Vital Facts About Neck and Back Pain

Neck and Back Pain

Having neck or back pain can be such an unpleasant experience. When you have neck pain, you cannot sleep well, turn your head, and it affects your posture. Having back pain affects your movement and your day-to-day activities. The good news is that your Albany neck and back pain specialists at Orthopaedic Associates can help relieve your pain.

What causes neck and back pain?

There are different causes of neck and back pain. These include:

  • Strenuous activities such as lifting heavy loads or doing an activity that requires repetitive twisting
  • Having an abnormal growth like bone spurs
  • Strain or sprain and muscle tension
  • Experiencing muscle and ligament tears and muscle weakness in your back
  • Having conditions like arthritis which affects your joints
  • Suffering injury, fractures, and trauma

What are the symptoms of neck and back pain?

You may experience different symptoms for your neck and back, depending on the cause of the pain.  If you have neck pain, you may experience stiffness, numbness, pain, tingling in your arm, strain when turning your head, pain in your neck and shoulders, and headaches.

If you have back pain, you could have a burning or sharp pain in your back, radiating pain down your leg and stiffness of your back, numbness in your leg, muscle spasm, or consistent ache either in your lower or middle back. You may also experience a sharp pain shooting from your lower back to the buttocks, spreading down to the calf and toes.

How is neck and back pain diagnosis carried out?

Your doctor will review your medical history and carry out a thorough physical examination of your muscles and joints. Your doctor may recommend further diagnosis like a blood test to examine arthritis, a condition that affects your joints, causing neck and back pain.

Your doctor may also recommend some diagnostic imaging like MRI to get pictures of your ligaments, blood vessels, and tendons. The test helps determine if you have any infection, inflammation, tumor, or nerve pressure.

Your doctor will perform bone scans to check for tumors and suspected compression fractures if you have symptoms of radiculopathy. An X-ray of the affected area is also essential.

Neck and back pain treatment

Your doctor may recommend the following conservative treatments for your neck pain.

Joint mobilization therapy to help restore joint motion. Some active and passive exercises prevent stiffness, regain motion in your muscles, and strengthen your brain-to-body communication to boost movement.

Ice and heat therapy will help relieve your pain and stiffness.

Steroid injections will help reduce inflammation around your nerve roots or inflammation area.

For your back pain, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following:

Therapeutic massage to relieve pain and reduce stress, manual manipulation to relieve pain caused by muscle tension and muscle spasm

Steroid injections to reduce inflammation

Heat therapy to help boost the circulation of oxygen, and nutrients to joints and muscles. The circulation will help repair your damaged muscles and reduce inflammation.

If conservative treatments do not alleviate your neck or back pain, your doctor may recommend you undergo surgery for neck or back pain.

If you are experiencing neck or back pain, call or book an appointment online with Orthopaedic Associates.