Neck Pain?

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Neck Pain

Neck pain is extremely common to have  and a very frequent reason for visits to a doctor. It can come from a variety of sources and can severely affect your daily life and even your life long term. Take a look at these causes, symptoms, and treatments for neck pain.

Symptoms

Pain can be isolated to the neck region itself, but it can also radiate into the scalp and may be associated with headaches. Some patients will describe pain radiating into the shoulder blades and mid back area. If the nerve inflammation is significant, patients may experience pain, numbness, and even weakness in the arms and/or hands as well. Pain can often be worsened by holding your head in one place for long periods, such as when driving or working at a computer. Other symptoms include muscle tightness and spasms, decreased ability to move your head, and headaches.

Causes

Causes of neck pain can include muscle strains, overuse, worn joints, nerve compression, or diseases. Neck pain can also occur secondary to an injury or trauma although most commonly presents without a specific cause. 

Treatment Options

Non-surgical treatment options include, but are not limited to, trigger point injections, epidurals, facet injections, nerve blocks and physical therapy. An MRI, CT, or EMG may be necessary to better determine the source of pain and optimal treatment. Physical therapy is also an option. A physical therapist can teach you correct posture, alignment and neck-strengthening exercises, and can use heat, ice, electrical stimulation and other measures to help ease your pain and prevent a recurrence. Another type of treatment is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in which electrodes placed on your skin near the painful areas deliver tiny electrical impulses that may relieve pain.

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Got Lower Back Pain?

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Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can severely affect your day-to-day activities. Aside from the common cold, lower back, or lumbar pain, is one of the most common reasons that patients visit their doctor. While lower back pain can be related to a trauma or injury, it might not be. Because lower back pain often deals with the spine, it is important to identify it immediately and seek the treatment you need.

Symptoms

Muscle spasms, cramping, stiffness, throbbing, aching, or another kind of discomfort could all be symptoms of lower back pain. The pain may be in the middle of the back, on both sides, or isolated to one side of the back.  It can also radiate into the buttocks, hip, and groin regions.  In some patients, the pain will radiate into the legs and individuals may also experience numbness and/or weakness.  The reason for this is that all of the nerves in the legs come from the back.  As a result, any issue with the low back can potentially affect the legs.

Causes

Some causes of lower back pain can include a bad disc irritating a nerve, joint inflammation, arthritis, or muscle strain. Additional causes can be overuse, injury, pressure on nerve roots, old age, or even spinal tumors.

Treatment Options

Treatments for lower back pain include trigger point injections, epidurals, selective nerve blocks, facet injections, sacroiliac joint injections, intradiscal steroid injections, spinal cord stimulators, and physical therapy.  An MRI, CT, or EMG may be necessary to better determine the source of pain.

Prevention

To avoid painful symptoms, there are some ways you can prevent lower back pain. Exercise regularly, lift objects properly, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight so as not to put excess strain on your back, quit smoking, and watch your posture. By staying generally healthy and keeping an eye on your physical activities, you can definitely make significant strides in avoiding lower back pain.

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