Neck pain is a common ailment in the United States. It’s often due to poor posture, muscle strain, or the effects of aging. Regardless of the cause, though, ongoing neck pain and stiffness can make it hard to work, play, or rest.
John S. Michels, MD is a highly skilled pain management expert in Dallas, Texas, who is well-known for his unique understanding of pain.
Dr. Michels became a physician after an injury forced him into early retirement from an NFL career that included a Super Bowl win. This experience helped shape his personal and professional commitment to providing truly effective treatments that relieve pain and help restore mobility.
Read what this talented specialist has to say about five treatments for neck pain that can help get you moving pain-free again.
Five effective treatments for neck pain
After a thorough exam and accurate diagnosis of your condition, Dr. Michels creates a customized treatment strategy for neck pain that may include:
A physical therapy (PT) program may include ultrasound treatments, therapeutic massage, and exercises to improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength in your neck and shoulders.
Depending on the underlying cause of your neck pain, Dr. Michels may recommend starting with physical therapy as a conservative treatment approach. PT is also a valuable component of rehabilitation following treatments for conditions or injuries that caused your neck pain.
Epidural steroid injections
Used to relieve pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms caused by compressed nerve(s) in the cervical spine, epidural steroid injections are delivered to the epidural space surrounding your spinal cord in the area of the inflamed and irritated nerve(s). These injections contain a steroid to reduce inflammation and an anesthetic that temporarily blocks the nerve signals transmitting the pain message to your brain.
Facet joint injections
Facet joints act as connectors between the bones in your spine. Those in the cervical spine allow your neck to bend and twist but help keep it from moving too far in any direction. Nerve roots pass through the facet joints as they travel from the spinal cord to your head, arms, and other areas.
Like those contained in epidural steroid injections, the medications used for these injections reduce inflammation and temporarily control pain. Dr. Michels may recommend facet joint or epidural steroid injections to reduce your pain and help you better tolerate rehabilitation after an injury.
Cervical radiofrequency ablation
Radiofrequency ablation is a relatively painless treatment that uses heat produced by radio waves to disrupt and prevent pain-related nerve signals from reaching the brain. The results are not permanent, but pain relief is typically much longer than expected with anesthetic nerve blocks, from nine months to two years.
Spinal cord stimulation
Clinically proven to provide drug-free pain relief without discomfort, spinal cord stimulation blocks painful nerve signals with a controlled electrical current. First introduced in the late 1960s, spinal cord stimulation devices have undergone significant improvements in recent years. These technological advances allow Dr. Michels to customize treatment settings for better control of your chronic neck pain.
For truly effective pain relief from an expert who understands, schedule a visit with pain management specialist, Dr. John S. Michels today. Contact us by calling our office or request an appointment online.