Nearly everyone experiences neck and back pain at some point in their lives. Although the pain usually gets better after a few weeks, that's not always the case. If you have severe or chronic neck and back pain, a visit to board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Thomas Cartwright of Houston Advanced Spine in The Woodlands, TX, could help relieve your pain.
Common causes of neck and back pain
Neck and back pain can be caused by:
- Sprains and strains
- Slipped, compressed or bulging discs
- Muscle spasms
- Torn muscles or ligaments
- Poor posture
- Lifting heavy objects
- Weak core muscles
- Tilting your head down to look at digital devices
Treatments for neck and back pain
Heat, ice and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can often be helpful in relieving pain. If these measures don't ease your symptoms or your neck and back pain is severe, call your orthopedist in The Woodlands, TX. Depending on the cause and severity of your condition, treatments may include:
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy relieves pain, strengthens the muscles that support your back and neck, and improves flexibility and range of motion. Your physical therapy sessions may also include exercises that will help you build stronger core muscles and recommendations that will help you improve your posture.
- Muscle Relaxers: Prescription muscle relaxers can be helpful if your pain is caused or worsened by tight muscles or muscle spasms.
- Nerve Blocks: If physical therapy doesn't help your pain, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend a nerve block. This treatment involves injecting cortisone into your neck or back to decrease inflammation and swelling and reduce pressure on nerves, decreasing pain.
- Discectomy: This surgical procedure removes the damaged parts of a herniated disc. Removing the damaged area relieves nerve irritation and pressure that can cause pain.
- Lumbar Fusion: During lumbar fusion, two vertebrae are attached together and eventually become one. The procedure stabilizes vertebrae and improves pain. Orthopedists also perform cervical fusion for neck pain.
- Other Surgical Procedures: Artificial disk replacement, lumbar laminectomy and other surgeries may be recommended, depending on your diagnosis.
Are you struggling with neck and back pain? Call The Woodlands, TX, office of Dr. Cartwright of Houston Advanced Spine at (281) 305-9533 to schedule your appointment.