Head & Neck Pain

Neck pain is extremely common and a frequent reason for visits to a doctor.

It can occasionally occur after an injury or trauma, although it is most common without a specific incident.

Head & Neck Pain

Like the low back, neck pain can come from many sources. The pain can be caused by a muscle strain/spasm, facet joint inflammation and/or arthritis, herniated disk, spinal stenosis or a pinched nerve. In today’s electronic age, we are looking at our phones more, sitting at desks that may not have a proper ergonomic setup and suffer from poor posture as a result. These everyday actions make us more susceptible to neck pain.

Some patients may have fibromyalgia or other myofascial pain syndromes. Neck pain resulting in tight muscles and muscle spasms can lead to headaches, as many of the muscles attach to the base of the skull. The occipital nerves are located at the base of the skull and can cause pain in the head which may spread upwards to the face. Some patients have an early form of a muscle spasm condition called cervical dystonia, which can lead to abnormal head/neck posture and considerable pain.

Pain can be isolated to the neck region itself and patients may experience sharp, stabbing, aching, pulsing, electrifying, or burning sensations of pain; any of which may be associated with numbness. It can also radiate into the scalp and may be associated with headaches as well.

Some patients will describe pain spreading to their shoulder blades and mid back area. If the nerve inflammation is significant, patients may experience pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms and/or hands. An MRI, CT, or NCS/EMG may be necessary to determine the source of the pain and devising an optimal treatment method.

Nonsurgical treatment options include, but are not limited to:

  • Trigger point injections
  • Epidural steroid or stem cell injections
  • Facet joint injections with steroid or stem cells
  • Radiofrequency ablation (burning of the nerves)
  • Nerve blocks
  • Interferential stimulation
  • Biowave
  • Protein-rich plasma (PrP)
  • Epidural
  • Physical therapy