When it comes to neck pain, when should you seek professional treatment? It is not uncommon to try to ease the pain with techniques you can apply yourself, but there does come a point when you have to leave it to an expert, a spine surgeon who spent years studying and administering treatments for neck and back pain.
Chronic neck pain could be more than a muscle strain. The discs that are nestled between each vertebra can develop cracks, and the nucleus, which is the gel-like substance inside, can come out and cause issues.
In this article, we give you compelling reasons to seek professional neck pain treatment from an orthopedic spine surgeon.
For an Accurate Diagnosis
To accurately determine the cause of neck pain, a spine doctor can do a series of exams and tests to pinpoint the source. As said earlier, neck pain could be due to a muscle strain, herniated discs, degenerative conditions, or a pinched nerve. Based on a review of your medical history, the doctor may use imaging tests such as an MRI, electromyogram, and nerve conduction tests to arrive at a definitive diagnosis. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis is crucial for developing an appropriate and effective treatment plan for neck pain.
For a Tailored Treatment Plan
Each person’s neck pain is unique, and what works for one individual may not be suitable for another. An orthopedic spine surgeon can develop a personalized treatment plan based on your specific diagnosis, the severity of pain, and lifestyle factors and preferences. Some treatments, such as surgery, can severely impact aspects of your lifestyle, especially recovery and rehabilitation, and an alternative, such as pain injections, maybe a better option in managing the pain.
For Expertise in Pain Management
Pain management techniques can be effective at helping control and manage acute and chronic pain conditions related to spinal disorders. Orthopedic spine surgeons have specialized knowledge and experience managing pain and can offer a range of pain management strategies, including selective nerve root block, cervical epidural steroid injections, facet injections, medial branch nerve blocks, and radio frequency ablation, which are capable of providing substantial relief from neck pain without resorting to surgery.
To Avoid Complications
Ignoring or improperly managing neck pain can lead to potential complications. For example, untreated conditions like cervical disc herniation or spinal stenosis can lead to decreased mobility and function, abnormal posture, muscle weakness and atrophy, impaired work and daily functioning, and nerve compression and radiculopathy – where pain, numbness, and weakness spread to the arms.
For Neck Rehabilitation and Strengthening
Neck pain often benefits from rehabilitative exercises and strengthening techniques. Neck surgeons often work with other healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists, who can guide specific exercises that target the neck and the surrounding areas and help strengthen the muscles supporting it. They can ensure that you perform these exercises correctly, maximizing their therapeutic benefits.
To Reduce Over reliance on Pain Medication
Neck pain doctors can offer interventions to manage your neck pain that does not involve medication. These may include heat or cold therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), ultrasound, manual therapy techniques, and acupuncture. These alternative therapies can complement conventional treatments and contribute to pain relief and improved neck function. Emphasizing non-medication-based interventions can provide patients with a more holistic approach to managing neck pain while minimizing overreliance on medication.
For Patient Education and Self-Care Guidance
A spine surgeon can educate you about your condition, including its causes, risk factors, and what you can do to better care for your neck. They can guide proper posture, ergonomics, and lifestyle modifications that can reduce strain on the neck and prevent future episodes of pain.
Neck Pain Treatment in Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, and Lapeer, Michigan
If you want your neck pain treated by a medical professional, choose Dr. Bradley Ahlgren at Ahlgren Spine. Dr. Ahlgren is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon with over 25 years of experience. He is a top spine surgeon with a reputation for excellence, and he can help you find lasting relief from neck pain.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ahlgren, call our office at (248) 215-8080, or use our online request form.