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.
Freedom From Debilitating Neck Pain
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
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.