Your neck plays an important role other than attaching your head to your body. It allows you to twist and turn your head and hold it upright throughout the day. Because of the location of your neck, the structures surrounding it, and its range of movement, your neck area is particularly prone to injury, which is why you need to seek advice from the experienced board-certified neck injury doctors at NY pain management. Don’t risk further damage or disability by waiting to find a neck injury treatment.
Your neck is made up of your spinal cord, which is surrounded by cervical bones, and enclosed by muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and skin. Other important structures like your esophagus, trachea, and voice box also reside in your neck.
While you can injure part of your neck, a neck injury generally refers to an injury or disease of your cervical spinal cord, cervical vertebrae, muscles, ligaments, or tendons. When you have an injury, find a regenerative medical treatment that takes into account the cause and interconnected nature of your neck.
Main Causes of Neck Injuries
Neck injuries vary in severity, but they’re never something to shrug off. They can create minor, annoying neck pain, or they can cause serious, potentially debilitating conditions. Your posture, lifestyle, and occupation all affect the health of your neck, and each can lead to a neck injury. Some causes of minor and more common neck injuries include:
- Overuse or improper use
- Minor injury or inflammation
- Poor posture or sleeping habits
- Sprains and strains
- The flu
- Worn joints
Less commonly, an acute neck injury or serious disease can cause intense pain and stiffness. These conditions require careful diagnosis and medical attention at a top pain management clinic in Manhattan: the New York injury pain clinic. Pain from serious complications can come on immediately or after a period of time. See your pain specialist as soon as possible for treatment if you have or experience:
- Arthritis in other parts of your body
- An infection, which may indicate meningitis
- Disc issues, such as herniation or degeneration
- Acute trauma from a fracture, dislocation, or spinal cord injury
- The heart attack that may be causing referred pain
Who Is at Higher Risk of a Neck Injury?
Because everyone uses their necks on a daily basis, an injury can happen to anyone. It’s not because your neck is weaker than the rest of your body, but rather that there are so many small causes, even stress, that can tighten muscles and affect nerves. In your neck, all these things are closely packed together.
Some people have lifestyles or behaviors, in addition to normal everyday use, that make them more prone to neck injuries, such as football players, weightlifters, and gymnasts. Your activity level, risky behaviors, and underlying conditions like bone or joint disease, also place you at a higher risk. Age can be a factor too, as neck injuries typically happen to those 16 to 30 and over 65.
Common Symptoms Associated with Neck Injuries
The hallmark symptoms of neck injury are pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. The onset, location, type, and severity of the pain tell your pain specialist how to begin diagnosis and neck injury treatment. Help your NYC pain management doctor by pinpointing what your pain feels by remembering things like:
- The type of pain you have — is it dull, aching, sharp, or shooting?
- Exactly where your pain is located
- Whether it radiates to other areas
- When it started and how long it usually lasts
- What kind of movements most aggravate it
Other symptoms that can reveal the source of neck injury are associated symptoms. Some of these may be a consequence of tight muscles, but they also indicate a condition that needs immediate neck injury treatment. Pay attention to symptoms like:
- Migraine headaches
- Numbness and tingling that travels down your arms
- Spasms and stiffness
- Weakness or loss of functionality
- Difficulty breathing
Treatment begins with specific questions about the pain, your lifestyle, posture, activity levels, sleep habits, and old and recent injuries. Top New York injury doctor observes your posture, palpates for tenderness, checks your movement, and performs a neurological exam.
He checks your reflexes, muscle power, and reactions to various sensations. Depending on the preliminary diagnosis, he may suggest imaging and other investigations confirm the cause of your neck injury. These tests may include:
- Imaging tests like x-rays, CT scans or MRIs, using the most advanced diagnostic equipment
- Blood work that’s sent for accurate, rapid analysis
- Nerve conduction study
- Bone scan
Neck Injury Treatment
The majority of neck injuries respond well to appropriate home treatment. Your pain may resolve within four weeks or less. Your neck and back pain expert may suggest minor changes to your daily routine that prevents further neck injury. The first line of therapy and prevention strategies for neck injuries include:
- Over-the-counter pain medicines
- Exercise and proper nutrition
- Proper lifting techniques
- Using a neck pillow at night
- Proper sleep posture
- Avoiding activities that cause you pain
- Stopping smoking
- Physical therapy or braces
If your neck pain isn’t resolved quickly, doctors at one of the most advanced pain management practices in Manhattan have other options, including:
It’s a big deal to suffer a neck injury. Don’t hesitate to get the damage assessed before it gets worse. Contact Pain Management NYC for fast and complete care.
Boleslav Kosharskyy, MD, is a top-rated, best-in-class interventional pain management doctor. He is board-certified in Anesthesiology, Interventional Pain Medicine, and Palliative Care.
Dr. Kosharskyy is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine at Albert Einstein Medical College. He’s also the Associate Medical Director of Pain Medicine and Director of Anesthesia for the Joint Replacement Center at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein Medical College.
He is an active member of the American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA), the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA), and the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists (NYSSA)