How To Choose A Pillow For Neck Pain
For neck pain sufferers, choosing the right pillow can be a key step toward living pain-free. The right pillow will depend on your individual needs. Well walk you through the most important considerations, including how to choose the best material, shape, and thickness for your individual sleeping style.
Herniated Disk Stenosis Or Degenerative Disk Disease
A headache caused by a pinched or inflamed nerve will often start with a stiff neck with pain that radiates to the shoulders or lower back and head. In general, there are three common causes of a pinched nerve in the neck associated with headaches: herniated disk, cervical spinal stenosis , or degenerative disk disease.
A herniated or ruptured cervical disk results from a crack or tear in the jelly-like disk between vertebrae that protrudes out and pushes on a nerve or causes inflammation of a nerve.
Cervical spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. It is sometimes caused by an inherited, naturally narrow spinal canal, more often it results from degenerative changes in the spine such as osteoarthritis. This can occur with repetitive injuries from sports, work accidents or poor posture, which can cause bone spurs or bony projections to grow narrowing the spinal canal.
Degenerative disk disease results from wear and tear on the spongy disks separating the vertebrae usually associated with aging. As with many tissues in the body, the disks can become compressed and less elastic allowing the bones to rub together causing pain.
Emergency Room For Whiplash
In some cases, patients who experience serious whiplash injuries choose to visit the ER after a car accident. Most hospital Emergency Rooms are designed to diagnose injuries and remedy any immediate medical emergencies. The ER can facilitate X-Rays, MRIs or other imaging services to detect broken or fractured bones. However, most ERs will require follow up treatment from a qualified Accident Doctor. The Emergency Room is generally not equipped to offer long term medical treatment and rehabilitation for car accident injuries.
Don’t Miss: What Mattress Is Good For Back Pain
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Back Pain
This depends on your condition or symptoms. If you have no obvious injury that would explain your pain, a good place to start may be to see a physiatrist a specialist in physical medicine. This type of doctor can diagnose back pain problems and determine whether physical therapy or other nonsurgical treatments may help you. A physiatrist may also refer you to an spine surgeon, pain management doctor or other type of back specialist if appropriate.
A spine surgeon who specializes in spine conditions can treat alignment problems and damage to bones or discs of the spine that may be causing back pain. The spine surgeon can also treat complex spine fractures and injuries to the nerves of the spinal cord. Some injuries or conditions may require treatment by an interdisciplinary team of orthopedic or neurologic spine surgeons, pain management doctors, neurologists and/or physical therapists.
In addition to physical damage caused by injuries or spine conditions, degenerative and autoimmune conditions can also create back pain. Rheumatologists treat low back pain and are especially interested in evaluating patients for possible inflammatory disease that can cause it, such as ankylosing spondylitis. Explore the content below to learn more.
Professional Orthopaedic Associates: Get Back To A Life Without Limits
Since 1985, we have been offering excellence in orthopaedic and sports medicine care. Our fellowship-trained spine surgeons, Dr. Jason Cohen and Dr. Benjamin Giliberti, have years of expertise in diagnosing and treating complex back, neck, and spine injuries and conditions. Together, they draw from this combined knowledge base to bring the very best to our spine patients.
Additionally, our surgeons value and are committed to ongoing professional education. They attend courses and proactively learn the latest procedures and surgical techniques. Our back, neck, and spine doctors also serve as thought leaders, lecturing and writing about orthopaedic treatment and care. Our surgeons are some of the most highly respected in our region.
You May Like: What To Do For Sudden Lower Back Pain
Reasons To See A Neurologist For Your Back Pain And Neck Pain
Surgery is not the final answer for back and neck pain.
Why? Well, put simply, one bad thing leads to another bad thing. Think of an injury. Injuring your ankle creates a weakness, which makes a future injury more likely. Similarly, I believe that one spine surgery frequently leads to more spine surgeries. Its a complex topic and there are several factors that contribute to the high frequency of reoperations amongst spinal surgery patients, the biggest being that most who undergo it arent actually candidates for the surgery.
This is not to say that surgery is never the answer. There are times in which IT IS, in fact, the best treatment and a second surgery is never needed. But, before you undergo the knife, you should first consult a specialist other than a surgeon specifically a neurologist.
Here are four main reasons why you need to see a neurologist for your back and/or neck pain before seeing a surgeon.
Watch For These Whiplash Symptoms
If you have never been involved in a car accident, especially a rear end collision, then you may not know what to expect. There are many car accident injuries that are similar to whiplash. However, you should never delay medical treatment after any car accident. Even minor symptoms such as pain or stiffness can lead to life changing medical conditions if left untreated. Regardless of the injury, please seek immediate medical attention for any of the following symptoms:
- Lasting pain or stiffness in the neck, spine or back. Pay attention if the pain worsens over time.
- You can have stiffness, tingling or numbness in your shoulders, arms or legs.
- Headaches that dont go away or get worse over time.
