Recover from your neck pain, stiffness, radiating pain in arms, shoulders, or back with the latest non-surgical treatment options, including trigger point and cervical facet joint injections, medial branch blocks, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. Our neck pain specialists can pinpoint the source of your neck pain and prescribe a personalized, time-tested treatment plan that works. Visit our sports injury clinic and meet our physicians to get the pain relief you need in the safe, reassuring hands of the best doctors in New York.
What is Neck Pain?
Neck pain comes with a wide variety of symptoms and causes. You can have an attack of acute neck pain that’s brought on by a simple movement or you can suffer from chronic neck pain and have a serious condition that builds and grows in intensity over time. Neck pain is often different for each person, even when they have a similar diagnosis. You can rely on the expertise of well-trained and vast experienced doctors at Downtown Pain Physicians to give you the most effective and seamless relief solutions.
Because there are so many different types of neck pain, it’s best to see a doctor who can find out what the underlying cause is and begin treatment immediately. If you happen to live in the New York City area, Downtown Pain Physicians can help you find the right diagnosis and your doctor will create a customized treatment plan to relieve your neck pain.
Our neck pain specialists use state-of-the-art technology to pinpoint a diagnosis and then work with a combination of treatment options to find the least-invasive, most effective solution.
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What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain and back pain are two of the most common complaints people have, mainly because there are so many different causes. Neck pain can be one centralized area that aches, or you can experience cervical radiculopathy and have symptoms that extend into your back, shoulders, and arms.
Living with neck pain can interfere with your ability to do day-to-day tasks or enjoy your life to the fullest. It can even interrupt your sleep, and chronic neck pain can cause depression. That’s why a visit to Downtown Pain Physicians and determining the cause of your neck pain is so important.
Interestingly, neck pain can have more than one cause, or concurrent causes. Some of the more frequent causes of neck pain can be:
- Muscle strain/overuse. Muscle strain in the cervical region is very common. Muscle strain can happen from excising or, on the other end of the spectrum, it can happen when you spend too much time sitting hunched over a computer. Even sleeping “wrong” can strain your muscles and leave you with neck pains.
- Muscle spasms. Having a muscle spasm can cause immediate neck pain that lingers, to a lesser degree, even after the spasm is over.
- Whiplash happens when the head is quickly forced forward and/or backward. It’s often associated with car accidents but can also happen with sporting injuries. The movement typically is unnatural and goes beyond normal movement which can put great stress on the muscles and ligaments in the neck which in turn cause considerable pain.
- While whiplash is one injury that can cause neck pain, there are many others that also cause neck aches and pains.
- Herniated discs. Cervical disc herniation happens when the discs between the vertebrae are compressed, which can apply pressure on the nerves and cause pain. This often happens with aging but injuries, spinal stenosis, and some diseases can cause herniation. One possible treatment method for this concern is epidural steroid injections.
- Cervical spondylosis and osteoarthritis are conditions that are typically associated with aging. Years of use and natural dehydration of your discs cause these cushions between bones and joints to weaken and be less effective. This is a very common cause of pain and when it occurs in the cervical spine, it causes neck pain.
- Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, but there are other forms that can also create issues in the neck region and result in pain symptoms.
- Degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease wears away at the protective padding between vertebrae and can cause considerable neck pain.
- Other diseases. Meningitis or cancer are two very serious diseases that can cause you to experience neck pain. Most neck pain is not a result of illness or disease, but if you have chronic pains then a proper diagnosis is critical.
- Poor posture. Just sitting and standing “incorrectly” puts strain and stress on your spine in ways it wasn’t meant to handle. This can lead to pains in your neck, headaches, shoulder and low back pain. Having poor posture can also lead to neck pain with vertebral subluxation, which can be treated in our offices at Downtown Pain Physicians.
- Stress and anxiety. Many people express stress by clenching their jaw, holding their shoulders up and tight, or straining muscles repetitively. Often, this reaction to stress is subconscious until they start to feel neck pains creeping in.
- It doesn’t seem like neck pain could be related to extra weight, but it can. When you have extra abdominal weight, your body shifts from the natural curve of the spine to one that supports the weight, which causes your neck to jut forward to compensate. This unnatural neck positioning can put stress on the vertebrae and discs in your spine and the surrounding muscles.
What Are Some Symptoms of Neck Pain?
While having pains in your neck seems like an obvious symptom of neck pain, there are many others. They can seem unrelated to your neck but are frequently associated with neck pain.
- Sometimes your neck pain can cause a headache and there are even times when a headache can reach down into your neck. These two symptoms can be tied together.
- Neck stiffness. Stiffness in your neck muscles can happen with neck pain, before it, or after it. You might even have the stiffness without pain at all.
- Radiating pain. Pain that feels like it’s shooting down your arms, shoulders, or back can be related to neck pain or conditions of the neck. Often nerve pain that starts in the neck is felt more significantly further down the body.
- Numbness and tingling. That feeling of pins and needles or numbness can be a sign of a pinched nerve in the neck or other conditions that involve your nerves not working effectively. It’s not uncommon to have these feelings with pain or to alternate between the two.
- Feeling like you can’t hold your head up is a sign of neck weakness and it can be related to neck pain. Interestingly, having a feeling of weakness in your shoulders and arms can also happen with neck pain and they can be related.
- Electric shock or burning sensations. These feelings are like pain, but they tend to be a little different in nature. Some people feel these symptoms with neck pain and other people don’t experience pain at all.
Different Types of Neck Pain
Neck pain can feel different, that’s because there are different types of neck pain and the severity of the cause can affect the way it feels. You might even find that you’re experiencing a combination of a couple different types of neck pain at once.
- Mechanical neck pain. When the pain comes from your spine and other supporting structures like your muscles, ligaments, and cartilage it’s considered mechanical neck pain.
- Neuropathic neck pain. Your nerves are what causes neuropathic neck pain. But they might not be all that’s to blame. Since your nerve pain often happens when the nerves are impinged, there could be a mechanical problem that’s causing the nerves to respond with pain.
- Central neuropathy pain. This happens when there’s an injury to your central nervous system and the nerves respond with pain. Common causes of central neuropathy pain are a stroke, multiple sclerosis, infections in the brain, and spinal cord injuries.
Neck Pain Treatment Options
Since there are so many different causes of neck pain and the symptoms can be expressed in a variety of ways, there are also a lot of neck pain treatment options. At Downtown Pain Physicians, we use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to make an accurate and complete diagnosis. It’s important to know what causes your neck pain and all of the other associated symptoms. You could have more than one cause happening at once and a thorough examination is needed to get the most effective treatment.
Once a diagnosis is determined, your doctor will carefully examine all of the treatment options and discuss them with you. Together you’ll create a treatment plan that works for you and your lifestyle and also gets you feeling better as soon as possible. The following are some of the treatments you may receive. There is no way to pinpoint which ones will be used until a diagnosis is established.
- Chiropractic Treatment
- Targeted Exercises and Physical Therapy
- Trigger Point Injections
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- Medial Branch Blocks
- Facet Joint Injections
Do you have any questions about Neck Pain management? Would you like to schedule an appointment with top pain management doctors in Downtown, Brooklyn, and Lower Manhattan? Please call our office for a consultation and indicate which location you want to visit.
The information on this website is to provide general information. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive treatment advice. It is essential to consult a best-in-class pain management specialist in New York regarding ANY questions or issues. A thorough evaluation should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call your pain doctor to schedule a consultation.
Dr. Raj Raval, M.D.
- Board Certified
- Interventional Pain & Musculoskeletal Medicine Specialist
Education & training
- SUNY Downstate PMR Residency
- Rutgers University Fellowship