Neck Pain Doctor in Northern Indiana
Neck Surgery in Elkhart, Granger, Goshen, Middlebury and Nappanee, IN
Almost everyone has experienced waking up with a stiff neck from time to time – but when your neck pain is chronic, debilitating, or a result of an accident, treatment may be necessary.
Your neck is comprised of vertebrae joints as well as soft tissue, both of which can become inflamed. Nerves and tendons are also present and play a part in the daily use of your neck.
Common Neck Injuries
Common injuries to the neck requiring treatment include:
- Muscle strains
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Sports-related injuries
- Auto injuries
- Herniated discs
- Damaged nerves
- Vertebrae fractures
- Neck sprain
- Pinched nerves
- Spondylosis, or arthritis in the neck
- Torn ligaments or tendons
Common Neck Injury Treatments
Most common kinds of mild to moderate neck pain get better with self-care in two to three weeks. It might also be enough to just take painkillers and use heating pads.
Here are the most common treatments for neck injuries:
- Medication - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be used to treat pain. Only take these medicines as directed, because overuse can cause dangerous side effects
- Physical therapy - A physical therapist can show you how to have the correct posture and do exercises to strengthen your neck. Physical therapy may also use heat, ice, and other methods to help relieve pain
- Neck collar - A soft collar that supports the neck and takes the pressure off the neck may help ease the pain. But a collar might do more harm than good if it is worn for more than three hours at a time or for more than one to two weeks
- Injections - Steroid medicines could be injected near the nerve roots, into the spinal joints, or the neck muscles. You can also get an injection of numbing medicine, like lidocaine
- Surgery - If nerve roots or the spinal cord are being pressed on, surgery might be a possibility. It is also a possibility for neck pain that is caused by more severe conditions, like scoliosis, or severe arthritis in the neck
Neck Surgery Recovery
Your doctor will tell you about how long it should take to get better, but most patients take about a month. After this time, and after you've seen your doctor, you will most likely start some physical therapy and light exercise and work at home.
Everyone has their way of getting better, and there are many things to think about when figuring out if it will take more or less time to heal than the average. These things include but are not limited to:
- Health condition
- Recovery schedule
Neck Surgery Recovery Tips
By following these tips, you can make small but important changes that will help make your neck feel better:
- Maintain a good posture
- Support the side of your neck that was operated on by resting your arms when sitting or standing to avoid extra muscle strain
- Do not carry extra weight like purses, backpacks, and others
How to Prevent Neck Injuries
Use your seatbelt when traveling in a vehicle, and wear protective gear while playing sports and in other possibly dangerous situations to keep your neck from getting injured. Learning the right way to move your body and not using your neck too much can also keep your neck from getting strained.
If you start to feel neck pain, you may make it worse by "pushing through" or continuing the activity that caused it. Instead, try doing less of what caused the pain and relax.
You might also be able to keep from getting hurt more and feel better if you fix your posture, change the pillow you sleep on, or make your work surroundings more comfortable. This could mean raising your computer monitor or your work area so you don't have to lean over or look down for long amounts of time.
Neck Pain & Injury Care in Michiana
Poor posture as well as prolonged sitting in front of a computer screen can put additional strain on soft tissue and joints. OSMC providers are capable of diagnosing and treating any conditions of the neck to help restore healthy tissue as well as reduce pain and its associated inflammatory response.
OSMC Neck Specialists