- Weakness or lack of energy
- Nausea, memory loss, dizziness or vomiting
What Kind Of Doctor Should I See For Neck And Shoulder Pain
An orthopedist is a specialist in the human musculoskeletal system, which includes the spine and the bodys joints, bones, ligaments, nerves, and tendons. This means that this doctor can help with both neck and shoulder pain, as well as pain in other areas of the body.
For neck and shoulder pain in particular, an orthopedist can diagnose the underlying cause of the pain, treat and help you manage the pain, help you with your posture and with avoiding pain in the future, and help improve your range of motion.
What Is The Relation Between Neck Pain And Headache
The common headaches causes are often related to neck issues. Headache can be a result of muscle tension and trigger points. The suboccipital muscles are located at the base of the skull. Their contraction can result in recurring migraines. The contraction of these muscles can be due to stress, depression, head injury, or anxiety. These muscle spasms can happen at any age but are more commonly seen in adults and teenagers.
When searching for a neck specialist near me, your results will provide many options. Keep looking until you find a pain doctor that uses the latest minimally-invasive treatments. Dont wait to get professional neck pain treatment. Prevent serious complications that may reduce your mobility and cause permanent damage. Contact the best sports injury doctor in NJ of Redefine Healthcare or visit one of the convenient locations in Union, Paterson, Clifton, and Edison, New Jersey.
Read Also: How To Heal Hurt Lower Back
What Can You Expect At Our Spine And Scoliosis Center
Our Spine and Scoliosis Center is designed to provide our spine patients with comprehensive education and exceptional care through the vast experience, training, and knowledge of our expert spine surgeons.
Having dedicated their practices to the specialized field of spine care, our spine surgeons are committed to offering the latest and most advanced surgical and nonsurgical treatment options, including reconstructive surgery. They understand that while surgery is sometimes the best treatment solution for one patient, it is not always the right treatment option for every patient as there may be another nonsurgical option that is more beneficial for that patient.
For instance, sometimes our spine specialists are able to prescribe a medication that can improve your condition without the need for spine surgery or recommend physical therapy, which can bring about gradual improvements that can help with pain management. Our specialists will work with you to understand your individual needs and recommend the best treatment option for you.
If our specialists believe that a type of spine surgery, such as disc replacement or reconstructive surgery, is the best option for you, they will educate you on the surgical process and what to expect during your recovery.
When To Worry About Neck Pain And When Not To
Tips, checklists, and non-scary possible explanations for terrible neck pain
We fear spine pain more than we fear other kinds of pain, especially when its severe and/or constant. Backs and necks seem vulnerable. And yet most spinal pain does not have a serious cause. The bark of neck pain is usually worse than its bite. This article explains how to tell the difference as well as possible when youre first starting to wonder just whats going on in there.
Please do seek care immediately if youve been in an accident or you have severe or weird pain or other symptoms obviously. This article is for non-emergencies. But if you have neck pain thats been starting to worry you, this is a good place to get some reassurance and decide whether or not to talk to a doctor.
Don’t Miss: Can Lying Down Too Much Cause Back Pain
Internists And Family Practice Physicians
Internists and family physicians are the most typical entry into the world of medical treatment. The second most common reason for a visit to your primary care doctor is back pain. These individuals have one of the most difficult jobs. These doctors have to know about heart disease, circulation, lungs, liver, kidneys, diabetes, infectious disease, as well as spine. They have the hardest job in medicine.
These docs might initially use medications and activity restrictions. If their treatment is not effective, they might refer to a physical therapist. Some may refer to chiropractors. Osteopaths may treat the problem themselves with manipulation and muscle techniques. No matter to which you go, if the problem is resolved, obviously there is no further need of treatment.
Other Tips For Neck Pain Sufferers
In addition to choosing the right pillow, you can reduce neck pain through lifestyle changes like adopting proper posture, taking stretching breaks, and generally being more active. People who suffer from neck pain should avoid shoulder bags, slouching, and long periods of sitting at the computer.
- Choose the Right Mattress: Your bodys overall position is influenced not only by your pillow, but also your mattress. Plusher mattresses allow your body to sink down further, meaning youll need a lower-loft pillow. The opposite holds true for firmer mattresses, which will require a higher pillow to maintain proper alignment of the neck and spine.
- Engage in Physical Therapy: From daily habits to more serious regimens, there are plenty of exercises you can do to relax your neck muscles and relieve strain on the neck, shoulders, and upper back. A certified massage therapist or chiropractor may also be able to help. Always consult a health professional before starting any kind of treatment.
- Use Ice or Heat: Many neck pain sufferers receive instant relief from a hot or cold compress, or from taking a warm shower. This may not cure your neck problems, but it can be a helpful short term solution.
Recommended Reading: How To Relieve Sharp Pain In Lower Back
What Are The Signs Of Neck Sprain Or Strain
Regardless of whether youve sprained or strained your neck, you should consider seeing one of our neck and spine doctors if you experience any of the following symptoms.
- Hard, knotted muscles in your neck and shoulders.
- A decreased range of motion.
- Tightness in the general neck-and-shoulder area.
