Conservative options can be very effective in treating neck pain. Surgery may be a last resort if these solutions don’t provide the relief you need.
A trained physical therapist guides you in exercises and stretches designed to strengthen your neck, improve your balance and flexibility, and improve range of motion -- all benefits that can alleviate your symptoms. Your therapist may suggest cervical traction, which stretches your neck to reduce compression.
A TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator) unit can be used in your doctor’s office or at home. A portable version is small enough to hold in your hand. When you are experiencing pain, you place reusable electrodes on your neck and attach them with wires to the TENS device. Then you turn on the device to deliver mild electricity (it should not hurt) through your skin for 15 to 30 minutes. This stimulates your nerves and stops pain receptors in the brain.
In some cases, including with trauma and fractures or instability of the spine, your doctors may recommend wearing a rigid or semi-rigid neck brace for a short time. This stabilizes your spine, allowing it to heal and helping to prevent additional injury.
A skilled chiropractor uses spinal manipulation and other manual methods to help relieve neck pain and other symptoms such as numbness and tingling, loss of strength, or pain in the arms or legs. These hands-on techniques stretch and move the spine to restore mobility to joints restricted by injury or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support. Our chiropractors can also teach you exercises for improving strength and flexibility and incorporating safe movements and proper posture into your daily activities.
Using fine needles placed strategically in the skin, acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system and releases chemicals that promote healing. We offer this treatment as a complement to your regular treatment plan, not as a substitute.
Medications include over-the-counter and prescription anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxers, steroids, nerve-pain medicines, and more. Our doctors balance medication recommendations with risks of side effects, dependency, and other unwanted reactions.
Epidural steroid injections treat inflammation and pain right at the source -- your pinched spinal cord or nerve roots. Using X-ray imaging to guide them, doctors numb your skin and place a needle into the epidural space in your spine. You’ll feel pressure during this procedure. The medicine usually begins working within a few days to a week. You’ll be able to return to normal activities the following day. We give these injections in a special, sterile fluoroscopy suite.