Surgery is always an option when cervical (neck) pain invades your life, but ongoing research has given orthopedists like Dr. Paul M. Brisson, MD, new tools that can reduce or cure neck pain without resorting to the scalpel. We’ll all probably be in pain at some point, due to accident or injury, lifestyle, work habits or just the fact that we’re getting old.
Treatment depends on the source and severity of your pain — most neck pain is a short-term problem that the body heals on its own, with a little help from pain relievers, chiropractic and lifestyle improvements.
Non-surgical Treatment Options
Most neck injuries occur in the soft tissues — muscles, tendons or ligaments. Patients describe them as a persistent ache, stabbing or burning; areas sensitive to the touch; numbness and tingling or headaches. To help these small problems work themselves out:
- Apply Ice: These are different treatments for different situations. The body often rushes additional blood to an injured area, but, when the body overdoes it and swelling occurs, ice helps reduce blood flow by constricting blood vessels.
- Apply Heat: As swelling goes down, switch to heat (via heating pad, hot tub or warm wrap, to loosen muscles and send more blood to the area. Apply it for about 20 minutes at a stretch, several times daily.
- Correct Your Posture: Sitting up straight, walking with shoulders high is old, and very sage advice, but there’s more. Tilting your neck forward 20 degrees, like looking at your phone or tablet — puts 30 extra pounds of pressure on your spine. Over time, this can erase the natural curve of your neck, weaken muscles and cause shoulder muscles to tighten, producing create chronic neck pain. Sit with your eyes facing straight forward as much as possible then move around and stretch out regularly.
- Exercise: Appropriate exercise strengthens neck muscles, enabling them to do more without pain. Aerobic exercises increase blood flow to soft muscles and tissues of the neck, loosening tight muscles, strengthening weak ones and increasing range of motion. Discuss your goals with your physician, who can help you design a suitable exercise program.
- Eat Right, Quit Smoking, Don’t Misuse Drugs: These should be no-brainers, but some people insist on risking their long-term health with bad habits.
Visit New York City’s Top Orthopedic Surgeon
Dr. Brisson is a fully-qualified, well-respected member of the New York City medical community, with over 30 years in practice and a skilled staff to back him up. Located just east of Madison Square Park on 25th Street in Manhattan, his practice provides the best service to every one of his patients. If you’re in pain, contact Dr. Paul M. Brisson, MD, today for a consultation. You don’t have to live with neck pain.