What causes neck pain?
Neck pain can result from muscle sprain, ligament strain, facet joint pain or slipped discs (discogenic pain). Facet joints are the small joints between the bones in the spine. Besides causing neck pain and headaches, slipped discs can also press onto nerves and lead to pain and numbness that radiate into the arms.
Whiplash injury and age-related degeneration are the common causes for neck pain. Poor workplace ergonomics and bad sleeping posture perpetuate the condition.
What is the treatment for neck pain?
In general, painkillers, exercises, physiotherapy and correction of poor posture are all that is necessary.
Patients who do not recover despite conservative management may require interventional pain therapy.
What are the common types of interventional pain therapy?
These include muscle trigger point injections, epidural steroid injections, nerve root blocks, facet joint injections, disc decompression (nucleoplasty) as well as radiofrequency ablation.
Depending on the source of your pain, your doctor will advise you on the appropriate therapy.
What is whiplash injury?
It is an injury to the neck which results from sudden forceful movement of the head forward and then backwards. This commonly occurs from a rear-end vehicle collision, but may also happen after physical trauma, sports injuries and even roller-coaster rides.
What are the symptoms of whiplash injury?
Symptoms may develop immediately or a few days after the incident. They include neck pain and stiffness, headache, dizziness or unsteady gait.
However, if you experience numbness and weakness of the arms or legs, and loss of bladder or bowel control, please seek immediate medical attention.
How is whiplash injury treated?
Most people will recover with rest, gentle stretching exercises, physiotherapy and painkillers.
If you have severe pain or worrisome symptoms, you may need X-rays, CT or MRI scan of the cervical spine.
In some cases, cervical facet joint injections, epidural steroid injections or disc annuloplasty may be needed.