Monday, November 09, 2009

Cervical Pain in NYC: What Makes my Neck Hurt?

Next to back pain, neck pain is one of the principle reasons that people miss work in the United States, but of course, there isn’t just one hard and fast reason for neck pain. Each person’s pain will be different based on factors like lifestyle choices, previous injuries and genetic predispositions; however, one thing all types of neck pain have in common is their overwhelming ability to shut down activity, particularly for cases that are severe or chronic.

At our practice, Living Well Medical in NYC, we regularly treat patients with cervical pain (cervical refers to the uppermost portion of the spine and correlates to the neck in vertebrate mammals such as humans), taking a comprehensive approach that combines a variety of non-surgical techniques for pain relief. Below, you will find a few of many causes of neck pain, each of which will contain possibilities for treatment we make available to our patients.

Degenerative Disc Disease

As we age, the spongy material in between the vertebrae can degrade, reducing its ability to act as a shock absorber. The weakening of the outer wall of the disc, the annulus fibrosus, can also lead to bulging or herniation. Degenerative disc disease is not a painful problem for most people as it is a normal part of aging, but can lead to significant impairment in some circumstances. Symptoms of this condition are numerous and can include neck/back pain, tingling, and weakness, among others.

At Living Well Medical in NYC, we bring together a number of non-surgical treatment options for patients suffering with degenerative disc disease. Often that will include non-surgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000, cold laser therapy (which can help encourage faster healing), physical therapy and gentle chiropractic treatments.

Herniated Disc

Spinal discs that develop a tear in the fibrous tissue that surrounds the gel-like center sometimes spill some of their contents out, causing pressure on the sciatic nerve. This can occur in any of the spinal discs, but the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) discs are particularly susceptible. Herniated discs are not always painful, but compression of the nerve roots in the spine associated with disc herniation can be debilitating, causing severe lower back pain, leg pain, and muscle weakness.

For many of our patients, the DRX9000 non-surgical spinal decompression system has proven to be an effective alternative to the surgeries that are often prescribed by traditional medical doctors. Spinal decompression with the DRX9000 is a gentle stretching of the spine that is guided by a computer system. By adjust the angle of the stretch and the force, important nutrients can reach the discs, promoting healing and relieving pain.

Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve is a broader term for any nerve impingement or irritation as a result of compression. A pinched nerve can be the result of a herniated disc, a bulging disc, facet joint syndrome, or a muscular issue like piriformis syndrome, to name a few. Pain from pinched nerves is often acute, sometimes described as a stabbing pain or a burning sensation. Weakness, numbness and tingling often accompany a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve in the neck can produce an effect called ‘referred pain,’ meaning a patient is experiencing pain in a part of the body that is adjacent to or distant from the actual site of injury. That’s one of the reasons that an extensive evaluation is necessary to pinpoint the actual site of the injury.

Treatment for a pinched nerve will depend on the specific type, but may include elements of non-surgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000, manual therapy, physical therapy, cryotherapy and cold laser treatment.

Neck pain can be a serious problem without effective treatment. At Living Well Medical in NYC, we can help stop the pain without surgery. If cervical pain has taken control of your life, give us a call at 212-645-8151 to make an appointment.


Anonymous said...

Have you heard of SpinaliS - Active Sitting for a Healthy Spine? It is the BEST ERGONOMIC CHAIR I have seen yet to support your back and spine!! -- worth a look.

- Kristin Ford

Dr. Steve Shoshany said...

Yes, I actually use a Spinalis chair in my office and we bought one for each staff member. We are a Chiropractic/Physical therapy office so we need to practice what we preach.
I love the chair, It is about $1,100 for a chair but I believe you get what you pay for.


Dr. Steven ShoshanyAbout Me
Chiropractor NYC. Please add my to your circles.