What Are the Best Treatment Options for Neck Pain?

treatment for neck pain

Does your neck hurt? Neck pain is fairly common, and often the result of something simple, like poor posture. It can also be caused by osteoarthritis or, rarely, a more serious medical issue. You may have chronic neck pain, or it may be an occasional problem, but either way, it can be frustrating and interfere with your enjoyment of life. What are the best treatment options for neck pain? There are a few options available to you.

Your first step, of course, will be getting a diagnosis. In order to provide treatment for neck pain, your doctor must understand what’s causing it.  Your doctor will perform a thorough exam and then discuss your pain with you. By asking questions about when your pain started, its exact location, how often it occurs, and other details, the doctor will be able to gain a more in-depth understanding of your particular pain. Your doctor may also order imaging tests like an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI. These steps will enable the creation of a unique treatment plan based on your history, your symptoms, and the cause of your pain. This plan may include some of the following options.

  • Immobilization: Using a soft collar, the neck is immobilized for a certain period to take pressure off of your cervical spine or allow your neck muscles to rest.
  • Pain medications: There are excellent medications to treat neck pain, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants. Your doctor can determine whether you need stronger pain medications and can help you manage them.
  • Physical therapy: Through PT, the connective tissues in the neck are strengthened, taking pressure off of your cervical spine and helping to preserve your neck’s range of motion.
  • Injections: Interventional injections, including epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, and medial branch blocks. These injections can help if your neck pain is caused by the compression of a sensitive nerve root. They typically combine a local anesthetic with a steroid in order to reduce the pain and long-term inflammation.
  • Alternative medicine: In determining how to treat a stiff neck, your doctor will want to consider all the tools available. In some cases, the best option for treating your pain may be acupuncture, chiropractic care, or a massage.
  • Home remedies: You may be able to relieve your neck pain with over-the-counter pain relievers or by alternating heat and cold for up to 20 minutes, several times a day. Once the pain is not as severe, your doctor or physical therapist may recommend gentle stretching exercises to help strengthen your neck and prevent or alleviate pain.
  • Surgery: In some situations, neck pain may require cervical spinal fusion, a diskectomy, disc replacement, or spinal surgery. In most cases, however, non-surgical intervention is a better avenue for the treatment of neck pain.

At Greater Maryland Pain Management, we’re committed to helping you overcome the pain that keeps you from living life to the fullest. Our board-certified, award-winning Interventional Pain Management physician has helped thousands of people with pain to significantly improve their quality of life, and we pride ourselves in treating each patient with the care and compassion we’d show our own loved ones. We have multiple locations and schedule appointments quickly, sometimes even on the same day, so call (410) 672-2255 or contact us for a consultation.