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Struggling with chronic neck pain? Dr. Calvert of the Institute of Orthopedics, Spine & Sports in Linden, NJ, is here to help. With years of experience, Dr. Calvert listens to understand your issues and offers personalized treatment to transform your life from pain to pain-free. Achieve a lifestyle without pain and restrictions with Dr. Calvert’s unique wellness plan.

Neck pain does not have to decrease your functioning or put a halt to your day-to-day activities. Contact our practice for an appointment with Dr. Calvert by dialing (973)-798-1787 within normal business hours and see how you can find help today.

There are many causes of neck pain, and it is vital to determine the cause of the pain to address the problem effectively. It is, therefore, advisable that neck pain be approached based on the causative factors to avoid misleading diagnosis or treatment. The following are common causes of neck pain:

Muscle strain is one of the most frequent causes of neck pain. This can result from overuse, poor posture, or sudden, awkward movements. Activities such as prolonged computer use, sleeping in an uncomfortable position, or lifting heavy objects without proper technique can strain the muscles and ligaments in the neck. Symptoms often include localized pain and stiffness, making it difficult to move the head.

Nerve compression occurs when nerves in the cervical spine are pinched or compressed. This can be due to herniated discs or bone spurs. Herniated discs happen when the soft material inside the disc pushes out through a tear, pressing on nearby nerves. Bone spurs, which are bony growths that develop along the edges of bones, can also compress nerves. This condition often leads to pain radiating down the arms, as well as numbness and tingling.

Some spectacular conditions like whiplash that is typical for car accident victims can harm neck muscles and ligaments intensely. This is known as whiplash and is normally a result of the head being thrown forward and then backward, which leads to strain and sprain injuries. Also, neck pain can be caused by sports injuries or any incident that may affect the cervical spine or other related structures such as falls.

Degenerative disc disease is a common type of condition that occurs due to the aging process of the human body it is a wear-and-tear disorder of the intervertebral discs present in the vertebral column. These discs also help to prevent vertebrae from rubbing against each other and hence getting damaged through wearing and tearing which may result in chronic neck pain when degenerated. This condition may make your child feel severe pain at some time or a prolonged ache which may be sharp during specific activities or positioning.

Neck pain may arise from arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis due to the degenerative changes in cartilage affected in the joint of the cervical spine. All this wear and tear increases the chance of getting bone spurs that may pinch the nerve and cause pain. One of the autoimmune diseases is rheumatoid arthritis which targets joints in the body including the neck region causing inflammation and pain in those parts.

Stenosis is a condition that affects the spinal canal’s width which may lead to the compression of the spinal cord or the nerves. Such a narrowing can be caused by the spurs on the bones, bulged intervertebral discs, and increased density of the ligaments and tumors. Common signs include pain, numbness, tingling sensations in the neck and arms, and a weak or numb arm. In extreme instances, the symptoms of spinal stenosis are manifested in bodily balance and coordination problems.

Numerous other medical concerns can cause a person to have neck pain. Another medical condition that gives symptoms of neck stiffness and pain is meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes sheltering the brain and spinal cord. Another condition that is marked by persistent pain and tenderness, which is fibromyalgia, can cause neck pain. Even bacterial and viral infections, tumors, and several types of inflammatory diseases affecting the bones and joints of the neck can result in neck pain that will need the services of a medical professional.

Neck pain can manifest in various ways, and understanding these symptoms can help in early diagnosis and treatment. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain and Stiffness: Continuous pain and even spikes of pain in the neck with a common incidence of limited rotation in the neck to look or turn to the back, with or without stiffness.
  • Radiating Pain: Pain that spreads to the shoulders, arms, or even hands, indicating potential nerve involvement. This type of pain is often sharp or burning and may worsen with specific movements.
  • Headaches: Cervicogenic headaches, which originate in the neck, are common and often present as a dull, aching pain that can radiate to the forehead, temples, or behind the eyes.
  • Numbness or Tingling: Sensations of numbness or tingling in the arms or hands, often due to nerve compression. This can be accompanied by a “pins and needles” feeling and may affect fine motor skills.
  • Reduced Range of Motion: Difficulty in moving the head and neck due to pain and stiffness. This can impact daily activities, such as driving, working, and even sleeping comfortably.
  • Muscle Weakness: Weakness in the muscles of the arms or hands, which can be a sign of nerve involvement. This may lead to a loss of grip strength or difficulty in performing tasks that require manual dexterity.

Hence, one must get a correct diagnosis to ensure that the right action plan is put in place. The Institute of Orthopedics, Spine, & Sports utilizes a comprehensive diagnostic approach, including:

A detailed assessment of the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and lifestyle factors is crucial in identifying potential causes of neck pain. The physical examination involves evaluating the range of motion, muscle strength, and reflexes. The doctor may also palpate the neck to identify areas of tenderness or muscle spasms.

