It’s safe to say that we’ve all experienced musculoskeletal pain at some point. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 percent of Americans reported experiencing it, with 14 percent complaining specifically of neck pain.
Consistent neck pain is a persistent, debilitating reality for many people suffering from a range of different conditions—but it doesn’t have to stay that way. There are several home remedies and minimally invasive treatment options that can help reduce your symptoms, restore your mobility, and alleviate your neck pain.
Common Home Remedies for Neck Pain
Before exploring surgical treatment options, we always recommend trying non-surgical alternatives first. The most effective home remedies for neck pain include:
Remember being told, “Rest is the best” when you were sick or hurt as a kid? Believe it or not, the same applies here. By simply resting your neck, you can enable the muscles to heal and the nerves to return to their normal state. Consider icing your neck while resting to reduce inflammation and ease pain.
There are certain exercises for cervical disc disease and neck pain that may help relieve your symptoms. Daily stretching is the key to increasing and maintaining range of motion, as well as improving the flexibility of your cervical joints. Strengthening exercises also help by building neck muscles that support the head, improving posture and making it easier to maintain proper alignment.
Pain management is a critical part of the healing process. Controlling your neck pain may allow your body to heal naturally. Combining non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or prescription painkillers with rest and at-home stretches may help you avoid surgery down the road.
Massage is an excellent way to relax tense muscles and target trouble areas in your neck. By massaging the areas causing you pain, you can improve blood flow and reduce painful symptoms.
When Home Remedies Aren’t the Best Option
Many people are fortunate to find relief from home remedies, but there are also cases when surgery might be the best option. If you’ve already tried non-surgical therapies that have failed, surgery is the next logical step.
Uncontrollable pain (especially that increases over time) and/or a decrease in mobility can also indicate that it’s time to explore surgical options. Certain spinal conditions and injuries may also require surgical intervention.
There are several surgical procedures designed to address consistent neck pain, which a spine specialist can break down for you during a consultation. Surgical procedures for relieving neck pain include:
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
During this procedure, an incision is made in the front (anterior) of the neck, the damaged disc is removed, and any affected vertebrae are fused together using a bone graft secured by plates and screws.
Artificial disc replacement (ADR)
ADR involves the replacement of a damaged disc with a synthetic device that mimics the cushion and support of natural discs.
Posterior cervical foraminotomy
This is essentially a “clean-out” procedure for removing bone spurs to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves.
How DISC Takes a Minimally Invasive Approach
When surgery is the best option, it is important to seek a surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS), like those on our team at DISC Sports & Spine Center.
Today, new surgical techniques and technology allow for a more targeted, innovative approach to treating consistent neck pain. Using revolutionary, high-powered microscopes, a specialist can operate through a small incision, restoring function while reducing trauma to surrounding tissues. Additionally, these procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning a shorter stay for you
Other benefits to taking a minimally invasive approach (MISS) include:
- Quicker, safer recovery period
- Reduced scarring and blood loss
- Less risk of hospital-based infections
- Improved function and mobility
With so many advantages to the MISS approach, it’s clearly the optimal route to recovery when surgery is required. Along with taking this unique approach to care, DISC is a multidisciplinary facility with a wide range of specialists under one roof. Whether you’re a professional athlete nursing an injury or a person struggling with degenerative disc disease, we’ve got you covered.
Schedule your consultation to get back to the active, pain-free lifestyle you love.
ARTICLE CATEGORIES: Patient Education, Spine Health
About the author
discmdgroup DISC Sports and Spine Center (DISC) is one of America’s foremost providers of minimally invasive spine procedures and advanced arthroscopic techniques. Our individually picked, highly specialized physicians apply both established and innovative solutions to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate their patients in a one-stop, multi-disciplinary setting. With a wide range of specialists under one roof, the result is an unmatched continuity of care with more efficiency, less stress for the patient, and a zero MRSA infection rate. Read more articles by discmdgroup.