Neck injuries can be tricky, demanding the expertise of a trained sports medicine doctor who also practices regular pain management techniques. Neck injury treatment can be as simple as modifying the way you work and play or as complex as requiring delicate surgery. Seek help from your Midtown Manhattan doctor for a correct diagnosis and the proper treatment for your neck injury to prevent further complications. Come to our sports injury clinic and meet the top rated pain doctor Febin Melepura M.D. to get the pain relief you need in the safe, reassuring hands of the best sports pain management specialists in NYC.
Your neck works hard to manage the dual duties of holding the weight of your ten-pound skull and being flexible enough to move your head as needed. Because of the rather precarious position of your head atop your seven cervical vertebrae, your neck is quite susceptible to injury or damage, especially as you age. Even if you take care of your neck properly, neck injuries can still happen.
Every moving part of your neck has to work together. The vertebral bones, discs, ligaments, tendons and muscles are all potential areas of concern for neck pain. Understanding the anatomy of your neck and the ways it can be harmed help you discuss treatment options with your Midtown Manhattan sports medicine and pain management doctor when neck pain occurs.
Causes of Neck Injuries
Because your spinal cord runs through the center of your spine, damage to the vertebrae can occur that impinge or compress the nerves between the bones. This damage can have long-lasting consequences. It can even cause paralysis.
Since your spinal cord sends messages from every point in your body, you may feel the effects of trauma or disease everywhere. Serious, untreated injury could cause a loss of sensation or pain throughout your body. There are many scenarios that can contribute to neck pain, such as:
- Overuse or repetitive motion
- Sleeping in an awkward position
- Poor posture
- Muscle spasms
- Worn joints
- Nerve compression
- Falls, especially if from a significant height
- Severe twisting
- Long-term wear and tear
When to Seek Medical Attention for Neck Injuries
If your neck pain comes from sleeping in an awkward position or from overuse in a short-term project, rest and over-the-counter pain relievers may take care of the pain within a few days. Normal muscle tightness and pain aren’t unusual in these instances. However, there are times when you should seek medical assistance in NYC immediately, such as when you experience:
- Problems walking
- A loss of control of your bladder or bowels
- An inability to move your arms or legs
- Numbness or tingling in your arms or legs
- Significant pain that develops in your neck, jaw, shoulder, head, or upper arms
- A loss of consciousness
- An unnatural positioning of your head
- A loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting or fevers, chills and shakes
If someone you’re with suffers a suspected neck or spinal injury, call 911 immediately. Don’t move the person if possible. Don’t reposition their head or try to remove a helmet. Keep the person as still as possible unless they aren’t breathing. Perform CPR by moving the jaw rather than tilting the head.
Diagnosing Neck Injuries
Your pain specialist in New York City begins your assessment by taking a medical history that includes any injury or activity that might have led to your neck pain. He conducts a physical exam to check for numbness or tenderness and then orders imaging tests — such as x-rays, CT scan, MRI, or EMG — if needed.
If your Manhattan pain specialist suspects disease may be contributing to your neck pain, he orders blood tests. This determines what kind of treatment protocol he’ll recommend. An accurate diagnosis of the cause of your neck pain has to precede your neck injury treatment.
Neck Injury Treatment
Depending on the diagnosis, the level of your pain and other symptoms, your doctor recommends one or more of the following neck injury treatments:
- Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium
- Rest and activity modifications
- Ice in the first few days, followed by heat
- Prescription medicines for pain or muscle relaxants
- Short-term immobilization with a cervical collar
- Physical therapy
- Use of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Steroid injections
While surgery to remove bone spurs may be required, it’s always the last resort due to risks of infection and the delicacy of your neck. Recovery time can be a few days for a minor strain to a few months if surgery is performed.
Aftercare and Prevention
Whether you’re trying to prevent neck injury or you’re recovering after neck injury treatment, good habits prove invaluable, such as:
- Wearing your seat belt
- Wearing protective gear during sports or recreational activity
- Not diving into water without knowing what’s below the surface
- Practicing good posture
- Taking frequent breaks from a stationary position
- Adjusting your desk, chair and computer to ergonomic positions
- Eliminating smoking
- Not carrying heavy bags with straps over one shoulder
- Sleeping in a good position with a good-quality pillow
Neck pain from injuries are uncomfortable and have the potential to be chronic if not properly treated. Work closely with your Midtown Manhattan sports medicine and pain specialist for the best road back to a pain-free lifestyle.
Do you have any questions about the neck injury treatment we offer in NYC? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the best rated neck pain management doctor Febin Melepura MD of NYC sports pain management clinic? Please contact our office for consultation with the pain relief specialist in Midtown Manhattan.