Diagnostic imaging in the form of X-rays, MRI scanning, and CT scans helps to define the shape and kind of cervical deformities. One can be diagnosed by showing Bone spurs, Fractures, and Bone bad alignment through X-ray. MRI can provide heavily detailed pictures of soft tissues like discs, muscles, and nerves, that can enable the diagnosis of herniated discs or spinal stenosis. CT scans give pictures of the sagittal and axial planes of the spine since there are no overlying structures, still some may create artifacts.

Nerve conduction studies assess the function of the nerves and help identify nerve compression or damage. These tests measure the speed and strength of electrical signals traveling through the nerves. Abnormal results can indicate conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or peripheral neuropathy.

In some cases, blood tests may be conducted to rule out infections or inflammatory conditions that could cause neck pain. These tests can help diagnose conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, infections, or autoimmune diseases. Elevated levels of certain markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), can indicate inflammation or infection.

The Institute of Orthopedics, Spine, & Sports located in Linden, New Jersey provides conservative care options consisting of neck pain treatment to enhance the overall well-being of people. These strategies are therefore designed in a way that will suit every patient to provide efficient and quality solutions to meet their requirements. Here are some of the most effective options:

Neck pains require medications, and this forms a very crucial aspect in the management of the condition. Several medications may be administered depending on the type and etiology of the pain given that they are analyzed in a different light due to their unique actions on the symptoms and the suspected causes. The main types of medications include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): These drugs, for instance, include flavored nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are commonly referred to as ibuprofen and Naproxen. These are usually employed for inflammations and injuries such as arthritis, muscle strain, and the like. There are oral formulations and topical formulations for instances that require spot treatment.
  • Muscle Relaxants: Diazepam and, to a lesser extent, baclofen are examples of muscle relaxants commonly used in the treatment of neuropathic neck pain or other types of pain that include painful muscle spasms. These drugs assist in drawing down the muscle contraction tension and improve the range of motion of affected muscles during instances of acute muscle strain or injury.
  • Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen can provide relief from mild to moderate pain. For more severe pain, prescription pain medications may be necessary. These medications help manage pain levels, allowing patients to engage in daily activities with less discomfort.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are strong anti-inflammatory drugs that can alleviate inflammation and pain in any affected body part. These are usually advised to be taken for a short period of time to help relieve symptoms over the short term of chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or a minor muscle spasm.

Injection therapies as a non-surgical method of addressing neck pain have been confirmed to be efficient. We offer several types of injections, each targeting specific causes of neck pain:

  • Epidural Steroid Injections: These injections involve administering corticosteroids directly into the epidural space around the spinal cord. This helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain, particularly in cases of nerve compression or spinal stenosis. The injection provides targeted relief, reducing pain and swelling in the affected area and improving mobility and function.
  • Facet Joint Injections: Facet joint injection entails administering a corticosteroid agent and a local anesthetic agent into the facet joint within the cervical spine. These are passing joints that are found between the vertebrae and they are known to swell causing pain. The injection assists in decreasing inflammation and thus the pain and assists the patient with chronic in the neck area. This treatment is particularly suitable for the treatment of arthritis and other degenerative joint disorders.
  • Trigger Point Injections: These injections target specific areas of muscle spasm and pain, known as trigger points. A local anesthetic, sometimes combined with a corticosteroid, is injected into these points to relieve pain and improve muscle function. This treatment is especially useful for patients with myofascial pain syndrome or chronic muscle tension. By targeting the precise location of pain, trigger point injections can provide significant and lasting relief.
  • Botulinum Toxin Injections: Botulinum toxin injections, commonly known as Botox, can be used to treat chronic neck pain and muscle spasms. The toxin helps relax the muscles and provide pain relief by blocking nerve signals that cause muscle contractions. This treatment is particularly beneficial for patients with chronic muscle spasticity or dystonia, conditions that cause persistent muscle contractions and pain.

Neck pain is a clinical condition that can be treated through regenerative medicine, this is a formal specialization that exploits the body’s healing system. Some of the up-to-date and effective techniques that are offered at our clinic include platelet-rich plasma therapies. PRP entails the use of the patient’s blood where their platelets are concentrated and then injected in the targeted area to facilitate healing as well as reduce pain.

Neck pain is a well-studied condition that can significantly impact various aspects of life. Our clinic offers a comprehensive range of non-surgical solutions to prevent and treat neck pain effectively. Our services include medication management, clinical injections, regenerative medicine, and lifestyle modifications, all delivered with a patient-centered approach that considers each individual’s unique needs.

Don’t let neck pain dominate your life. Take action today by calling us at (973)-922-9515 to make an appointment. Through the expertise and dedication of our staff, you can find relief from pain and resume a comfortable, pain-free life.