Find Neck Pain Relief at Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic
Neck pain affects at least 45% of today’s working population, which means that many of us will experience it at some point in our lives. While most of these cases are minor and heal over time, some neck pain is severe and lasts long enough to require medical attention. The experienced physicians at Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic specialize in diagnosing and treating varying levels of neck pain and can help you find relief in order to return to your normal activities.
What Causes Neck Pain?
While there are numerous conditions that can result in neck pain, the most common causes are:
- Pinched Nerve (Radiculopathy)
- Muscle Strain
- Abnormalities in the Bones or Joints
- Poor Posture
- Degenerative Disorders, Such as Arthritis
How Is Neck Pain Diagnosed?
Treatment to resolve pain successfully is dependent upon accurate diagnosis. This is completed by taking a thorough history of the patient, performing a comprehensive exam, and using a variety of diagnostic tools available at Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic. These tools include:
X-rays are radiation waves that pass through your body and create images of internal body organs, tissues and bone. It is especially useful for looking at neck bone alignment and detail.
CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography) Scan
A CAT scan is very similar to an X-ray in that the CAT scan uses X-rays to develop 3-D images of your body. It typically shows much better bone detail, and is a much more comprehensive test than the standard X-ray because it captures images of the body in slices from many different angles.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
The MRI scanner is a large donut-shaped piece of equipment that uses a magnet to create clear images of the body. It does this by creating a magnetic field, sending radio waves through the body, and then measuring the response with a computer. The images created by an MRI scanner are generally superior to other imaging methods since they provide a much more detailed view of the soft tissues inside the body.
A myelogram is a type of X-ray test. The difference between a myelogram test and a standard X-ray is that with a myelogram, a dye is injected into the spinal canal to help highlight the spinal cord and nerve roots. This test shows a high level of detail and is helpful in determining the causes of pressure on nerve roots such as a herniated disk, an injury or a tumor. For patients who have metal plates or screws in their spine, a myelogram may be preferable to a standard MRI or CAT scan.
EMG is performed to measure the electrical activity of muscles. This is important for determining whether a patient is having a problem related to specific nerves, the brain, the spinal cord or a particular muscle.
How Is Neck Pain Treated?
Treatment of neck pain depends on the doctor’s diagnosis. Most cases of neck pain are related to the musculoskeletal system and can be healed with rest, heat/ice therapy, medication, physical therapy, massage, and/or activity modifications. A neck collar may be used to help the healing process.
While surgery is an option for neck pain treatment, it is rarely a physician’s first choice for treatment. Surgery is considered a last resort once all other methods of treatment have been exhausted, unless there is convincing evidence that surgery is the best way to remove the cause of the pain.