New Port Richey Neck Pain Doctor

Neck pain does more than hurt. It can affect your ability to drive, go to work, and function normally. Usually, neck pain resolves within a couple of weeks, but if the pain does not go away, it is time to seek medical help.

A New Port Richey neck pain doctor will locate the source of your neck pain and help relieve your discomfort and restore mobility. If the neck pain results from any type of trauma, such as a car accident, get medical attention from a skilled doctor at once.

Neck Anatomy

The neck is part of the cervical spine, the uppermost part of the spinal column. The cervical spine consists of seven vertebrae, and muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. The majority of neck pain cases derive from straining of the muscles, tendons or ligaments.

Types of Neck Pain

Neck pain is not always confined to the neck per se. Headaches often accompany neck pain, as weakness and numbness in the arms. The latter usually results from radiculopathy, or nerve compression. Muscle and soft tissue strains are known as axial neck pain. If a patient has neck pain and difficulty walking, they may suffer from myelopathy, or spinal cord pressure. This is an emergency situation.

Neck Pain Causes

Besides strained muscles, common causes of neck pain include:

  • Arthritis
  • Herniated disks
  • Infection
  • Whiplash
  • Tumors

Neck Pain Risk Factors

Much of modern life predisposes people to neck pain. Unlike other types of spine-related pain, neck pain is as likely to occur in young people as in older adults. That is because activities, like spending hours on the computer or cradling a cellphone between the head and shoulder, is an invitation to neck pain. Other neck pain risk factors include:

  • Any job or activity involving repetitive actions
  • Excess weight
  • Poor posture
  • Long hours watching TV in a bad position

How a New Port Richey Neck Pain Doctor Can Help

The doctor diagnoses the patient’s neck pain via a physical examination and the taking of a complete medical history. Diagnostic tests include X-rays to check for any fractures and an MRI for soft tissue injury. If an infection is suspected, the doctor will conduct blood tests. Most patients respond to conservative treatment for neck pain. That includes the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief and inflammation reduction, along with prescription muscle relaxants. Since neck pain often prevents a patient from getting proper sleep, the doctor may prescribe sleep aids for the short-term.

Physical therapy, as well as icing, aid in recovery. In some cases, the doctor may want the patient to wear a temporary neck brace. If an infection is present, antibiotics are likely prescribed. Unfortunately, a relatively high percentage of neck pain sufferers develop a chronic condition. Such patients may require steroid injections for long-term pain management. While surgery is sometimes performed on patients with chronic neck pain, such procedures are uncommon.

Once a person has experienced neck pain, the odds of recurrence are high. The doctor will prescribe neck exercises for the patient to practice on a daily basis to lower the odds of recurrence. If patients must spend much of the day on the computer, the doctor will advise them on the proper positioning of the keyboard and often factors that affect the neck.

If you suffer from neck pain, please do not hesitate to call a New Port Richey neck pain doctor today to arrange a consultation.