Neck pain can last a couple of days or continue on for years. How long you experience pain and the severity of pain often depends on what is causing your neck pain. Some common causes include personal injury, muscle strain, age, herniated disc, fibromyalgia, or stress.
Comprehensive pain management is an essential next step when pain symptoms are not resolving on their own, regardless of what may be causing your pain. To learn more about treatment options, causes, and symptoms use the resource buttons below. If you are ready to schedule a consultation with a neck pain specialist, use our
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this office. I was helping my mom find a place for her arthritis pain, and I explained to them how bad it was. They were able to schedule me the same week! That's almost impossible at any doctor's office...and then add COVID..... I was thrilled. I took my mom, and everyone was absolutely so sweet and kind
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Dr. Rao. I can't find the words to tell you how much he has meant to me. I followed him from an old practice to his very new high tech office. They offer so many different areas of assistance to those with issues from nutrition to spinal surgery...and much more. His office is professional.
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Dr. Roa is such an amazing doctor! During my first visit he never tried to rush through my appt., he genuinely listened to all my concerns and then took his time to explain to me in detail all his recommendations and how they would help me.
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In the 3 years as a patient of Dr. Rao, it is my opinion that he is a phenomenal and extraordinary doctor. He keeps up to date with the latest treatment options, will sacrifice time no matter how many are in the waiting room to listen and explain. Dr. Rao has treated multiple patients with rare illnesses, and shows more empathy than any Dr. I’ve met.
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I have now been with Dr. Rao for 13 years. He is the most caring Doctor I have ever been to! Dr. Rao makes you feel very comfortable at all times. I would not want to go to any other Doctor... I go to the Hagerstown location, everyone is very nice
- Theresa R.
The entire staff from the folks at the front desk to the Nurse, to the Physicians Assistant to the scribe that records the visit for the doctor - (great idea so the Doctor can focus on the patient!!!)
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Completely the best care you could want the staff is so pleasant and caring and the doctors have true heart for healing, love being a patient here would give 10 stars if I could & absolutely the most caring during my procedure with Dr B
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Always friendly, courteous, and efficient service. From the ladies, who work the front desk, to the nurses and the doctors. I've always had a good experience with the Harrisonburg office in Virginia.
They scheduled my appointment very quickly so that I can get to help that I needed immediately instead of like most places having to wait two to three weeks to get in I called and was able to be seen the next day
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After transitioning from a pain and spine doctor in Columbia, MD.. The intake staff member at Pain and Spine Specialist made the scheduling a breeze. They were able to get me in within a week.
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Neck pain can be either:
- Acute (short-term) neck pain is very common. It can happen as a result of tense muscles, sitting in front of a computer for many hours, or sleeping in an awkward position.
- Chronic (long-term) neck pain is neck pain that lasts for 12 weeks or more. It usually occurs as a result of a combination of factors: muscular strain, poor posture, and disc-related conditions.
The neck region of the spinal column, also known as the cervical spine, is made up of bones, nerves, ligaments, muscles, and several vertebrae that connect the torso to the head and cervical discs that absorb daily shock. The neck holds the head up and allows for movement, such as turning left or right and looking up or down.
Neck pain usually stems from overuse and bad posture. Most people experience neck pain or stiffness at some point in their life; however, typically this is short-term pain that clears up on its own. A majority of those with neck pain will feel better in 1 to 2 weeks and 90% of people will have no pain after 8 weeks. However, for some, neck pain can last significantly longer and require professional neck pain doctor to help relieve the pain.
If your neck pain does not go away after several days, you should consider seeing a pain management doctor. We can help establish the cause of your chronic pain and create a tailored pain management plan to better reduce your pain.
The neck is designed to support the weight of the head and is therefore vulnerable to daily wear, which can lead to pain and restrict your full range of motion. Other conditions can also cause neck pain in individuals. Some common reasons for neck pain include:
- Injury: Trauma, such as the neck being suddenly forced to move or rebound in the opposite direction (i.e. whiplash) can leave someone feeling sore for days. Serious injuries, such as those involving sports, a fall, or a car crash, are more likely to lead to spinal fractures and other issues that can cause long-term neck pain.
