Pain in your neck often signals that you have either a pulled muscle or a pinched nerve. A pulled muscle heals on its own, often helped by applying alternating ice and heat. But a pinched nerve in your neck, which is called a cervical radiculopathy, may not go away with home treatment and rest. A pinched nerve in your neck can prevent you from sleeping and interfere with your day-to-day routines. Stop the pain with a visit to pain management New York.
When you have cervical radiculopathy, a nerve at the top of your spine gets pinched or irritated. You often feel a stabbing or shooting pain in your neck, along with tingling, numbness and weakness, especially in your arms. Other symptoms of a pinched nerve in your neck include:
- Pain in your shoulders
- Upper back pain
- Pain that radiates down your arms to your elbows, wrists and fingers
- Cervicogenic headaches
- Occipital neuralgia
- Muscle spasms in your neck
To correctly diagnose your condition, pain management doctors in NYC first perform a complete physical. Like many medical conditions, cervical radiculopathy has symptoms that mimic other conditions, and it takes the most advanced pain management experts to uncover the real source of your pain. The best rated pain management specialist belongs to pain management center NY.
Cervical radiculopathy differs from lumbar radiculopathy by the location of your pain. Your cervical spine is at your neck, and your lumbar spine includes your lower back. Cervical radiculopathy treatment, therefore, differs from treatment for lumbar radiculopathy. But both conditions are treatable.
Factors that Impact Your Cervical Health
Men are more susceptible than women to cervical radiculopathy by more than two-thirds. The condition is more common among workers who lift heavy loads on a daily basis and those that drive or operate heavy machinery that regularly vibrates. Other factors that increase your risk of cervical or lumbar radiculopathy include:
- Sitting for long hours at a job
- Trauma from a car accident
- A sports injury, especially from golf
Talk with an injury doctor in New York about your job, if you feel you’re at risk. Discuss any past injuries, so he can fully assess your condition. Your injury doctors employ the most advanced diagnostic equipment and offer the latest in pain treatment options using a multidisciplinary rehabilitation approach.
Even though cervical radiculopathy is prevalent in people in their 40s through their 60s, anyone can develop it. A herniated disc in your neck is the most common cause among middle-agedmen and women. Your vertebral discs have a jelly-like filling that leaks out from a trauma or wear-and-tear. Once it gets outside the disc, that filling material aggravates your cervical nerve.
For older people, wear-and-tear of the spine leads to pain over time. Degenerative disc disease in your neck puts the discs in your cervical spine area through a process that erodes them. And that leads to constant pain.
Diagnosing Cervical Radiculopathy
Whether you have cervical radiculopathy or lumbar radiculopathy doesn’t just depend on your symptoms. You can some times get a stiff neck while suffering from lumbar radiculopathy. A physical examination is the best way for your pain management doctor to determine which parts of your body are affected.
When you visit a pain management clinic in NYC, a top back pain specialist in Midtown examines your neck, shoulder, arms and hands for signs of muscle weakness, loss of sensation or change in your reflexes. Your doctor uses the most advanced diagnostic equipment available in the country. Often, the tests either confirm the diagnosis or rule out other causes.
You may have to go for x-rays to check the alignment of the bones along your neck and spine. If your doctor thinks your condition warrants further testing, you may need a CT scan or even an MRI to see if it’s bone spurs that are aggravating your nerve roots. Facet joint syndrome, for example, is also caused by pinched nerves.
Cervical Radiculopathy Treatment
Most people recover from cervical radiculopathy fairly quickly, but the chance of you getting the condition again remains high. Your pain control clinic has several cervical radiculopathy treatment plans that help you become pain-free. And most of these are non-surgical.
Depending on the root cause of your condition, your treatment for cervical radiculopathy may include:
- Soft cervical collars
- Exercise to strengthen your back and neck muscles
- Cervical epidural steroid injections
- Trigger point injections
- Shoulder injections
- Nerve block Injections, such as occipital nerve blocks or sympathetic blocks
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Leon Reyfman, MD, is a top-rated, best-in-class interventional pain management doctor. He is a nationally recognized pain relief specialist and is among the top pain care doctors in New York City and the country. He is an award-winning expert and contributor to prominent media outlets.
Dr. Leon Reyfman has been recognized for his thoughtful, thorough, modern approach to treating chronic pain. He has been named a “top pain management doctor in New York” and one of “America’s Top Doctors™” for advanced sports injury treatments. Among other accolades, he was voted by peers as a “Castle Connolly Top Doctors™” and “New York Super Doctors™”. Dr. Leon Reyfman was a part of the medical team at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.