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Neck Pain

About Neck Pain

Neck pain is only slightly less common than back pain. It is commonly the result of age, poor posture and sedentary lifestyles which result in weakness. Your neck is flexible and supports the “weight” of your head. The force exerted by your head on the neck depends on ‘posture’ or head and neck alignment. If you are standing or sitting straight your head “weighs”, 10 to 12 lbs. on average. But if your head tilts forward as when staring into a screen, the head is no longer in an ideal position and the head now ‘weighs’ closer to 60 lbs. This puts a tremendous strain on the muscles trying to support this considerable weight and results in muscular pain and stiffness. Poor posture and lack of proper exercise, over time, contribute to degenerative change in the bones and chronic weakness in muscles. Neck pain, like back pain, is also well known to be increased by stress and anxiety.

Symptoms of Neck Pain

Neck pain can be one-sided or affect both sides of the neck. It typically radiates to the back or crown of the head or down into the shoulders or between the shoulder blades. It is generally described as dull and aching but can be sharp with turning the head to one side or tilting it forward or back. Stiffness and a loss of range of motion can result in difficulty backing a car out of parking spaces. It may be associated with headaches that usually begin at the base of the skull and rise up into the head often into the forehead and behind the eyes. Neck pain is often accompanied by cracking, popping, or grinding noises when turning the head that can be alarming to patients but are generally not serious.



Causes of Neck Pain

Poor posture, growing older and inactivity are the main causes of neck pain. All three contribute to degenerative change in the cervical spine. With time these changes result in arthritis in the many small joints in the neck producing pain and stiffness. Symptoms tend to be worse when we are worried, tired, or at the end of the day. Any head position held for a long period of time such as when staring into a computer can cause symptoms. Neck trauma, especially ‘whiplash’ type injuries that are the result of falls or rear-end car accidents, can cause damage to ligaments, muscles, and joints of the neck.



Non-Surgical Treatment for Neck Pain

Conservative non surgical treatment of neck pain should be the first approach. Non surgical treatment for joint pain may include oral pain medications, muscle relaxer tablets or oral non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy to help you correct posture and alignment through neck strengthening exercises can help ease your pain and prevent a recurrence. For some patients, injections may be helpful. These might include steroid injections into the small facet joints in the bones of the cervical spine or into the muscles in your neck to help with pain.

To learn more and get help for neck pain please Schedule an Appointment with Regenerative Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialist Daniel Southern, M.D. in Danbury or Wilton in Fairfield County Connecticut by calling 203-456-5717.

Surgical Treatment for Neck Pain

Neck surgery is typically reserved for patients with neck pain that has intense pain radiating into the arm accompanied by weakness and loss of sensation. This indicates that there is narrowing in the spine or disk protrusion that is pinching a nerve going into the arm. Neck surgery is quite effective for the arm pain. Neck surgery performed for neck pain is less common and is generally not as successful. Neck surgery usually involves fusing at least two of the neck bones creating some loss of range of motion but usually not to the extent that the patient cannot perform normal daily activities. In general, recovery time and rehabilitation from surgical treatment of neck pain can be somewhat lengthy and uncomfortable requiring careful pain management. In addition, there are some risks and possible complications of neck surgery including infection, blood clots, and damage to nerves.

To learn more and get help for neck pain please Schedule an Appointment with Regenerative Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialist Daniel Southern, M.D. in Danbury or Wilton in Fairfield County Connecticut by calling 203-456-5717.

Regenerative Orthopedic Medicine Treatment for Neck Pain

Regenexx® Procedures provide non-surgical treatment options for those suffering from pain related to osteoarthritis, joint injuries, spine pain, overuse conditions, and common sports injuries. These medical procedures are only performed by highly-skilled doctors and are used to help reduce pain and improve function. Regenexx procedures have helped thousands of patients improve their quality of life, return to the activities they enjoy, and avoid the need for surgery or joint replacement*.

Regenexx Physicians represent a very selective, highly-skilled, interventional orthobiologics network that is 100% focused on orthopedic conditions. All Regenexx physicians are musculoskeletal experts with extensive training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, as well as complex, image-guided injections of your body's own healing agents to treat orthopedic issues. Regenexx patient outcomes are tracked in a registry and with that information, we provide transparent outcome data (below) for those who may be considering this treatment option.

Want to find out if you are a Regenexx Candidate? Complete the Candidate Form.