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Neck Painin Phoenix, AZ

Neck Pain Symptoms

Neck pain symptoms may be constant, or they may come and go. You might experience a slow-growing pain, or your pain may come on suddenly. Your neck pain symptoms will also change depending on activity levels. The most common related symptoms include:

  • Clicking or grating noise
  • Difficulty moving your head
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Numbness
  • Spasms
  • Stiffness
  • Tightness

Neck Pain Treatment Options

In general, the best approach to treating neck pain is to start with conservative, non-invasive options, increasing the interventions only if needed.

Ready to get started? Here are eight neck pain treatments that can help—either done separately or in combination with other therapies.

1. Self-care

Self-care options include rest for a sore neck after injury, ice or heat therapy, and massage. In cases of minor muscle strain or injury, this might be all you need to feel better.

2. Over-the-counter medications

Many people treat their neck pain with a combination of self-care and over-the-counter medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help with both pain and inflammation. Look for ibuprofen and naproxen sodium at the pharmacy and take only as directed by your doctor.

3. Prescribed medications

You may need prescription medications if your pain is not decreasing, your sleep is affected, and your mobility is impaired. Muscle relaxants, prescription pain medication, and numbing medications may help. Again, take only as directed by your doctor.

4. Physical therapy

Physical therapy works in conjunction with pain-relieving medications to help restore strength and range of motion in the neck, upper back, and shoulders. Occupational therapy is another approach. This treatment helps to resolve postural or ergonomic issues that are leading to pain.

5. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a non-invasive treatment option that replaces pain signals with a mild electrical pulse. This may produce a tingling sensation but helps many people find pain relief, with no medications or invasive surgeries.

6. Traction

If you suffer from compression injuries in the neck, traction is a treatment that helps restore space between the vertebrae. This treatment can be done in a physical therapist’s office or gently at home.

7. Steroid injections

For unresponsive neck pain, or neck pain that does not yet have a diagnosed cause, steroid injections are an option. A cervical epidural steroid injection can relieve inflammation and reduce pain in your upper spine and neck.

8. Surgery

When all conservative options have been exhausted, your doctor may recommend surgery. There are a variety of surgical approaches to neck pain. Which is recommended for you depends on your neck pain and any underlying conditions you might have.

Neck Pain Diagnosis/Tests

Diagnosing neck pain means starting with a complete medical history to help pinpoint any underlying conditions or causes of your pain. Your doctor will conduct a complete physical examination, working your neck gently through its range of motion and looking for tenderness, stiffness, or spasm. If the cause of your neck pain is not obvious (i.e., a car accident that led to whiplash), they may order additional testing to rule out serious causes of neck pain. These diagnostic tests may include:

  • Blood tests
  • CAT scans
  • Discography
  • Electromyography (EMGs)
  • Nerve conduction studies (NCS)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs)
  • Myelogram
  • Selective nerve root blocks
  • X-rays

When all of this information is taken together, it can help your doctor generate an accurate diagnosis of your pain. This is crucial for successful neck pain relief.

Types of Neck Pain

Many people wake up with minor neck pain in the morning that goes away as they move about their day.

This is common and may be a result of an awkward sleeping position or uncomfortable pillow.

At The Pain Experts of Arizona, we treat patients with more serious types of neck pain. Some of our patients have neck pain that is related to chronic headaches. Others experience referred pain in the neck that comes from an injury to another area of the body, like the shoulders.

Neck pain can also originate in the spine. This occurs when the nerves of the spine are compressed by injury to the vertebrae. Patients may also experience pain in the joints of the spine (including the facet joints). The experience of neck pain may be different for each of these types, too. Neck pain can be rooted deep in the muscles and occur as a spasm, or it might be a lingering soreness from torn connective tissue due to an injury.

More Neck Pain FACTS

Neck pain is a major health issue, costing the U.S. an estimated $29 billion annually in direct medical care costs alone. Women report more neck pain than men.

While 10% to 20% of the population has neck pain issues at any given time, approximately 70 to 75% of people will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. This percentage is second only to lower back pain.

The Pain Experts of Arizona was founded to bring the highest level of care in a state-of-the-art setting that emphasizes the belief of treating our patients with the same respect, compassion, and dedication we would treat our own friends and family.

Contact our office to schedule an appointment and let us help you get back on your way to an active life without the limitations of chronic pain. From our Phoenix office, The Pain Experts of Arizona, serves pain management patients in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek, and the entire Phoenix area.