Doctor For Cervical Pain
Specialists Who Treat Neck Pain – A variety of clinicians may be involved in the care of people with neck pain. These include pain medicine specialists like Dr. Waldman; physiatrists; neurologists; sports medicine doctors; spine surgeons, and physical therapists. “With a good physical therapist and participation in a corrective exercise program, most people will get better,” Dr. Waldman says.
- 1 What is the best doctor to diagnose neck pain?
- 2 When should I go to the doctor for cervical pain?
- 3 Is cervical pain curable?
- 4 What should be avoided in cervical?
- 5 Which doctor is best for cervical radiculopathy?
Who treat cervical pain?
You might be referred to a physical therapist or a doctor specializing in spine disorders (orthopedist).
What is the best doctor to diagnose neck pain?
Spine Pain Management Physician – If your pain does not get better after physical therapy or other first-line measures, you may then be referred to a spine pain management physician. A pain management specialist can be either a doctor with a specialty in anesthesiology or a physiatrist who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Epidural steroid injections Sacroiliac joint (SI) injection Trigger point injections Facet joint injection Radio frequency ablation Nerve blocks Acupuncture Spinal cord stimulator trial
When should I go to the doctor for cervical pain?
Schedule an office visit Call your doctor if you have neck pain that: Worsens in spite of self-care. Persists after several weeks of self-care. Radiates down your arms or legs.
Is cervical neck pain serious?
Neck pain is pain that starts in the neck and can be associated with radiating pain down one or both of the arms. Neck pain can come from a number of disorders or diseases that involve any of the tissues in the neck, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments or muscles.
- The neck region of the spinal column, the cervical spine, consists of seven bones (C1-C7 vertebrae ), which are separated from one another by intervertebral discs.
- These discs allow the spine to move freely and act as shock absorbers during activity.
- Each vertebral bone has an opening forming a continuous hollow longitudinal space, which runs the whole length of the back.
This space, called the spinal canal, is the area through which the spinal cord and nerve bundles pass. The spinal cord is bathed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and surrounded by a protective layer called the dura, a leathery sac. At each vertebral level, a pair of spinal nerves exit through small openings called foramina (one to the left and one to the right).
These nerves supply the muscles, skin and tissues of the body and thus provide sensation and movement to all parts of the body. The delicate spinal cord and nerves are protected by suspension in the spinal fluid in the dural sac, then further by the bony vertebrae. The bony vertebrae are further supported by strong ligaments and muscles that bind them and allow for safe movement.
Neck pain may be caused by arthritis, disc degeneration, narrowing of the spinal canal, muscle inflammation, strain or trauma. In rare cases, it may be a sign of cancer or meningitis. For serious neck problems, a primary care physician and often a specialist, such as a neurosurgeon, should be consulted to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe treatment.
Age, injury, poor posture or diseases such as arthritis can lead to degeneration of the bones or joints of the cervical spine, causing disc herniation or bone spurs to form. Sudden severe injury to the neck may also contribute to disc herniation, whiplash, blood vessel destruction, vertebral injury and in extreme cases may result in permanent paralysis.
Herniated discs or bone spurs may cause a narrowing of the spinal canal, or the small openings through which spinal nerve roots exit, putting pressure on spinal cord or the nerves. Pressure on the spinal cord in the cervical region can be a serious problem, because virtually all of the nerves to the rest of the body have to pass through the neck to reach their final destination (arms, chest, abdomen, legs).
- This can potentially compromise the function of many important organs.
- Pressure on a nerve can result in numbness, pain or weakness to the area in the arm the nerve supplies.
- Cervical stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows and compresses the spinal cord and is most frequently caused by degeneration associated with aging.
(See also: AANS Cervical Spine Patient Page ). The discs in the spine that separate and cushion vertebrae may dry out. As a result, the space between the vertebrae shrinks and the discs lose their ability to act as shock absorbers. At the same time, the bones and ligaments that make up the spine become less pliable and thicken.
These changes result in a narrowing of the spinal canal. In addition, the degenerative changes associated with cervical stenosis can affect the vertebrae by contributing to the growth of bone spurs that compress the nerve roots. Mild stenosis can be treated conservatively for extended periods of time as long as the symptoms are restricted to neck pain.
Severe stenosis may impinge the spinal cord causing injury and requires referral to a neurosurgeon. Neck injury symptoms include neck stiffness, shoulder or arm pain, headache, facial pain and dizziness. Pain from a motor vehicle injury may be caused by tears in muscles or injuries to the joints between vertebrae.
