Odessa Neck Pain Doctor

When the epithet “a pain in the neck” becomes literal, you understand why the phrase means constant annoyance. Neck pain is debilitating and may impede your ability to work or participate in normal activities. If your neck pain lasts for more than a few days, contact an Odessa neck pain doctor right away.

Make an appointment as soon as possible if your neck pain includes headaches, weakness, tingling, or numbness. If neck pain results from an auto accident, sports injury or other trauma, seek medical attention from a skilled Odessa doctor immediately.

Neck Pain Causes

Neck pain results from various causes, and receiving an accurate diagnosis from an Odessa neck pain doctor is crucial. Common causes of neck pain include:

  • Arthritis
  • Cervical disk herniation
  • Compressed nerves
  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Muscle strain
  • Tumor
  • Whiplash – usually resulting from a rear-end motor vehicle accident

Most neck pain lasts less than a month. If neck pain lasts three months or longer, it is considered a chronic condition.

Risk Factors

Anyone may develop neck pain, but certain conditions or activities increase the risk of a neck issue. These include:

  • Poor posture
  • Excess weight
  • Extensive computer use
  • Repetitive activities
  • Smoking

Most of these activities put additional stress on the cervical spine, the area supporting the neck. Smoking affects bone density, and has a negative effect on disks and ligaments. Over time, dried, tough disks and ligaments can result in neck and back pain.

How an Odessa Neck Pain Doctor Can Help

The doctor performs a physical examination and assessment. The patient’s medical history is obtained, including when the pain started, the type of pain – ache, shooting or sharp- and what type of movement or action makes the pain worse.

The doctor will also seek information about the patient’s job or hobbies, to see if those activities could adversely affect the neck.

Diagnostic tests used to pinpoint the cause of neck pain include:

  • X-rays
  • MRIs
  • CT scans
  • Electromyography – performed when a nerve issue is suspected

The doctor may also take a blood sample in case an infection or other condition contributes to the neck pain.

Neck Pain Treatment

Many patients with neck pain respond to conservative treatment. Such treatment involves over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) for pain relief, along with heat and ice treatment, physical therapy, and perhaps temporary neck bracing. The doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant. Special exercises for strengthening neck muscles are also beneficial to avoid a recurrence.

For many patients, a TENS unit – Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation- help relieve neck pain. This device delivers small, pain relieving electrical impulses to the affected area. Patients who do not respond to conservative treatment or TENS sessions may benefit from steroid injections into the muscles, nerve roots, or joints for pain relief.

Surgery is generally a last resort for neck pain patients, but is necessary in some instances. If the neck pain results from nerve compression because of a herniated disk, removal usually offers complete pain relief. A patient suffering from degenerative disk disease has vertebrae pushing against each other, creating tremendous pain from “pinched” nerves.

Although these surgeries require hospital stays and the wearing of a neck brace during the recuperation period, once healed, the pain is gone and the patient eventually resumes a normal life.

Contacting an Odessa Neck Pain Doctor

If you are suffering neck pain, contact an Odessa neck pain doctor today to make an appointment for an examination. Skilled doctors can help explain your pain and provide options for treatment as soon as possible.