If you’re one of the millions of Americans experiencing chronic neck pain, you already know it can affect your daily routine and make it tough to rest at night.
Did you know, though, that what’s causing the pain in your neck can also trigger daily headaches, muscle weakness in your shoulders, and tingling discomfort in your arms?
Dr. John S. Michels is an award-winning specialist who delivers highly effective pain management care to people throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Dr. Michels is an expert at accurately diagnosing the cause of neck pain and designing treatment strategies that relieve pain, restore mobility, and tackle the underlying cause of your discomfort.
Read why and when Dr. Michels may recommend an epidural injection for long-term pain relief.
Understanding the causes of neck pain
Muscular strain related to poor posture, trauma, or overuse during work or sports activities is a common cause of neck pain. This type of pain often responds well to physical therapy, massage, and activity modification that supports the healing of affected muscles and ligaments.
But structural changes in the spine also trigger neck pain. This pain is often complicated by nerve irritation and inflammation due to the narrowing of spinal spaces through which cervical (neck) nerves travel.
Symptoms of nerve-related neck pain include frequent headaches, often misdiagnosed as tension-type headaches. You may also experience tingling, numbness, or pain in your shoulders, arms, or hands.
What causes nerve-related neck pain?
Degenerative changes that frequently cause cervical nerve compression and irritation include:
Along with age-related spinal changes, the following can also play a significant role in nerve-related neck pain: improper lifting techniques, poor posture, and overuse injuries sustained during sports and work activities.
How do epidural injections help with nerve-related neck pain?
Epidural injections used for neck pain contain powerful anti-inflammatory medication (corticosteroids). When injected into the epidural space through which nerves travel as they exit the cervical spine, the steroid coats the affected nerve, reducing inflammation and nerve irritation.
Delivered in-office under advanced X-ray guidance, the injection procedure is quick and relatively painless. Pain relief from an epidural steroid injection can last for months to more than a year.
When should I consider an epidural injection for neck pain?
Dr. Michels may recommend an epidural injection for moderate to severe neck pain that prevents you from resting, interferes with your daily activities, or blocks you from participating in physical therapy.
The injections are generally well-tolerated with few adverse reactions, and we can repeat them periodically if necessary to maintain adequate control over your pain.
Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Michels today for a comprehensive treatment strategy that effectively manages pain. Call our Dallas, Texas, office or request an appointment online.