Pain in the arm Numbness or weakness in the arm or forearm Tingling in the fingers or hand Difficulty with balance and walking Weakness in the arms or legs
Those with neck pain may be referred to a neurosurgeon because of pain in the neck, shoulder or tingling and numbness in the arms or weakness. Neurosurgeons should be consulted for neck pain if:
It occurs after an injury or blow to the head Fever or headache accompanies the neck pain Stiff neck prevents the patient from touching chin to chest Pain shoots down one arm There is tingling, numbness or weakness in the arms or hands Neck symptoms associated with leg weakness or loss of coordination in arms or legs The pain does not respond to over-the-counter pain medication Pain does not improve after a week
Diagnosis is made by a neurosurgeon based on patient history, symptoms, a physical examination and results of diagnostic studies, if necessary. Some patients may be treated conservatively and then undergo imaging studies if medication and physical therapy are ineffective. These tests may include:
Computed Tomography Scan (CT or CAT scan) Discography Electromyography (EMG) Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Myelogram Selective Nerve Root Block X-rays
Most causes of neck pain are not life threatening and resolve with time and conservative medical treatment. Determining a treatment strategy depends mainly on identifying the location and cause of the pain. Although neck pain can be quite debilitating and painful, nonsurgical management can alleviate many symptoms.
- The doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the pain or inflammation and muscle relaxants to allow time for healing to occur.
- Reducing physical activities or wearing a cervical collar may help provide support for the spine, reduce mobility and decrease pain and irritation.
- Trigger point injection, including corticosteroids, can temporarily relieve pain.
Occasionally, epidural steroids may be recommended. Conservative treatment options may continue for six to eight weeks. If the patient is experiencing any weakness or numbness in the arms or legs, seek medical attention immediately. If the patient has had any trauma and is now experiencing neck pain with weakness or numbness, urgent consultation with a neurosurgeon is recommended.
Conservative therapy is not helping The patient experiences a decrease in function due to persistent pain The patient experiences progressive neurological symptoms involving the arms and legs The patient experiences difficulty with balance or walking The patient is in otherwise good health
There are several different surgical procedures which can be utilized, the choice is influenced by the specifics of each case. Also, there are options for approaches from the front of the neck or the back of the neck. In many cases, spinal fusion is performed, though in some cases, simple decompression or artificial disc replacement may be employed.
Spinal fusion is an operation that creates a solid union between two or more vertebrae. Various devices (like screws or plates) may be used to enhance fusion and support unstable areas of the cervical spine. This procedure may assist in strengthening and stabilizing the spine and may thereby help to alleviate severe and chronic neck pain.
Factors that help determine the type of surgical treatment include the specifics of the disc disease and the presence or absence of pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots. Other factors include age, how long the patient has had the disorder, other medical conditions and if there has been previous cervical spine surgery.
- If the patient smokes, he or she should try to quit.
- Smoking damages the structures and architecture of the spine and slows down the healing process.
- If overweight, the patient should try to lose weight.
- Both smoking and obesity have been shown to have a negative impact on spinal fusion surgery outcome.
The benefits of surgery should always be weighed carefully against its risks. Although a large percentage of neck pain patients report significant pain relief after surgery, there is no guarantee that surgery will help every individual. If neck pain resolves with non-surgical, conservative treatment, follow-up will likely be on an as-needed basis or if symptoms return.
If a patient undergoes surgery, follow-up is specific to each type of procedure. AANS Patient Pages are authored by neurosurgical professionals, with the goal of providing useful information to the public. Alex P. Michael, MD Important The AANS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products or physicians referenced in these patient fact sheets.
This information provided is an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific neurosurgical advice or assistance should consult his or her neurosurgeon, or locate one in your area through the AANS’ Find a Board-certified Neurosurgeon online tool.
Is cervical pain curable?
Cervical Spondylosis Diagnosis and Symptoms – In most cases, early signs of spondylosis aren’t evident, and it starts to show as the individual grows older. Typically, a person suffering from the ailment starts to feel consistent pain and stiffness of their neck.
Headaches Popping or grinding sound when the head is turned Uncoordinated or uneasy walking Weakness in hands and legs Loss of balance while standing or walking Spasms in the shoulder/neck muscles Not being able to turn your head or bend your neck in any direction Severe ankylosing spondylitis headache that may originate at the pain areas of the neck Shoulder, arm or neck pain resulting in the immobility of limbs After initial tests to check spondylosis signs and symptoms, the doctor may refer a neurologist, physiotherapist, or orthopedic surgeon for further diagnostic tests. Some of these include:
What are red flags for cervical pain?
Fever, night sweats, unexplained weight loss. Excruciating pain, cervical lymphadenopathy, intractable night pain, pain that is increasing, exquisite tenderness over vertebral body, generalised neck stiffness. Nausea or vomiting. New or severe headache.
How long can cervical pain last?
Neck pain, or cervicalgia, can last from days to years, depending on the cause. Common causes include physical strain, poor posture, mental stress, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, herniated disk, pinched nerve, tumors and other health conditions.
