Dunedin Neck Pain Doctor

The aching and swelling related to neck pain makes you miserable and unable to work or perform daily tasks. For most people, neck pain is temporary, resolving within several weeks. If your neck pain does not improve within a few weeks, or affects your ability to function, seek medical treatment.

A Dunedin neck pain doctor can help put you on the road to recovery and back to resuming normal activities. If the neck pain resulted from any type of trauma, get immediate medical help from a skilled doctor.

Neck Anatomy

The neck, or cervical spine, is a delicate structure for the enormous weight it carries. That weight is both literal – the average head weighs 10 pounds – and figurative, as it is through the neck and spinal cord that message go to the brain and then out to other parts of the body.

The neck consists of seven vertebrae, along with nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Most neck pain results from muscle strain or tendon or ligament sprain.

Conditions Causing Neck Pain

Various conditions may result in neck pain. These include:

  • Arthritis
  • Bone or joint abnormalities
  • Degenerated disks
  • Herniated disks
  • Infection
  • Tumors
  • Whiplash

Neck Pain Risk Factors

Some people are at higher risk of developing neck pain than others. Neck pain risk factors include:

  • Excess weight
  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive actions
  • Smoking – disks and ligaments may dry out from the effects of smoking, leading to injury down the road.

People whose jobs include a lot of repetitive activity are also prone to back problems. A doctor can suggest stretches and exercises to lessen the impact and wear-and-tear of these actions.

Modern technology makes a considerable contribution to the rise in neck pain. Hunching over computers for hours each day or cradling a cellphone between the neck and shoulder for long periods are both excellent ways to cause neck pain.

So is watching TV for a considerable time in a neck straining position. For these reasons, neck pain is just as common among young adults as it is older people.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The doctor performs a physical examination and takes a medical history to help determine the source of the neck pain. Diagnostic tools include X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs and an EMG for nerve function evaluation. If an infection is suspected, the doctor will order blood testing. An individual treatment plan is then devised.

Many patients respond well to conservative treatment, including the use of heating pads, massage and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve pain and inflammation.

The doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants for temporary use, and sleeping medication if the neck pain is depriving the patient of a good night’s rest. If test results indicate infection, appropriate antibiotics are prescribed.

Because patients with neck pain often experience recurrences, the doctor will recommend specific neck exercises and stretching for the long term. These exercises help strengthen neck muscles and lessen the odds of neck pain recurrence.

Contacting a Doctor

Most patients experiencing neck pain will not require surgery. In some cases, surgical procedures are the only way to offer permanent relief. Minimally invasive surgery is an option for many severe neck pain sufferers. If you suffer from neck pain, call a Dunedin neck pain doctor today and arrange for a consultation.