Between 10%-20% of Americans complain about neck pain, making it one of the top five disorders in the United States. At Advanced Pain Management Specialists, Jerome Carter, MD, offers the most advanced pain management treatments in the area for men and women in Baytown, Texas. You don’t have to live with pain in your neck. Call Advanced Pain Management Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.

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What is neck pain?

The portion of your spine beginning just underneath your skull and ending at the top of your shoulders is known as your cervical spine. This area contains seven vertebrae to protect your spinal cord, along with nerves, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Its complex design works to support your head, which can weigh 10-11 pounds.

While your cervical spine is one of the most flexible and strong parts of your spine, it’s also vulnerable to injury, stiffness, and inflammation. In some cases, intense neck pain can be debilitating.

What causes neck pain?

You can develop neck pain for a variety of reasons. If your pain is acute, it’s often due to muscle strain and tension. In most cases, you end up having this kind of pain because of straining while carrying heavy things, having poor posture, sleeping in an awkward position, bad ergonomics, or from forceful and sudden movements of your head.

When you have chronic neck pain, it’s typically the result of a health condition, such as:

  • Pinched nerves
  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Spinal stenosis

You can also have chronic neck pain because of congenital abnormalities, spinal cancer, or tumors. In some cases, neck pain can also indicate a medical emergency, like a heart attack or meningitis.

How do you diagnose and treat neck pain?

At Advanced Pain Management Specialists, Dr. Carter pinpoints the cause of your neck pain by conducting a full physical examination, reviewing your symptoms, and discussing both your personal and medical histories. Based on this consultation, they might also recommend digital imaging like X-rays and MRIs as well as nerve conduction studies, typically performed with electromyography.

After reaching a diagnosis, Dr. Carter develops a targeted approach to relieve your symptoms. They might recommend a variety of therapies, such as:

  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Physical therapy
  • Medications, like pain relievers, muscle relaxants, or anti-inflammatories
  • Steroid injections or nerve blocks

Depending on your symptoms, Dr. Carter could also suggest alternative treatments like massage, chiropractic care, or acupuncture as well as stretching exercises to do at home.

For more information on neck pain, call Advanced Pain Management Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.