How common is cervical neck pain?
Neck pain can be caused by many things — but it is most often related to getting older. Like the rest of the body, the disks and joints in the neck (cervical spine) slowly degenerate as we age. Cervical spondylosis, commonly called arthritis of the neck, is the medical term for these age-related, wear-and-tear changes that occur over time.
Cervical spondylosis is extremely common. More than 85% of people over the age of 60 are affected. The condition most often causes pain and stiffness in the neck — although many people with cervical spondylosis experience no noticeable symptoms. In most cases, cervical spondylosis responds well to conservative treatment that includes medication and physical therapy.
Your spine is made up of 24 bones, called vertebrae, that are stacked on top of one another. These bones connect to create a canal that protects the spinal cord. The seven small vertebrae that begin at the base of the skull and form the neck comprise the cervical spine.
- Other parts of your spine include: Spinal cord and nerves.
- These electrical cables travel through the spinal canal carrying messages between your brain and muscles.
- Nerve roots branch out from the spinal cord through openings in the vertebrae.
- Intervertebral disks.
- In between your vertebrae are flexible intervertebral disks.
They act as shock absorbers when you walk or run. Intervertebral disks are flat and round and about a half inch thick. They are made up of two components:
Annulus fibrosus. This is the tough, flexible outer ring of the disk. Nucleus pulposus. This is the soft, jelly-like center of the disk.
Cervical spondylosis arises from degenerative changes that occur in the spine as we age. These changes are normal and they occur in everyone. In fact, nearly half of all people middle-aged and older have worn disks that do not cause painful symptoms.
What should be avoided in cervical?
Cervical pain is very common in adults these days. It is caused due to osteoarthritis or cervical Spondylolysis, In this condition the structure of bones, joints and discs connected to the neck and the overall posture of the body. Cervical pain is majorly caused due to the wear and tear of the bones and cartilages in adults. Diet and Cervical Pain Nature has bestowed us with a lot of nutritious food items that can help us to make our bones healthy and keep them in good shape. Choosing the right food for your bone health is essential. In fact, connective tissues and nerves can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
So, here’s a low down on the foods that you can include in your diet to increase your bone mineral density and improve your bone health. Water – Keeping your body hydrated is the key to keep it healthy in all ways. If your body does not get enough hydration then it can lead to muscle pain. When the body is dehydrated, it hampers the normal muscle and nerve functions.
Hence, you just cannot miss out on this one! Magnesium – Off late, magnesium has been promoted by doctors for better bone and skeletal health. Deficiency of magnesium in the body can lead to neck pain, muscle soreness and muscle tension. Magnesium is one essential mineral, which helps in relaxation and contraction of minerals.
- Magnesium is often found in abundance in soy, beans, nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- An adult male should optimally consume 400 mg of magnesium daily, whereas females should go for an intake of 320 mg.
- Antioxidants and fibers- They have anti-inflammatory properties in them.
- These properties help in reducing inflammation in the body.
Eating anti-inflammatory foods can help in relieving the pain and reducing internal inflammation of muscles and nerves. It further helps in calming the nerves and gives ample strength to the body. Cervical pain Calcium and Vitamin D – Keeping your bones healthy is a vital step towards easing cervical pain. Consuming foods rich in calcium and vitamin D to help keep bones strong. Calcium helps to increase bone strength, whereas the consumption of Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium in the body.
- Recommended Dosage of calcium for an adult is around 1000-1500 mg and vitamin D is around 400 to 800 IU daily.
- Omega 3 fatty acid- These acids are found in abundance in fishes like salmon, sardines and mackerel.
- Consumption of omega 3 fatty acids help to lower down the level of inflammatory chemicals in the body.
If you do not like eating fish an alternate to them can be fish oil supplements that are made with these fatty acids. In fact, flax seeds, leafy vegetables and walnuts also contain rich amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which can help in improving bone health.
Foods to avoid if you are suffering from cervical pain Reducing your intake of high inflammatory food and substances can drastically help you ease out cervical pain, saturated fats and arachidonic acids are major causes of inflammation in the body, these fats are often found in meat and dairy products.
Consumption of high-fat dairy products too can lead to inflammation. One should also avoid processed food completely. Few other reasons for weak and brittle bones are the consumption of alcohol and smoking. Alcohol leads to loss of magnesium and calcium from the body in the form of urine, whereas smoking leads to bone damage. Here’s what one should avoid consuming to help cervical Conclusion Proper nutrition is very essential for maintaining skeletal health. If one has cervical pain, then they should keep a good check on their food habits. Also, consuming a diet which is rich in anti-inflammatory foods promote the health of bones and muscles drastically and usually reduces muscle pain too.
What kind of doctor treats cervical stenosis?
