Neck Pain Treatment

What Is Neck Pain?

Neck pain, also called cervical pain, is a common affliction that can be caused by conditions like degenerative disc disease, whiplash and other neck injuries, a pinched or inflamed nerve or a herniated disc. Neck pain can present as a dull ache in the neck, inability to move the head, shooting pains, tingling, numbness and dizziness, problems swallowing, enlarged lymph nodes and head, shoulder, back and facial pain.

How Is Neck Pain Treated?

Treatment for neck pain includes traction, muscle relaxants, a neck collar, massage, ultrasound treatments, antibiotics, exercise, physical therapy, pain medication, acupuncture and applications of heat and cold. If the neck pain is caused by an inflamed nerve in the epidural space, an epidural injection of anti-inflammatory and steroidal medications may reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

If these treatments don’t bring pain relief, the only other option is neck surgery. Until recently, the surgical treatment for neck pain was open neck surgery. Because of its highly invasive nature, open neck surgery is considered a last resort when less invasive treatments have been ineffective.

What’s Involved In Traditional Open Neck Surgery?

A common cause of neck pain is cervical disk herniation. In addition to neck pain, a cervical disk herniation may produce numbness, weakness and stiffness. Traditional open neck surgery involves making a large incision in the neck, moving the food tube and voice box, removing the herniated disk and performing fusion. Open neck surgery requires several days as a hospital inpatient, and healing can take up to one year. The recovery period could involve problems swallowing, hoarseness, stiffness at the site of the fusion and significant scarring. If the remaining disks don’t heal properly, the neck pain can continue, and additional neck surgery may be necessary.

Are There Less Invasive Surgical Treatments For Neck Pain?

Yes. The Cervical Endoscopic Surgical System (CESSYS), for example, is a new, non-invasive and cutting edge technology that can be used to perform neck surgery and relieve pain without the risks, discomfort and long recovery time associated with open neck surgery.

How Does The Cervical Endoscopic Surgical System Work?

With CESSYS, a video camera is inserted into the spine so the surgeon can easily find and extract the herniated part of a disk. This procedure is performed using very small instruments and guided by x-ray. The surgery requires only a small incision, so the surrounding tissues are not damaged. There is minimal pain, a much shorter recovery time and no overnight hospital stay.

If you suffer from neck pain that has not been relieved by nonsurgical treatments, schedule a consultation with Dr. Carl Spivak at Executive Spine Surgery to see if the Cervical Endoscopic Surgical System would be an appropriate treatment for your case.

What Is Lower Back Pain?

Most of us have had lower back pain at one time or another. It can be anything from a sharp pain that appears quickly and inhibits movement to a dull pain that develops slowly and gets worse over time. Acute lower back pain is quite common. It’s often caused by an injury, and it tends to clear up in a few weeks with or without treatment. Chronic lower back pain is less common. The cause may not be known, and the pain can last for months or even years.

What Causes Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain can be caused by anything from chronic stress to poor posture. Other reasons for back pain include:

Aging. The older you get, the more likely you are to have back pain.

Other conditions. Arthritis, scoliosis, cancer, kidney stones and infections can all cause back pain.

Weight gain. Being overweight can cause back pain when the extra pounds are excessively straining the back.

Work. If your job involves lifting, pushing, pulling and twisting, it can cause back pain or back injury.

Lack of fitness. Those who are out of shape are more likely to experience lower back pain.

Genes. In some cases, back pain may be hereditary.

Injuries. Sprains, falls, accidents and fractures can all cause back pain.

Osteoporosis. Thinning and weakening bones can cause stress fractures and back pain, especially for women.

Spinal degeneration, muscle knots, spasms, inflamed nerves and deterioration of the back joints and disks can also cause lower back pain.

How Is Lower Back Pain Treated?

Acute lower back pain can be treated with hot and cold packs, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin and topical analgesics. Chronic back pain may be treated with massage, manipulation, physical therapy, stretching exercises, acupuncture and acupressure. Spinal injections of steroids, anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers can relieve lower back pain for up to 12 months. During this time, the condition causing the back pain may be able to heal itself.

I Have Lower Back Pain. Will I Need Back Surgery?

Most of the time, people with lower back pain do not require surgery. Back surgery is considered only after less invasive treatments have failed to provide relief. When back surgery is indicated, it is usually associated with conditions like:

Spinal stenosis

Degenerative disk disease

Herniated disk

Spondylolisthesis

Fractured vertebrae

If you live in the Hackettstown, NJ, area, and you’re suffering from lower back pain, it’s time to get relief. Dr. Carl Spivak, President of Executive Spine Surgery and a board certified neurosurgeon, specializes in minimally invasive treatments and cutting edge endoscopic spinal techniques to provide effective and lasting relief from chronic lower back pain.