Neck pain is a common medical complaint, with an annual prevalence rate of more than 30%. Worldwide, neck pain is the fourth leading cause of disability, and research shows more than half of all people will have significant neck pain during their lifetimes.
Most often, neck pain is acute — happening suddenly after a strain or injury — and resolves in a relatively short period of time. But some neck pain is chronic or recurrent, and over time, it can take a big toll on your activities and your quality of life.
At his practices in Carmel, Kokomo, and Indianapolis, Indiana, Jonathan Gentile, MD, treats acute and chronic neck pain and related symptoms, relieving symptoms and preventing them from recurring. If you have neck pain, here’s how he can help you.
As the uppermost part of your spine, your neck supports the weight of your head — all 11 pounds of it. With good posture, your neck is fully capable of holding your head high without pain. But spending hours bent over a computer or phone can quickly strain muscles, leading to chronic neck pain and headaches, a condition called “tech neck.”
At the same time, your neck needs to be able to twist, turn, bend, and nod. In fact, it’s one of the most flexible parts of your body. Unlike the rest of your spine that can rely on your back and abdominal muscles for support, your neck needs to do more or less support itself.
In addition to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your neck, your cervical spine also contains the nerves that travel to your shoulders, upper back, arms, and hands. Many conditions that affect your neck can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in these areas, as well.
Before he prescribes any treatment for your neck pain, Dr. Gentile performs a comprehensive evaluation of your neck, beginning with a review of your symptoms, your medical history, and your lifestyle. Lab tests and diagnostic imaging, like X-rays or MRI, provide an in-depth “snapshot”of your neck health and function.
A lot of neck pain is due to strain on your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Other pain is caused by structural issues in the spine, like spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), herniated discs, or arthritis.
In many cases, both acute and chronic pain can be treated noninvasively or with minimally invasive, nonsurgical options, like:
Because neck pain can have different causes and different symptoms, Dr. Gentile customizes each treatment for every patient. Plus, he helps patients understand how they can prevent those painful symptoms in the future.
Neck pain can happen at any age, but it’s even more common as you get older. With so many treatment options available — including ongoing clinical studies — Dr. Gentile can design a treatment plan that gives you relief and helps prevent pain from coming back.
To learn how Dr. Gentile can help you relieve neck pain symptoms, call or book an appointment online today.