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You are here: Home > Pain & Injury Center > Neck Injuries > Neck Pain

Neck Pain

Neck Anatomy

The cervical spine is formed by seven square shaped bones called cervical vertebrae. The vertebrae are named beginning at the top with C1, C2, C3, down to C7. Together with the supporting ligaments and the overlying neck muscles, the cervical vertebrae form a spinal canal that surrounds and protects the spinal cord. The vertebrae have gelatin-like cushions between them called intervertebral discs which function as shock absorbers.

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Neck pain causes:

  • Cervical strain is due to spasm of cervical and upper back muscles. It may result from injury or due to physical stress of everyday life, including poor posture, muscle tension from anxiety and high stress level or from poor sleeping habits.
  • Cervical spondylosis is due to wear and tear of the cervical spine that occurs with aging. It results in the gradual narrowing of the disc space and growth at the edges of the bone (bone spurs). These spurs can put pressure on the surrounding tissue and pinch the nerves in the neck.
  • Cervical discogenic pain is the most common cause of the neck pain. It is caused by the changes in the structure of the intervertebral discs.

Symptoms

  • Pain, stiffness and tightness in the neck, upper back and shoulder muscles
  • Limited ability to move the neck due to pain and stiffness
  • Pain may refer to the arm and/or shoulder
  • Headaches (known as cervicogenic headache)
  • Numbness or abnormal sensation of the arm or shoulders
  • Pain is often worsened by holding the neck in prolonged position such as occurs with driving, reading or working at a computer

Neck Pain Tests:

  • Your health care provider will usually perform the following physical exam:
  • Evaluation of the range of motion (the ability to move the head in every direction)
  • Testing for neck and arm strength
  • Feeling for muscle tightness

In some cases, further testing, such as X-ray, CT scan, MRI or electrodiagnostic testing (EMG) may be recommended. The need for these tests depends on person’s symptoms, medical history and examination.

Treatment

  • Pain control with over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol or NSAIDS (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.) is helpful for mild to moderate neck pain. Prescription pain medicine may be necessary for severe pain.
  • A prescription muscle relaxant such as Flexeril, Robaxin or Soma
  • Cold therapy
  • Heat therapy
  • Massage
  • Range of motion and stretching exercises
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) uses a mild electric current to decrease pain and increase mobility and strength.
  • Cervical traction involves the use of weights to realign or pull the spinal column back into alignment.
  • Ultrasound to provide deep heat to muscles and ligaments
  • Trigger point injections of a local anesthetic medicine into the area of the muscle that is tight and tender (“trigger point”)

Prognosis

Approximately ten percent of adults have neck pain at any one time. The majority of patients, regardless of the cause of pain, recover with conservative therapy. Surgery is very rarely needed

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Corflex Cryotherm Neck Wrap with 1 Gel Wrap
Corflex Cryotherm Neck Wrap with 1 Gel Wrap
Our Price: $21.99

The Corflex Cryotherm Neck Wrap's anatomical design provides concentrated cold/hot therapy for the cervical spine.
Thermotech Automatic Digital Moist Heating Pad
Thermotech Automatic Digital Moist Heating Pad
Our Price: $40.00

The Thermotech moist heating pad provides an inexpensive, safe and effective option to treat many forms of pain. This heating pad will bring comfort and relaxation to your aches.
Ultima 20 Tens
Ultima 20 Tens electrotherapy device
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The Ultima 20 features a mode device with dual channels and three wave forms.
The Vista® Collar
Aspen Vista® Cervical Collar
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The Vista features innovative height adjustment technology.
Premium Portable Ultrasound Machine
Premium Portable Ultrasound Machine
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The PM2000 generates deep heat within body tissues for pain relief, and to treat muscle spasms, and joint contractures, but not for the treatment of malignancies.
Aspen Vista MultiPost Collar
Aspen Vista MultiPost Collar
Our Price: $95.00

The Vista features innovative height adjustment technology.
Posture Pump® Cervical Spine Trainer® Model 1000
Posture Pump® Cervical Spine Trainer® Model 1000
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Employs Expanding Ellipsoidal Decompression® (EED®) through an expanding air cell which delivers up to 32 lbs of multi-vectored tractional force.
Ossur Miami J Advanced Cervical Collar
Ossur Miami J Advanced Cervical Collar
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The Miami J Advanced is based on the same scientifically proven principles as the Miami J® cervical collar, widely acknowledged to be the best C-spine immobiliser available.
DDS MAX CERVICAL TRACTION COLLAR
DDS Max Cervical Traction Collar
Our Price: $428.00

The DDS 100 consists of a unique and patented, expandable Traction Collar (rear section), Fixed Chin
Collar (front section) and Hand Air Pump.
   
 

Please visit these product links for additional treatment options.


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