The flexibility of your cervical spine leaves it vulnerable to pain and injury, but Omar H. Henriquez, MD, at Melbourne Spine in Melbourne, Florida, has pain management solutions to ease your symptoms. No matter what’s causing your neck pain, Dr. Henriquez can effectively diagnose and treat your condition with safe and effective methods that avoid the use of dangerous pain medications, like opioids. For more information on treating neck pain, call Melbourne Spine or schedule an appointment online today.
Your cervical spine begins at the top of your upper spine and ends just beneath your skull. It contains only seven small vertebrae, but it supports the full weight of your head, which can weigh up to 12 pounds. The neck is one of the most flexible regions of your spine.
In addition to the seven vertebrae that protect your spinal cord, your neck also has nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. While this complex design creates a strong and mobile structure, it’s also extremely susceptible to the injuries, inflammation, and stiffness — all of which can lead to neck pain.
Neck pain can develop for several reasons, but especially because of strain and muscle tension. This type of neck pain is often the result of poor posture while sitting at your desk for prolonged periods, improper sleeping positions, or experiencing a forceful and sudden head movement.
Other causes of neck pain include:
You might also experience neck pain because of disc degeneration in the cervical spine that’s related to osteoarthritis or spondylolysis.
In rare cases, neck pain can indicate tumors, spinal cancer, abscesses, or infections. Neck pain can also be a sign of a medical emergency like meningitis or a heart attack.
To identify the cause of your neck pain, Dr. Henriqueztypically performs a comprehensive physical exam, discusses your symptoms, and reviews your personal and medical history. Depending on your symptoms, he might also recommend digital screenings, like X-rays, an MRI, or an electromyography (EMG), and nerve conduction studies.
Once Dr. Henriquez identifies the source of your neck pain, he develops a holistic pain management strategy to ease your symptoms. This approach typically includes:
Dr. Henriquez might also suggest transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or radiofrequency ablations (RFA). These innovative therapies use small electrical currents delivered to specific areas of your body to provide pain relief.
To learn more about neck pain diagnosis and management, call Melbourne Spine or schedule an appointment online today.