You’re not alone if you suffer from neck pain that’s severe enough to limit your movement or activities, as it’s estimated that 10-20% of adults experience the same problem. John S. Michels, MD, of Interventional Spine & Pain in Dallas has years of experience using innovative interventional therapies to help patients find relief from their neck pain. Call the office or use online booking to schedule an appointment today.
Injuries like whiplash, and more commonly, neck strain, are responsible for many cases of neck pain. As you get older, however, neck pain develops from degenerative changes that cause conditions such as:
These degenerative changes result in pain as they compress nerves in your spinal cord.
When your pain originates from a compressed nerve, you’re likely to develop symptoms such as tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness along the length of the affected nerve. Since nerves in your neck leave the spine and travel to your arms, your symptoms will shoot through your shoulders and down one or both arms. It’s also common for patients with neck pain to develop headaches.
Dr. Michels begins by identifying the cause of your neck pain. If a physical examination and diagnostic imaging still leave questions about the source of your pain, he employs advanced spinal pain mapping to target the problem.
Your first line of treatment is conservative, with a customized plan that includes therapies such as physical therapy, ultrasound therapy, and medication. When your pain persists, Dr. Michels recommends specialized interventional treatments such as:
Using real-time imaging to see and guide the needle, Dr. Michels injects steroid and anesthetic medications into the epidural space around your spinal cord. He precisely places the medication near the nerves sending pain signals to your brain.
The anesthetic blocks the nerve signals, which means your brain doesn’t get the message and you don’t feel your neck pain. The steroids significantly reduce inflammation, providing pain relief that lasts longer than the anesthetic.
Facet joint injections work the same way as an epidural injection, but the medications are injected to target nerves serving the facet joints in your neck.
Radiofrequency ablation blocks nerve signals, but it produces longer-lasting results than an anesthetic nerve block. During this procedure, Dr. Michels uses the heat from radio waves to create a wound on a specific nerve. The wound typically stops nerve transmission and provides pain relief for nine months to more than two years. If the nerve regrows, however, your results last about six to 12 months.
Spinal cord stimulation blocks or masks nerve signals using a mild electrical current.
To learn more about innovative therapies to relieve neck pain, call Interventional Spine & Pain or book an appointment online today.