Neck Pain

If you’re suffering from back pain, neck pain, or any spine injury, learn how Dr. Derek Snook and JIS Orthopedics can help you get back to living your life without limits. To schedule a consultation, click the button below!

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“I would just like to say thank you very much for helping me with my back issues and that you were all very pleasant and made me feel relaxed about the journey I’m going to have to have on my back. It is very appreciated and thank you so much.” — Jennifer D. 

Has the severity of your neck pain caused your quality of life to progressively dwindle down? Do you hesitate to seek a medical professional’s assistance out of fear of needing surgery? Depending on the cause of your pain, you may be able to find relief by means of non-surgical techniques.

Our experts at JIS Orthopedics can provide the high-quality neck care you deserve! We have offices conveniently located in New Albany and St. Clairsville, OH. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Where Does Neck Pain Occur?

Neck pain occurs in or around your spine, beneath your head. Your neck and spine are made up of tiny bones called vertebrae. These tiny bones are stacked on top of each other, forming the spinal column of the neck region (cervical spine). Your spinal column not only supports your head but is also responsible for protecting your spinal cord.

This structure connects to your nerves, allowing your body to send messages and pain signals, such as pain in your neck, to your brain.

Depending on your condition, you may experience:

  • Axial neck pain, which is felt mostly in your neck.
  • Radicular neck pain, in which pain can radiate down into other areas, such as your shoulders and arms.

Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain can be caused by the following:

  • Injury
  • An accident involving whiplash
  • Physical strain (overusing your neck muscles)
  • Poor posture
  • Sleeping in an awkward or uncomfortable position
  • Mental stress
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Spinal stenosis (a narrowing of your spinal canal)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Pinched nerve
  • Herniated discs
  • Tumors
  • Bone spurs
  • Other health conditions, such as cancer, meningitis, and rheumatoid arthritis

Symptoms of Neck Pain

If you are experiencing neck pain, you may have the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • A stabbing/sharp pain
  • A shooting pain that radiates from your neck into your shoulders or arms
  • Stiffness in your shoulders and upper back
  • Numbness or tingling in your shoulders or arms
  • Decreased ability to turn your neck or even tilt your head
  • Muscle spasms or tightness

Your symptoms can be acute and last for a few days to six weeks, or they may be chronic and last longer than three months.

How is Neck Pain Diagnosed?

To accurately diagnose the cause of your neck pain, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical exam.

Diagnostic imaging tests are not usually necessary to identify the cause of neck pain. However, if your doctor suspects a serious injury or if you are experiencing severe pain that doesn’t improve, the following imaging tests may be ordered:

  • X-rays — To reveal any issues with your bones or soft tissues that may be causing your neck pain.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — To reveal any problems that pertain to your spinal cord, soft tissue, nerves, and bone marrow.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan — This can be used if an MRI isn’t available.

How is Neck Pain Managed and Treated?

You will be happy to know that most causes of neck pain eventually improve and can be managed from the comfort of your home. Your specialist may suggest the following treatments to manage your symptoms and ease pain:

  • Cold therapy and heat therapy. Heat therapy helps to increase blood flow to your deep tissues and loosens tightened muscles.
  • Wearing a neck collar.
  • Pain relief medications. Taking oral pain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Muscle relaxants to help your neck muscles begin healing.

Additional treatment to relieve neck pain may include:

  • Physical therapy: During physical therapy, your physical therapist can guide you in learning exercises and movements that can help improve your flexibility and strengthen the muscles and tendons in your neck.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit: This form of treatment disrupts the pain signal causing discomfort.
  • Steroid injections: Receiving a steroid injection near your nerve roots can relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Alternative therapies: These can include acupuncture, massage therapy, or chiropractic care.

While most neck problems do not require surgical treatment, you may need surgery if:

  • One or more of your vertebrae has shifted out of place
  • One or more of your vertebrae is putting pressure on your nerves
  • You experience a decrease in your ability to function due to persistent pain

When Should I Seek Medical Care?

You should seek medical care immediately if your neck pain:

  • Develops after an injury or accident.
  • Persists even when you are staying still.
  • Is coupled with a loss of bowel or bladder control.
  • Is accompanied by a fever, chills, or unexplained weight loss.
  • Is accompanied by weakness in your legs.
  • Occurs with tingling or numbness in your arms, shoulders, or legs.
  • Occurs with a loss of coordination in your arms or legs.
  • Does not improve with over-the-counter medications.
  • Does not show any signs of improvement after one week.

How Can Neck Pain Be Prevented?

There are proactive steps that you can take to prevent neck pain, including:

  • Practicing good posture
  • Taking frequent breaks to move your body
  • Adjusting your work environment (your desk, computer, chair, etc.)
  • Adjusting your sleep position
  • When possible, avoid carrying heavy bags with shoulder straps

Our experts know how to relieve back and neck pain. Let us use our expertise to provide the relief you long for. Schedule an appointment at one of our JIS Orthopedics locations in New Albany and St. Clairsville today!

Medically reviewed by Derek Snook, MD

Seeing a Spine Specialist

Even if you follow steps to help protect your spine, injuries can still happen. When they do, schedule an appointment with Dr. Derek Snook at JIS Orthopedics! Scheduling an appointment earlier can help shorten your recovery and get you back to the thins you love.  We want to help you live without limits!


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