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Neck Pain

Texas Pain & Orthopedics

Pain Management, Sports Medicine and Regenerative Orthopedics located in Pflugerville, TX

Neck pain from acute injuries and degenerative disorders is a common problem costing millions of work hours every year. If you’re experiencing limited function because of neck pain, fellowship-trained Ike Malik, MD, of Texas Pain & Orthopedics in Pflugerville, Texas, can help. Dr. Malik specializes in cutting-edge treatments like pain injections and radiofrequency ablation to treat neck pain and restore mobility. To find out more, call Texas Pain & Orthopedics today or book an appointment online.

Neck Pain Q & A

What causes neck pain?

Sudden injuries often cause neck pain. Falls, auto accidents, and sports injuries are other common causes. Traumas like these can stretch or tear the muscles and connective tissues or damage the discs between your vertebrae. Whiplash, which frequently affects people after a rear-end collision, is a leading cause of acute neck pain.

You could also get neck pain from poor posture. The main culprits are sitting with your neck bent for long periods while working, not supporting your neck when relaxing, and sleeping in an awkward position. Sometimes you get stiffness or a crick in your neck that works out over the day. But repeated incidents could cause long-term damage.

Most chronic neck pain is due to the deterioration of the structures at the top of your spine. Causes include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Bulging or herniated discs

Herniated discs come about when the soft center of the pads in between your vertebrae protrude through their outer shell. They could be due to an acute injury or degenerative disc disease.

The pain you feel often comes from pinched nerves in your spinal canal. A herniated disc, bone spur, or thickened ligament could press on the nerve, causing pain and other symptoms. These can include numbness, weakness, and tingling sensations that may spread into your arms. You might also get headaches.

How is neck pain diagnosed?

To find out what’s causing your neck pain, Dr. Malik talks to you about your symptoms, looks over your medical history, and carries out a detailed physical exam. He might need to see images of the structures inside your neck using X-ray, CT, or MRI technology.

If you have symptoms of nerve damage, you might need to undergo an electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) testing. These procedures determine how well your nerves are functioning and which ones are affected.

How is neck pain treated?

Minor causes of neck pain often heal within a few days, especially if you rest your neck and apply ice or heat. Anti-inflammatory medications can also help. For more persistent or severe neck pain, Dr. Malik offers a range of effective therapies, including:

  • Activity modification and rest
  • Prescription medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Spinal cord stimulation

Many patients with neck pain improve considerably with conservative treatments. If you’re not seeing positive results, you could benefit from the more advanced approaches like steroid injections and radiofrequency ablation.

To find the treatment that works for you, call Texas Pain & Orthopedics today or book an appointment online.