Neck & Back Pain

Neck pain and back pain are unfortunately very common in our society. In general, they are more common in sedentary individuals, especially those who work at a desk or computer station. Fortunately, the prognosis for patients with neck pain is excellent, as well over 90 percent of patients with neck and back pain improve with conservative (non-surgical) treatment.

Neck & Back Pain Causes & Diagnosis

There are many conditions that can cause neck and back pain. To formulate an appropriate diagnosis, it is important to take a thorough history, perform a physical exam and obtain imaging studies, such as X-rays and an MRI. Some diagnoses include:

  • Mechanical Conditions
  • Degenerative Conditions
  • Inflammatory Conditions
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Ankylosing Spondylitis (chronic inflammatory arthritis)
  • Infectious Conditions
    • Discitis
    • Osteomyelitis
  • Traumatic Conditions
    • Fracture
    • Subluxation
    • Dislocation
  • Oncologic Conditions
    • Benign or Malignant Spine Tumor
    • Metastatic Spine Tumor
  • Congenital Conditions
    • Klippel-Feil syndrome
  • Idiopathic Conditions
    • Unknown causes
  • Psychogenic Conditions
    • Psychiatric disorders with manifestation of neck or back pain

Where Neck Pain Begins

Where Lower Back Pain Begins

Muscle Strain of the Upper Back (Trapezius Strain)

Neck & Back Pain Treatment Options

Treatments for neck or back pain, like those for many medical conditions, can be conservative (non-operative) or surgical. Conservative, noninvasive treatments are generally the first treatments recommended to patients since most conditions affecting the spine are self-limited and improve or completely resolve with these treatments. Spinal injections and surgical treatments are only considered if the diagnosis is amenable to surgery and non-operative treatments have failed. Rarely, some spinal conditions are more serious (myelopathy, severe stenosis, fractures, cancer, etc.) and require immediate surgical management.

Conservative Treatments

  • Rest or Activity Reduction
  • Medications
  • Topical (Ice packs, heat, ointments, etc.)
  • Orthotics (Back brace, corset, etc.)
  • Core Exercises
  • Massage
  • Physical Therapy
  • Dry Needling
  • Modalities, including ultrasound, phonophoresis (ultrasound to apply drugs) and iontophoresis (a kind of electrical stimulation used to administer medication)
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
  • Facet Joint Injections
  • Epidural Steroid Injections (Cervical)
  • Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections

Surgical Treatments (Neck)

Surgical Treatments (Low Back)

Our Neck & Back Pain Physicians