As a neck pain doctor Frederick, MD residents trust from Pain and Spine Specialists may ask during an appointment, do you ever find yourself waking up in the morning and feeling an aching pain? As if you slept on it wrong, but the pain lasts all day? And then it lasts a couple of days or longer. Pretty soon, it doesn?t matter how you shift the pillows, the pain just lingers with you. Hunching over a desk at work day after day, or having poor posture can create a strain in your neck. This continuous strain eventually manifests itself into chronic pain.
At Pain and Spine Specialists of Maryland, Frederick, our physicians can determine the source of the pain, and create a treatment plan that is effective. But how do you determine if it is a passing pain, or a continuous one?
About Neck Pain
Neck pain can remain in just the neck, but it can also radiate down to your arms via the nerves. More serious symptoms can occur after an accident or if you have a history of cancer. If there is a sudden rushing pain after an accident, signs of any type of paralysis, or frequent numbness or tingling in the extremities should not be ignored, and addressed immediately. Our doctors can determine the best route to ensure the patient?s neck pain does not become debilitating.
First, the board-certified physicians perform a comprehensive physical exam and a thorough examination of the patient?s medical history. From there, they determine if any further diagnostic tests need to be performed such as x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. A Maryland neck pain doctor in Frederick from Pain and Spine Specialists, utilizes advanced diagnostic techniques to diagnose the pain, and prescribe progressive therapies to address the chronic neck pain.
PASS will create a highly individualized treatment plan for each patient, and will offer them a variety of treatments according to the diagnosis of the pain. Some therapeutic options we offer are:
- Injection therapy
- Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)
- Radiofrequency Ablation
- Trigger Point Injections
- Epidural Steroid Injections
Managing chronic neck pain doesn?t have to revolve solely on procedures like injections. If it fits with the regimen of care for the patient, our doctors may recommend a combination of specific medications in conjunction with injections to focus the treatment of pain.
Patients may walk into our doors in a significant amount of pain, and become interested in injection therapy when they hear about how it’s benefits. There are various types of injections, including cervical epidural steroid injections, lumbar epidural steroid injections, lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injections, trigger point injections, and facet injections. Here we have briefly defined how each of these injections differ based on the area they are placed:?
- Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections: cortison injections can reduce swelling and inflammation of the nerves. A needle is inserted into the deep tissues of the epidural space (area surrounding the spinal cord where nerves come out).
- Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections: steroids are injected into the fatty ?sleeve? of the epidural space in the lower back.?
- Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections: if the injection is going to be performed from the side where the nerve is present on the spine, it is referred to as a transforaminal injection, and a local anesthetic may be administered as well for comfort.
- Trigger Point Injections: the injection may consist of lidocaine, bupivacaine, or a corticosteroid, and is administered directly into the trigger point to reduce intensity and frequency of pain.
- Facet Injections: this kind of injection will be placed into one or more small joints located on each side of the spinal vertebrae. More than one injection may be needed to combat chronic pain.
Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)
After consulting with a patient and his or her struggles with pain, we may suggest spinal cord stimulation (SCS). Spinal cord stimulators include thin wires of electrodes and a small battery pack as a generator. The electrodes are placed between the vertebrae and spinal cord underneath the skin near the abdomen or backside. These stimulators enable the patient to send electrical impulses via a remote control when experiencing pain. The control and antenna are placed outside the body. Stimulators replace pain with a gentle tingling sensation (otherwise called paresthesia). Patients who are worried that this feeling will be uncomfortable may prefer newer devices that provide subperception that cannot be felt.
Also called ?rhizotomy?, radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure which utilizes heat to decrease to halt the transmission of pain. These waves essentially ?burn? the nerve that is causing pain, eliminating pain signals to the brain. The most common side effect of radiofrequency ablation is minor discomfort during the procedure and swell or bruising at the site of treatment. However, this approach can result in profound benefits and any side effects usually go away after a few days.
Speak With a Pain Doctor Today
Patients no longer need to deal with their chronic pain as a ?fact of life.? Call a MD neck pain doctor from the Pain and Spine Specialists of Maryland, so you can get the help you need in beginning a path to living a full, functioning life, without the hindrance of chronic pain.
Common Myths About Neck Pain
Neck pain is one of the most common ailments among adults, yet there are still so many misconceptions about it. Here are the most common myths a neck pain doctor Frederick, MD residents trust hears:
- Rest Will Relieve Neck Pain: It is understandable that many people assume that rest will resolve neck pain. While a little rest can make your neck feel better, you should rest too long. Lying around for more than a couple of days can actually make your neck pain worse. Inactivity can lead to muscle waste. That?s why your doctor may recommend physical therapy and light exercise.
- Neck Problems Are Caused By Old Age: Although it may seem like more senior citizens suffer from neck pain, the condition does not actually result from old age. Neck pain rather results from little movement and exercise. A younger person who is not physically active and hunches over a computer all day is just as likely to develop neck pain as an inactive elderly person.
- Only Physically Demanding Jobs Can Cause Neck Pain: While occupations that involve heavy lifting frequently cause neck pain, they are not the only jobs you can blame for neck pain. If you work in an office, you are also at risk of developing neck pain. It is important to sit straight up in your chair at all times to avoid neck pain.
- Only Major Accidents Result in Neck Pain: It does not take a severe accident to injure the structures in your neck. Even if you get into a fender bender on the road, you?re still at risk of suffering whiplash and should see a neck pain doctor in Frederick, MD as soon as possible. If you wait too long to seek treatment, your neck pain could get worse and be more difficult to treat.
- Neck Pain Doesn?t Cause Pain in Other Areas: This is not true. If you suffer from neck pain, it could migrate to other parts of your body such as your upper back or shoulder.
- Neck Pain is Genetic: Fortunately, most neck conditions aren?t hereditary. If your parent suffers from neck pain, it does not mean that you will too. However, poor lifestyle choices, such as poor posture, can be passed down, which may contribute to neck pain. To reduce the risk of neck pain, always practice good posture.
- You Just Have to Live With Neck Pain: If you have been dealing with neck pain for a while, you may feel frustrated and defeated. You may believe that nothing will ever relieve your pain and you?ll have to live with it forever. However, there are a wide range of treatment options for neck pain. A neck pain doctor in Frederick, MD can go over all your treatment options with you.