Neck Pain is provoked by irritation of the nerve structures in the cervical spine. Most often, irritation is caused by compression of the root by protrusion or disc herniation, or, by stenosis (bone growths), which are the results of degenerative-dystrophic changes in the neck.
Cervical radiculopathy (nerve root compression) is the damage or disturbance of nerve function that results of one of the nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae is compressed. Damage to nerve roots in the cervical area can cause pain and the loss of sensation along the nerve’s pathway into the arm and hand, depending on where the damaged roots are located. The pain can be both deep and dull, and acute with backache along the nerve.
Disc herniation. Pressure on the nerve root by the herniated disc causes numbness and weakness in the area of its innervation. When it becomes inflamed, a dull or sharp shooting pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, fingers is added to the above symptoms.
Stenosis (bone spurs, bone growths). In older people, degenerative processes in the spine can lead to the formation of osteophytes near the nerve roots. Increasing over time in size, they begin to press and irritate the nerve root. Usually they grow in the area of foraminal openings – the places where the nerve roots exit the spinal column. An irritated nerve root compressed by an osteophyte causes the same clinical picture as a disc herniation – pain in the neck, numbness and weakness in the arm.
We provide up to 20 different epidural steroid injections weekly.
We have the largest experience in their application in Ukraine.
Neck pain usually involves one or more of the following symptoms:
Stiff neck (Soreness and difficulty moving the neck, especially when trying to turn the head from side to side) / Sharp pain (stabbing or stinging, typically occurs in the lower neck) / General soreness in a broader area or region of the neck (tender or achy, not sharp) / Radicular pain can radiate along a nerve from the neck into the shoulder and arm. The intensity can vary and this nerve pain might feel like it is burning or searing) / Cervical radiculopathy – Neurological deficits—such as problems with reflexes, sensation, or strength—may be experienced in the arm due to nerve root compression. Cervical radiculopathy may also be accompanied by radicular pain / Trouble with gripping or lifting objects if numbness or weakness goes into the arm or fingers / Headaches, when irritation in the neck can affect muscles and nerves connected to the head. Some examples include tension headache, cervicogenic headache, and occipital neuralgia.
Many cases of neck pain are diagnosed based on the patient’s medical history and physical exam.
When more information is need, advanced diagnostics may be needed to reach an accurate diagnosis.
MRI of the cervical spine is the “gold standard” for the diagnosis of cervical osteochondrosis.
In some cases, there is a need for radiography of the cervical spine, sometimes an EMG.
Neck pain treatment can vary from rest to physical therapy to surgery. If discomfort is due to muscle spasms, treatment might include anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxers.
In rare cases, surgery might be necessary.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – cope well with pain, remove inflammation.
Muscle relaxants – relieve muscle spasm, thereby reducing pain syndromes.
Vitamins of group B – promoting relaxation of the nervous tissue.
Paravertebral block with a steroid – Effective in relieving pain.
However, do not abuse it due to the side effects of steroids.
Orthoses – In case of pain, wearing fixing braces reduces the pain and promotes speedy recovery.
Physiotherapy – Massage, Physiotherapy, as well as apparatus physiotherapy (magnet, UVF, Amplipulse) are used for speedy recovery.
Spinal injections or blockages under tomographic control – With an acute pain syndrome, your doctor may suggest you a spinal injection of a hormonal anti-inflammatory drug in combination with a local analgesic.
Epidural blockade reduces inflammation and relieves pain. Please note that tomographic control ensures the correctness of the procedure and increases its effectiveness. A procedure performed without control is most often ineffective.
Surgery – In rare cases, there is a need for various surgical interventions. We provide endoscopic cervical surgeries for our patients.