If you have neck pain that you can no longer manage on your own but aren’t ready for surgery, there are many other options available.
As an interventional pain management physician, Edward Carden, MD understands the impact both neck pain and surgery can have on your life. That’s why he specializes in several minimally invasive treatments that promote long-lasting pain relief, so you may not need surgery after all.
The right time to seek help for neck pain
About 80% of Americans experience neck pain. This type of pain typically results from tension in the muscles that support your cervical (upper) spine, usually from daily stress and poor posture.
You may not need professional treatment for occasional muscle pain in your neck if you can find relief with over-the-counter medications and daily stretching exercises. However, if your pain lasts longer than a week or two, something more serious may be happening within your spine.
We recommend that you schedule an evaluation for neck pain that doesn't improve with home care within two weeks or if your pain worsens, even with rest and medications. Dr. Carden uses advanced diagnostic technologies to closely evaluate the structures of your cervical spine to identify issues like:
- Herniated discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Osteoporosis (bone loss)
- Degenerative disc disease
All of these conditions become more common with age and affect the stability of the structures in your spine. If you ignore the pain and other symptoms these spine issues can cause, your pain may become severe and your risk for surgery increases.
Treating neck pain without surgery
Early intervention of persistent neck pain can help you get the pain relief you need and lower the likelihood you’ll need surgery. Based on the results of your diagnostic testing, Dr. Carden customizes a spinal treatment plan to your individual needs to address your pain and its underlying cause.
Initially, he may prescribe anti-inflammatories and pain relievers to increase your comfort, so you can participate in physical therapy. Therapy teaches you exercises to keep your neck muscles strong but flexible to prevent recurrent pain.
If oral medications aren’t working well, you might be a candidate for injection therapies that deliver medications directly into your cervical spine.
We also offer minimally invasive radiofrequency ablation that uses low currents of radiofrequency energy to destroy painful nerves in your neck, so they can no longer send pain signals to your brain.
Keeping your neck surgery risk low
As you find reliable relief from your neck pain, it's important that you keep your upper spine healthy by exercising regularly, minimizing stress, and eating a nutritious diet.
Practicing good posture at all times is also an essential element to avoiding neck pain and surgery down the road. Because we spend so much time bent over our phones and computer screens, you have to stay mindful about keeping your spine straight and taking regular breaks to release tension in your muscles.
If you’re at risk for osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, or other conditions that lead to chronic neck or back pain, Dr. Carden can recommend steps you can take now to keep your spine strong and healthy.
Don’t put off an evaluation for persistent neck pain. Call the office of Edward Carden, MD in Sherman Oaks, California, to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.