Effective Treatment for Neck Pain
At Piedmont Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, PA we offer effective treatment for people suffering from neck pain. While we provide relief for the vast majority of people we always find it helpful when our patients have a good understanding of their condition. Neck pain can be divided into two distinct categories. While the first type can be associated with pain of any type or character, and can dramatically affect quality of life to the point of it being disabling, it is not life threatening (at least not in the literal sense of the term). The second type is life threatening; it is a surgical emergency and can result in loss of bowel or bladder control and paralysis. One important warning sign is progressive neurologic deficit. In this case it is not just weakness or numbness that occurs, but it is getting progressively worse and may even spread to other body parts. If you experience true loss of bowel or bladder control (stress incontinence from coughing or sneezing does not count) or think you are having progressive neurologic deficit, then don’t even think about it; just go to the ER.
Anything else is just annoying and bothersome at best, but it is not an emergency (even though your pain may make you think it is). The most common injuries to the neck and spine are acceleration/deceleration (whiplash) injuries. With whiplash, there is no direct spinal cord injury and there may not even be signs of injury on medical tests. Nonetheless, people can still experience neck pain and stiffness, shoulder/arm pain, headache, facial pain, ringing in the ears, trouble swallowing, and even dizziness. These symptoms can all be treated with conservative measures including physical therapy, medication, injection, regenerative medicine techniques, and exercise. The majority of people do well on their own however if symptoms persist for more than 4-6 weeks then it is not a bad idea to see a medical doctor. Severity of illness justifies intensity of service. So, the worse off you think you are the sooner you should come to seek help.
The spine is naturally also susceptible to degenerative conditions associated with overuse, age, or osteoarthritis. As the body ages, the disks lose their flexibility and ability to absorb shock which makes them more likely to bulge or herniate. In addition, mechanical problems and muscle/ligament damage can occur, just like you might experience in any other muscle, tendon, ligament or joint in your body. Fortunately, the treatments offered at Piedmont Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, PA are effective and provide relief for the vast majority of people.
If you are experiencing neck or arm pain numbness, or stiffness, or if you have recently suffered an injury involving the neck and just want to be safe and have it evaluated by a professional, please call our office at (864) 235-1835 to set up an appointment. Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Terzella are dedicated toward improving function, decreasing pain, and helping you achieve a better quality of life.