- Muscle Strain: This is one of the leading causes of neck pain. Sitting hunched over at a desk/computer for hours without changing positions can strain the muscles in the neck and create a sore or “stiff neck.” Another way to strain the neck muscles is by sleeping in the wrong position, sleeping someplace other than your bed, or using a pillow that does not offer enough head and neck support.
- Age: As people age, they are at a higher risk of wearing down their joints and cartilage. Degenerative diseases, like Osteoarthritis and Spinal Stenosis, are some of the leading causes of joint and cartilage damage. Osteoarthritis is the actual wearing down of the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones. This affects millions of people worldwide. Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces within your spine that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
- Herniated Disc: Also known as a bulging disc, a herniated disc occurs when the ‘inner jelly-like substance’ pushes out of the disc because of tears or defects in the outer cartilage layer. This puts pressure on the spinal nerves, causing pain. Herniated discs can develop anywhere along the spine, although it is seen more in the lower back or in the neck. Discs that are particularly susceptible to herniation are usually at the early stage of degeneration.
- Fibromyalgia: This is a condition that causes musculoskeletal pain all over the body, along with fatigue, sleep problems, difficulty with memory, and moodiness. About 4 million adults in the U.S. are affected by Fibromyalgia. People who are middle aged or older tend to be diagnosed more often with this condition than younger individuals.
- Stress: Stress can significantly increase tension in the body. This can cause the muscles in the neck to tighten and become sore as a result.
- Other Conditions: Some other health conditions that can lead to neck pain are Bone Spurs, Meningitis, and Cancer.
While anyone at any age can experience neck pain, there are certain groups of people who experience a higher risk for neck pain than others.
Neck pain does tend to occur more frequently in women than men and older populations. Neck pain is also found more often in those with jobs that require individuals to sit at a desk all day. This is because this work usually involves staring at a computer or being hunched over their work with very little movement throughout the day. Anyone who works in a hazardous job that can potentially result in injury ( i.e. construction workers) may develop neck pain from these “on-the-job” injuries.
Neck pain may either occur in a specific area of the neck, or it may radiate along nerves. For example, down your arm. When neck pain radiates, it can affect reflexes and muscle strength in the affected areas, and can even cause tingling sensations.
Some neck pain symptoms, or symptoms that coinside with neck pain, require urgent medical attention.
These symptoms include:
Overusing your neck is one of the leading causes of neck pain. By making little adjustments to your daily routine, you may be able to avoid any further pain caused by overusing your neck.
- If you are having to stand or sit for long periods of time at your job, be sure to use correct posture so that your body is aligned.
- Switch to a memory foam pillow or one that is specifically designed to support the neck and head. Also, try to sleep on your back or your side. Sleeping on your stomach or in contorted positions puts a significant amount of pressure on the spine.
- If possible, take breaks as often as you can at work and move around some to stretch the neck, shoulders, and back and improve circulation.
- If you carry a backpack then you need to be sure to use both straps to help balance the weight and not overly strain one side of your neck. Also, try to avoid loading any bags up with a lot of things that will weigh them down too much and pull on your neck as you carry them.
- Make sure to adjust your computer monitor and chair to appropriate heights to help maintain good posture, and don’t slouch over any laptops
Our neck pain doctors in Maryland are board certified and are dedicated to giving you a comprehensive exam that will aid in diagnosing the cause of your symptoms. Using advanced diagnostic techniques, our doctors will find out the reason for your pain, and then get you on the road to better health right away. Here are a few steps our physicians use when completing their comprehensive exams:
We provide a wide range of neck pain treatments. Treatment is highly individualized and will depend on the underlying cause of pain and severity of symptoms. Available treatments include:
Treatments We Offer
- Spinal Cord Stimulation
- Injection Therapies
- Medication Management
- Intrathecal Pumps
- Occipital Nerve Blocks
- Alternative Therapies
- Radio Frequency Ablation
- Trigger Point Injections
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- SGB Injection for PTSD
- MILD (Lumbar Decompression
- Minuteman Spinal Fusion
- Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
- Lumbar Sympathetic Block
- Stellate Ganglion Blocks
- HA Injections
Condition We Treat
At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of physicians and nurse practitioners are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your pain. We believe that all patients should have access to quality care, and that is why you can find us conveniently located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.