Does your neck pain make it hard to move?
Neck movement is an essential part of daily life. Driving, computer work, working out and even sleeping involves some neck moment. We don’t realize how much we use our neck until it becomes painful. One consequence of the mobility of the neck is susceptibility to injury. The complex arrangement of the trapezius, scalenes, levator scapulae, and sub occipital muscles make diagnosis challenging. In neck pain treatment, the first step involves identifying the specific structure generating the pain.
There are many structures in the neck that can cause pain including stretched ligaments, tight muscles, inflamed joints, pinched nerves, compressed discs and trigger points. The nerves that exit the neck innervate the arms and hands. Neck injuries can cause pain, numbness, tingling and pins and needles in the arms which can be confused with carpal tunnel syndrome. Neck pain can also result from infections, arthritis, vascular conditions, thyroid problems, bone disease and many more. Given the potential seriousness of neck pain, prompt evaluation is warranted.
Dr. Kevin Ward has worked with Division I athletes and sports injuries at Georgetown University. As a chiropractor and rehabilitation specialist, he is an expert in identifying specific problems and developing a treatment plan unique to each patient. While diagnosis of neck pain can often be done with in-office tests, more detailed imaging is sometimes required. When necessary, Dr. Ward will order and analyze x-ray, MRI, EMG, ultrasound or NCV to assist with diagnosis and treatment. Collaboration with orthopedists, primary care physicians, pain management specialists, dentists and physical therapists is sometimes warranted.
"For years I slept in an awkward position, and my neck pain kept getting worse. After several treatments and sound advice from Dr, Ward, I can sleep soundly again."
Does your neck pain radiate to the shoulder?
Neck and shoulder pain can arise from a variety of causes. The pain can be from a shoulder problem like rotator cuff syndrome, a neck problem like a cervical disc or a combination such as thoracic outlet syndrome or a pinched nerve in the neck. Successful neck and shoulder pain treatment hinges on proper diagnosis. The specific affected structure can often be identified through in-office testing, but may also require further diagnostic testing including x-ray, MRI, EMG or NCV testing. Neck and shoulder pain treatment involves restoring the proper muscle activation pattern through corrective stretches, soft tissue massage and gentle adjustments.
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