Neck Pain and Non-Surgical Therapies

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5 Alternative Non-Surgical Treatments for Head & Neck Pain

For a variety of reasons, head and neck pain may occur. Over time, or by a shift in lifestyle or actions, any discomfort will go away. So it’s time to make an appointment with one of our pain management physicians for diagnosis and care if you’re struggling with head and neck pain that lasts longer than a few days and doesn’t improve with over-the-counter pain medication.

Depending on the cause of your head and neck pain, these five non-surgical treatments might be effective for you.

  1. Physical Therapy

From muscle tenderness, discomfort and tightness to bad posture, physical therapy therapies can alleviate some forms of headaches and neck pain. A qualified physical therapist may devise a schedule of exercise that strengthens the muscles of your neck and eliminates pressure from your spine. During a therapy session, they may also apply heat or cold pads to either improve blood flow and range of motion (heat) or reduce blood flow and inflammation (cold). Therapeutic massage, chiropractic therapy and/or neck-strengthening exercises you can perform at home will also include other physical therapy treatments.

  1. Trigger Point Injections

Trigger points are muscle areas that are very irritable and create a twitch inside the affected muscle when pushed. A trigger point can cause pain, called referred pain, not only in the affected muscle, but in a distant area, including locations in the head and neck. Because of trauma, injury, inflammation, or other factors, trigger points may develop. A trigger point injection is a procedure in which the sore muscle is injected with a drug, usually a local anesthetic, to provide relief. Not only should pain relief be achieved in the affected muscle, but also in the referred pain area.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Steroid Injections

A cervical epidural steroid injection can help by “coating” the nerves in the region if your pain is caused by inflammation around the nerves in your neck. This kind of treatment will help patients suffering a herniated disk, a degenerated disk, osteoarthritis or inflammation that decreases the space around the nerves. The purpose of the injection is to minimize inflammation and associated nerve pain, and with the patient lying face down under local anesthetic, the injection itself is administered.

  1. Botox Injections

Think BOTOX ® is for wrinkles only? Again, remember. A condition that causes the muscles in your neck to tighten or spasm without your control may be useful for the treatment of adults with cervical dystonia. Injections of BOTOX may reduce the severity of an irregular location of the head and pain in the neck. If you have recurring migraines (approximately 15 days a month) and a headache that lasts 4 hours a day or longer, this medication may also be effective for you.

  1. Radiofrequency Ablation (Rhizotomy)

Yeah, it does sound complicated. In fact, however, Radiofrequency Ablation (or RFA) is a non-surgical, outpatient treatment technique used to support patients with chronic spinal arthritis-related head and neck pain. As with any non-surgical operation, only after careful review and diagnosis is this technique recommended. Heat is administered to targeted nerve tissues during the RFA process, which prevents pain signals from accessing the brain.

Are You Looking for Relief From Neck Pain? 

Pace Physical Therapy in San Jose, California specializes in non-surgical neck pain relief and recovery therapies.  We pride ourselves on offering the best possible physical therapy available and going above and beyond for our patients. Our highly experienced physical therapist will work with you to improve your function and relieve your pain. We start by assessing the body as a whole. Oftentimes the cause of pain or an injury extends far beyond just the body part or muscle hurting. Without taking a comprehensive look at your entire self, we would be doing you a disservice in fully helping you heal and preventing future limitations. We then move on to fixing your areas of limitation.  Not all diagnoses are created equal. One person with neck pain may have completely different limitations than the next person. Your recovery program needs to be specific to what YOUR body needs and not just the typical exercise program that you can find online. Just because your pain decreases or you can walk longer doesn’t mean that it is enough to get you functioning at the level you want to be. While this often signifies the end of care at your typical PT clinic we don’t stop providing guidance until we help you successfully meet every goal you set for yourself with us on day one. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

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