Doctors who can provide treatment of spinal stenosis may be: Family or primary care doctors. Neurologists, who treat disorders and diseases of the spine, brain, and nerves. Neurosurgeons, who perform surgery for disorders and diseases of spine, brain, and nerves.
Which doctor is best for cervical radiculopathy?
Although radiculopathy may be suspected or diagnosed by the person’s primary care physician, the condition should be treated by an experienced neurosurgeon. Within neurosurgery, there are sub-specialists whose expertise in treating conditions of the spine.
The spine team at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center — expert spine surgeons along with their team of physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and pain management specialists — provide comprehensive, integrated care for patients with radiculopathy and many other conditions of the spine. Patients receive a complete continuum of care, from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.
Roger Härtl, M.D., named as one of the top 50 spine surgeons in the United States, is Co-director of the Weill Cornell Spine Center and Director of Spinal Surgery and Neurotrauma at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center. He’s also the official neurosurgeon for the New York Giants.
Dr. Härtl’s clinical and research expertise is in simple and complex spine surgery, minimally invasive spinal surgery, computer-assisted spinal navigation and neurotrauma. Dr. Härtl believes that surgery should be a part of a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, and he works very closely with other specialists in a team effort to achieve the best outcome for his patients.
(Read more about Dr. Härtl,) Eric Elowitz, M.D., is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in minimally invasive spinal surgery. Routinely named to national lists of top doctors, Dr. Elowitz is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art care with individual attention to each patient’s unique needs.
- Dr. Elowitz has developed a special expertise in new procedures for various spine conditions.
- Read more about Dr.
- Elowitz,) Kai-Ming Fu, M.D., Ph.D., obtained his undergraduate degrees from Stanford University and his medical and graduate training in the MD/PhD program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Dr. Fu specializes in minimal access surgery as well as having advanced training in reconstructive, deformity, and oncological spine surgery. Dr. Fu has a special interest in conditions of the spine which can cause radiculopathy, including scoliosis and herniated discs.
Read more about Dr. Fu,) Dr. Michael Virk is a widely published neurosurgeon with specialty training in minimally invasive and complex surgery for a wide variety of spine conditions. In addition to radiculopathy, his specialties include scoliosis, spinal tumors, trauma, degenerative disease, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis.
Dr. Virk uses state-of-the-art minimally invasive techniques with intraoperative, computer-assisted navigation as well as spinal endoscopy. He also uses fundamental, open surgical strategies in patients who will benefit most from these. (Read more about Dr.
- Virk ) The neurosurgeons at the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center are fortunate to be part of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital team.
- The 2013-14 “America’s Best Hospitals” ranking in US News and World Report placed NewYork-Presbyterian as one of the top hospitals in the United States.
- Together, the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center team is the best choice for your spine.
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Can neurologist treat cervical spondylosis?
Diagnosis of Cervical Spondylosis – How to cure cervical pain? This depends on how well the disease is diagnosed in the first place. Making an accurate diagnosis of the condition involves ruling out other potential factors that can cause neck pain in general. On the basis of the results of tests, the doctor may refer the patient to an orthopedic specialist or a neurologist for further cervical spondylosis treatment.
- Diagnosis tests include: 1.
- Physical Examinations: The first set of physics tests to determine the proper course of spondylosis treatment includes testing the reflexes of the patient and check for the presence of muscle weakness and deficits in the sensory nerve function.
- For cervical spondylitis treatment, doctors also run tests to determine the range of neck movement and the general state of the overall walking movement to understand cervical treatment necessary.
All these tests help the doctor understand if the spinal nerves and cords are under any sort of extra pressure. To confirm the diagnosis of cervical spondylosis, doctors will order imaging tests and nerve function tests.2. Imaging Tests:
- X-Ray Imaging – To check for the presence of bone spurs and other abnormal growth of spinal bones
- Computed Tomography (CT) Scan – To obtain detailed images of the cervical region
- MRI Scan – This procedure involves the use of radiowaves that help the doctor determine the presence of pinched nerves
- Myelogram – In this case, an injected loaded with a tracer dye is used to highlight the areas of the c spine, Coupled with CT Scan or X-Rays, doctors can find better images of the affected areas.
3. Nerve Function Tests:
- Electromyogram (EMG) – This test is used to determine if the nerves of the body are functioning in a normal way. EMG records the passage of nerve signals in the body by measuring the electrical activity of the nerves.
- Nerve Conduction Study – By placing electrodes on the skin, the doctor studies the speed and strength of the signals sent by the nerve endings in the body.
Can rheumatologist treat cervical pain?
If you start having pain and stiffness in your neck, talk to your rheumatologist. Usually, your doctor will be conservative in treating the symptoms, using medication to control your RA, a neck collar for support, and physical and occupational therapy.