Plenty of people experience neck pain, especially after sleeping wrong or spending a long day at a desk or behind the wheel. However, chronic pain is a sign of something potentially serious and shouldn’t be ignored. With the help of a specialist, you can get to the bottom of what’s causing your pain and build the appropriate treatment plan.
At The Spine and Sports Center in Sugarland and Houston, Texas, board-certified physiatrist and spine specialist Dr. Benoy Benny can evaluate your neck pain, determine the cause, and recommend treatment options.
4 possible explanations for your neck pain
The most common reasons for neck pain include injury, muscle strain, damage to your joints, and nerve compression. If you’re trying to figure out what’s behind your chronic neck pain, here’s more information related to these potential causes.
This goes for recent and old injuries alike. Whether you suffered a blow to your head recently or a bad car accident years ago, things like whiplash can cause lasting damage to your spine. The earlier you seek help from a specialist, the better, but it’s never too late to begin remedying an injury.
2. Muscle strain
Muscle strain can be caused by a lot of things, but the pain is often the same. If your neck pain feels like a burning ache, alleviated by pressure or temperature, there’s a good chance it’s caused by inflammation of your muscles. This is especially common among people who spend long hours driving or looking at a screen with their head in a fixed position.
3. Joint damage
As you get older and the discs between your vertebrae begin to degrade, joint damage becomes more likely. Neck pain caused by general wear and tear is known as cervical spondylosis and can lead to herniated discs and bone spurs.
4. Nerve compression
Stabbing pain is often an indication that your nerve is being affected, rather than your muscle or bone. Various cervical conditions can lead your nerves to become compressed, causing these sharp jolts of pain.
Diagnosis and treatment
Before moving forward with diagnostic imaging and treatment, Dr. Benny will evaluate your medical history and ask about the nature of your pain. He can perform a physical exam, X-rays, and other tests to determine what’s causing your discomfort.
If joint damage is suspected, you might receive facet joint injections to try to numb the area. If this is successful, treatment using steroid injections and radiofrequency ablation can provide more long-term relief.
Other injections, such as epidurals and nerve blocks, are also available to ease your pain caused by nerve compression or severe damage to your cervical spine.
Suffering from chronic neck pain? Schedule a consultation by calling our location closest to you or booking an appointment online today.