- Stiffness as you go to look over your left or right shoulders.
- Headaches originating from the base of your skull and continuing to the front of your forehead.
Nonsurgical Treatment For Degenerative Disc Disease
Doctors at NYU Langone offer nonsurgical treatment to relieve back or neck pain caused by degenerative disc disease. Pain medication and physical therapy can manage symptoms and help the body adjust to the damaged disc. Together, these treatments can relieve pain and improve function, often long term.
Don’t Miss: Does Gas Cause Back Pain
Resolving Your Neck Headaches With Upper Cervical Care
Countless patients turn to upper cervical careto manage their neck migraine symptoms. After all, upper cervical chiropractic aims to resolve the most likely cause of your terrifying situation misaligned neck bones. Guided by the findings from the initial physical examination and digital imaging tests, your upper cervical doctor slowly adjusts the affected bones.
Its a precise and gentle process that aims to provide C1 and C2 adjustments that can hold for years. Then, with your neck bones gradually shifting back to their original alignment, you can successfully reduce the pressure on the nerves and brainstem. This also allows you to fix signal transmission problems that may be contributing to your pain.
Find an upper cervical chiropractic practitioner near you and schedule a consultation. This way, you can assess the degree of misalignment of your neck bones and start receiving adjustments to correct the problem.
For Pain Caused By Nerve Damage See A Neurosurgeon
If youre bothered by chronic pain in your arms or legs, youve probably thought a lot about how to get rid of that pain. You might have wondered what caused it. But you may not have considered that the cause of your pain may offer clues about the best way to relieve your pain.
For example, if your pain is caused by a tight or pulled muscle, or osteoarthritis, your primary care physician or an orthopedic specialist, such as an orthopedic spine surgeon, may well be able to treat and resolve your pain.
However, if your pain is caused by a pinched or damaged nerve, your best bet for relief may be a neurosurgeon. At Neurosurgery One, we are experienced not only at diagnosing the source of your pain, but treating and relieving pain caused by damage to the nerves.
Like bundles of electric wires, nerves transmit signals, including pain signals, to the brain. Irritation, such as with a pinched nerve, can disrupt the way those signals are transmitted, and the result can be ongoing and even intense pain.
Pinched nerves can be caused by:
- Repetitive motion
- Inflammation or pressure on a nerve root
- Pinched nerves can cause pain in the neck or lower back, and pain that radiates from the neck into the shoulder and arm.
Nerve pain has several characteristics that differentiate it from other types of pain. Those include:
- Radiation down arms and hands or legs and feet
Differences between neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons
- Total joint replacement
You May Like: How Much Ibuprofen For Back Pain
Its Difficult To Know Whats Causing Your Pain
Sometimes pain in the back or the neck is acute. It often results from an injury maybe you moved heavy furniture without warming up your muscles, you made a sudden movement working in the yard, or youre ill. Acute pain typically goes away on its own without treatment after a few days or weeks.
However, chronic pain lingers and persists for more than 12 weeks. It can be constant or it can come and go, but it typically requires some type of treatment.
Several things can cause back pain and neck pain:
- sedentary living
- kidney stones
Its important to see a medical professional because there are so many possible causes for your pain. A neurologist can help diagnose the source of your back pain, and recommend the best treatment approach, which may involve physical therapy, seeing a pain specialist, or consulting with a surgeon.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Neck Pain
Neck pain may be caused by trauma such as whiplash a sudden impact causing your head to jerk and thus tearing the muscles and tendons in your neck. People who play contact sports and athletes, in general, are much more prone to neck strain. However, neck pain may also be the result of a neck sprain, which is caused by the tearing of the ligaments in the neck attaching bones to one another.
Recommended Reading: How Can I Reduce My Lower Back Pain
Are You Looking For An Experienced Neck Pain Specialist Who Can Help You Relieve Your Pain Look No Further Than Modern Pain Management We Have Experienced Pain Management Doctors Who Provide A Variety Of Treatment Options For Neck Pain For More Information Please Call Us Or Book An Appointment Online We Serve Patients From Houston Tx Sugar Land Tx Pearland Tx Jersey Village Tx Missouri City Tx Stafford Tx And Richmond Tx
Many people suffer from neck pain, with many cases being chronic ones. If youre suffering from this kind of pain, then youll find lasting solutions here at Modern Pain Management where pain relief is our practice. Contact us today for long-lasting neck pain treatment in Houston, TX and Sugar Land, TX!
What Doctor Should I See For Back Pain
If your back pain is from a recent strain or mild injury, your primary care doctor can probably help. But if the pain is severe, ongoing, or accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, it may be time to see a back doctor. Start with someone who specializes in nonsurgical treatment for back pain. This can include a physiatrist, chiropractor, physical therapist, or orthopaedic physician assistant. They can evaluate your condition and offer appropriate treatment to help alleviate your pain. Depending on your circumstances, they might also refer you to another type of back specialist — for example, a pain management specialist or spine surgeon.
Don’t Miss: How To Make Upper Back Pain Go Away