Neck Pain

Home | Conditions | Neck Pain

Freedom From Debilitating Neck Pain

Neck pain is an all-encompassing term used to describe any form of pain or discomfort around the cervical region, including the neck, shoulders, and upper body. Neck pain may occur because of damages to any structures around the cervical spine, including the muscles, vertebrae, spinal discs, nerves, and more. Pain originating in the cervical (neck) region can also spread to other parts of the body, such as the arms, hands, fingers, jaws, and head.

Neck Pain: Causes

Neck pain may occur because of damages to any of the spinal structures around the neck, including the muscles, ligaments, nerves, spinal discs, and vertebrae. One of the most common causes of neck pain is a muscle strain from repetitive activities, such as being hunched over a computer for extended periods or while driving a car. You may also suffer from neck pain because of injuries and trauma caused by physical labor and sports.

Besides muscle strains from repetitive movements, neck pain can also occur because of age-related wear and tear of the spinal components and underlying medical conditions. Arthritis and nerve compression are two of the most common causes of neck pain. Osteoarthritis, facet joint arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis lead to bone spurs that cause neck pain, and a herniated disc may cause nerve compression.

The following are some of the common causes of neck pain:

  • Muscle strains from repetitive movements
  • Arthritic changes of the spinal components
  • Fractures of the cervical spine
  • Bone spurs caused by arthritic changes
  • Degenerative disc disease and disc herniation
  • Nerve compression because of bulging discs
  • Injuries and trauma to the cervical spine

Signs You Need to Visit a Doctor:

  • Severe pain on the neck and shoulders
  • Pain that originates in the neck and extends down your arms
  • Radiating pain in the shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers
  • Numbness and tingling sensations in the arms and hands
  • Loss of movement and sensation in the arms and hands
  • Changes in bowel and bladder habits
  • Severe neck pain with fever

Neck Pain: Diagnosis

Neck pain can happen for a wide range of reasons, including repetitive movements, injuries, trauma, underlying medical conditions, and age-related wear and tear of the cervical spine. Dr. Kakoulides performs a thorough evaluation and diagnosis to identify and treat the root cause of neck pain, thus helping you achieve long-lasting results. He discusses your symptoms, performs physical examinations, and conducts numerous imaging tests to visualize the root cause of neck pain.

The following are the possible components of neck pain diagnosis:

  • Blood tests for infections
  • X-rays to visualize the vertebrae
  • CT scans to visualize the bones and skeleton
  • MRIs to visualize the soft tissues and nerve roots
  • Nerve studies, such as electromyelogram (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS)
  • Nuclear medicine study to identify neck pain caused by compression fractures

Neck Pain: Treatments

Dr. Kakoulides favors non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments for neck pain. He usually starts treatments with rest, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and epidural injections, following which he gradually moves to minimally invasive surgeries. If non-invasive spinal care doesn’t work, he may recommend minimally invasive treatments that require minimal downtime, such as microdiscectomy or cervical disc replacement. Surgery is only considered if all other treatments fail.

The following are some of the possible neck pain treatment options:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion
  • Cervical Disc Replacement
  • Disc Replacement Surgery
  • Microdiscectomy

Contact Dr. George Kakoulides

Dr. George Kakoulides is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in minimally invasive spine surgery and complex spinal reconstruction. Born and brought up in Long Island, Dr. Kakoulides is dedicated to the comprehensive management of spinal and cranial disorders for patients across New York. He is an affiliate of Long Island Brain & Spine, with state-of-the-art offices across New York. Please schedule an appointment to explore your neck pain diagnosis and treatment options.