Neck Pain Treatments and Relief

Relief of pain can be elusive in cases involving the neck. The more delicate vertebrae in this region are less robust than lower in the spinal column and can be both more prone to injury and more difficult to treat. Fortunately, rotating the head to either side is usually spared of pain, as this movement relies on the topmost vertebrae and less likely to be injured. Movements bending the neck, however, can be excruciating, as the nerves pass through tight channels in the vertebrae to reach their final destinations.

Finding a pain specialist to guide your recovery process is essential to quickly creating a comprehensive treatment plan and preventing the development of more severe problems.

Cervical Anatomy

The uppermost cervical vertebra, Atlas, forms the connection between the cervical spine and the skull, much like the mythical figure for which it is named who holds the earth on his back. This vertebra sits on the odontoid process or Dens of the second cervical vertebra, named Axis. Atlas rotating around the dens is the rotary mechanism of the head, which is usually spared in cervical injury.

This image below illustrates the remaining five cervical vertebrae most commonly affected in cases of neck pain.

Diagram of the five cervical vertebrae in the neck.

Some common causes of neck pain include:

  • Traumatic injury such as a cervical fracture can cause significant damage to surrounding structures and should be examined as soon as possible. Whiplash experienced in car accidents and similar high-velocity injuries is also a common cause.
  • Osteoarthritis calcifies joint junctions resulting in painful movement.
  • Osteoporosis leaves the bones brittle and more prone to injury.
  • Vertebral disc degeneration, in which the discs that cushion the junctions between vertebrae are damaged and unable to provide adequate support. 
  • Vertebral disc herniation, in which a rupture of the fibrous outer layer of the vertebral disc allows the gelatinous core to bulge out and compress local structures, especially nerve roots. 

When treating neck pain, conservative options are usually exhausted before surgical solutions are explored. Finding a pain specialist will ensure that a comprehensive pain management plan is tailored to your needs, and preventable complications are avoided.

Your treatment may involve medication such as NSAIDs, injections such as cortisone, and physical therapy. In severe cases though, surgery may be necessary. Consider reaching out to the pain specialists at Premier Pain and Spine for exceptional care at four convenient locations in Chicago, IL.

Request an Appointment today or give us a call at (847) 519-4701

Premier Pain & Spine Doctors Notes to Neck Pain Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment:

  • Neck pain can lead to significant impact on one’s daily life.
  • Neck pain is often caused by poor posture and work ergonomics.
  • Can be caused by various structures in the spine requiring evaluation by spine specialists like physicians at Premier Pain.
  • Non-surgical options such as injection can significantly improve the pain and allow return to function.
  • Can oftentimes cause headaches and multiple treatment options exist.
  • Many times neck pain will occur after car accidents and the experts at Premier Pain have deep expertise in treating injury related neck pain.
  • Premier Pain & Spine physicians specialize in treating neck pain from work related or motor vehicle related injuries.

An Individualized Treatment Approach by Premier Pain & Spine:

  • Fellowship trained physicians specialized in interventional pain management and holistic approach.
  • Compassionate, convenient and evidence based care.
  • Interventional pain management uses minimally invasive techniques to treat pain and improve function and wellness.
  • Holistic approach to treating pain, focused on non-opioid treatments.
  • Customized treatment plans specific to an individual’s needs.
  • Physicians specialize in spine and joint care.
  • Our team is able to perform a full musculoskeletal and neurologic exam to determine the best treatment option and plan.