ice and massage to help ease pain and tightness.
Cervical steroid injections
For chronic neck pain issues, Dr. Philip may recommend a steroid injection to help reduce inflammation. During a cervical injection, Dr. Philip injects steroids in the epidural space in your neck region to take the pressure off of specific nerves.
Afterward, you should feel relief in your neck for several weeks up to several months. This reduction in pressure around your neck can give your neck time to heal and allow you to do physical therapy strengthening exercises without experiencing pain.
If you have back pain that lasts longer than a few days, call Midwest Sports and Interventional Spine to make an appointment with Dr. Philip or request one online today. He can help relieve your pain soon.