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Neck Pain

Find a Neck Pain Doctor Near You

Most people experience neck pain at least once in their lives. Any anomaly, inflammation, or damage to the bones, connective tissues, and muscles of your neck can lead to pain in this area.

Typically, neck pain is produced by overuse, poor posture, or sports injuries. It usually goes away easily with rest, physical therapy, and medication, but in some cases, it can last for several weeks. If that’s your case, you may need to visit a neck pain doctor near you.

When to see a pain specialist
If you have severe pain with no obvious cause and it lasts more than a week, or if it radiates to your limbs and comes with headache or numbness.

Warning signs
Numbness, headache, weakness, high fever, nausea, loss of mobility, coordination problems. If your pain is related to an important injury, like a fall or an accident.

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What Causes Neck Pain?

Typical causes
Common neck pain is often caused by poor posture while working or sleeping, injuries, or muscle strains.

Related conditions
Other causes of neck pain are rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, osteoarthritis, herniated discs, fibromyalgia, and osteoporosis.

Age-related causes
With age, the cervical discs in your neck get thin. This adds stress to the bones, which puts pressure on the nerves.

Treating Chronic Neck Pain

Interventional pain management approaches can help you ease your neck pain. What makes this type of pain management unique is that it uses procedures that focus directly on what’s causing the pain.

Defining the best treatment plan for your neck pain depends on several factors. In our neck pain clinics, our neck pain specialists analyze your medical history, perform a physical exam and, in some cases, even perform other tests before reaching a conclusion. One therapy they may recommend are injections.

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Important Facts About Injections

Cortisone injections

Cortisone works by reducing inflammation in the affected area.

Facet joint injections

Used to treat pain in the joints that connect the bones in the spinal cord.

Epidural steroid injections

Often used to treat neck pain produced by a pinched nerve.

FAQ About Neck Pain and Injections

What are the most common underlying causes of neck pain?

You may have one or several conditions that are causing your neck pain. Sometimes, there’s no evident cause. However, you can find a good neck pain doctor near you to help you manage the pain. If you are in NJ or PA, our Premier specialists are here for you.

It is important to properly diagnose your neck pain to create an effective way to treat it.

Rheumatoid arthritis:
RA is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when your immune system attacks your own body’s tissues. It affects the lining of the joints (synovium), producing severe joint pain. This condition may also produce headaches, stiffness, and weakness.

Meningitis is a serious disease in which the meninges, the membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord, are infected and inflamed. One of its common symptoms is neck pain and stiffness, which may appear along with headaches, fever, light sensitivity, and others.

Unlike Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, Osteoarthritis or OA is a degenerative condition, and it’s more common among older people. It results from the deterioration of the joints and can affect the neck. Symptoms can include neck pain, stiffness, and headaches. Neck pain may also radiate to the arm or shoulder.

Herniated Discs:
It is a condition where the discs connecting the vertebrae bulge, and their gelatinous center ruptures, creating a hernia. This can happen because of an injury or disc deterioration. The herniated disc can push the nerves causing neck pain, and other types of pain, like headaches and lower back pain.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that causes chronic pain, fatigue, and other problems. The causes of this disease are still unknown. Neck pain is a very common symptom of fibromyalgia. Other symptoms include widespread pain, constant tiredness, some cognitive problems (like difficulty staying focused), depression, and anxiety.

Bones tissues are constantly breaking down and regrowing. But as you age, bones may deteriorate faster than they regenerate. We know this as osteoporosis, which makes bones more porous and fragile. Because of this, you can suffer compression fractures of the spine, which may pinch the nerves, producing neck pain and back pain.

Cervical Stenosis:
Frequently, this condition results from aging-related degeneration. The spinal discs, which are located between the bones of the spine, can dry out. This reduces the space between the vertebrae, decreasing the ability of the discs to absorb shock. These degenerations contribute to the development of bone spurs that compress the nerves. Symptoms include neck pain, back pain, numbness, balance problems, weakness, and tingling.

Muscle strains:
You may have a muscle strain because of several causes, like overuse, poor work, or sleeping postures.

How does whiplash produce neck pain?

Whiplash occurs when the neck rapidly bends forward and backward. These movements are called hyperextension and hyperflexion and are common during car accidents. As a result, the neck tissues get stretched and torn.

Whiplashes may damage soft tissues and also affect facet joints. This may cause a herniated disc, which can produce pain in the neck.

Are there other symptoms associated with neck pain?

Neck pain may occur along with other symptoms, which vary according to the underlying cause.

You may also feel stiffness, tenderness, tingling, pulsations, burning, and difficulty moving.

Other symptoms include headaches, dizziness, and pain that radiates to the arms and shoulders. It is sometimes accompanied by low back pain.

What are some treatments for neck pain?

  • Conservative treatment options include rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy.
  • Non-invasive procedures include injections. These are performed on an outpatient basis with the help of an X-ray to inject the medication correctly.
  • Neck surgery.
  • Advanced procedures for chronic pain like spinal cord stimulation.

How do injections work to treat neck pain?

Often, treatment plans for pain management involve interventional procedures as well as other approaches, such as prescription medication and physical therapy.

Injections offer pain relief for some time. Some patients need to have more than one injection to find better results, but this depends on each patient.

  • Cortisone injections. These injections consist of a mixture of cortisone and a local anesthetic, which is injected directly into the affected area. Cortisone works by reducing the inflammatory response to whatever is causing the pain. This type of injection can help relieve neck pain when it’s produced by stained muscles or pinched nerves.
  • Facet joint injections. If you have joint pain in the neck produced by inflammation or irritation of the joints that connect your vertebrae, one of our neck and back pain doctors may recommend facet joint injections. This combination of local anesthesia and corticosteroids is injected directly into the affected joint.
  • Cervical epidural steroid injections. These are injected in the area of the spine known as epidural space. Epidural injections are usually performed to relieve pain produced by inflammation around the nerves in the neck. Conditions like osteoarthritis can cause this.

In which cases do doctors recommend injections for neck pain?

This depends on the nature and duration of your pain, as well as other factors. Usually, neck pain specialists recommend pain injections when traditional approaches like medication and physical therapy haven’t worked.

How effective are injections for neck pain management?

Several studies have proved the effectiveness of injections, such as epidural injections, to treat neck pain. Most of them show that at least 50% of the evaluated patients find relief with this kind of procedure.

However, the effects of pain injections are temporary. Duration varies in each patient. For some, pain relief may last for several weeks and months, for others, it may last for up to a year.

At our neck pain treatment centers, our specialists often use this therapeutic approach, along with other strategies, like physical therapy and exercise, in order to address the cause of the pain.

The doctor may also recommend you to have several sessions of injections for better results. You may have up to 3 injections a year.

Am I a good candidate for injections?

Most people can benefit from injections.

However, your pain doctor needs to fully understand your medical history before recommending this or any other therapy. You should inform them if you take any medication (especially blood thinners), also if you have diabetes, any infection, or allergies.

If you have diabetes, make sure your blood sugar levels are under control before the procedure and monitor them closely afterward as well.

Do injections to treat neck pain have side effects?

Side effects are very rare.

Nevertheless, there’s a possibility of side effects, such as pain in the injected area, elevated blood sugar, flushing, insomnia, gastritis, and infection. These side effects are temporary.

Can I repeat shots if required?

You can have several sessions of injections. You should discuss the number of injections with your doctor.

Does this procedure require preparation?

Preparation for each one of these injections may vary, which is why your doctor will give you specific instructions before the procedure.

However, because all of them use a local anesthetic, most cases require you to avoid food for some hours.