The soreness and aches of neck pain and back pain can have a significant impact on your life. Among adults in the U.S., 20% to 70% will experience neck pain that interferes with their daily activities at some point. Those numbers jump up to 60% to 80% when considering back pain. These types of pain can make it difficult to get out of bed, let alone go to work or go about your day. If you’re suffering from neck or back pain, read on for more information about how the team at Houston Spine & Joint Pain Consultants can help.
Why is neck and back pain so often related?
Whether your pain is due to injury, aging, or a medical condition, your back and neck are closely-connected and incredibly important components of your spinal column.
Your back provides constant support to your head and neck. This is why causes of back and neck pain so often go hand-in-hand. Some of the more common causes of pain include:
- Repetitive daily tasks, such as heavy lifting or an overly intense exercise regimen
- Improper posture, especially during extended periods of sitting or standing
- Age-related degeneration of muscles and ligaments
- Injuries sustained in car crashes, falls, and other accidents
- Diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis
- Lack of exercise
- Excessive weight gain and obesity
- Nerve compression
- Skeletal irregularities
All of these causes can contribute to back pain and neck pain. In some cases, one may lead to an onset of the other. For this reason, it’s important to tackle the pain you’re dealing with now. When put off, it can worsen or begin to affect other parts of your body over time.
How a diagnosis can help
A diagnosis is always the first step toward finding pain relief.
Back pain treatments and neck pain treatments vary greatly, and the cause of your pain will determine the best course of action for you. It’s important to know if you’re dealing with a sudden onset of pain that could be temporary, or a more chronic type of pain that will need long-term medical attention. A doctor can help you make this determination.
Our team at Houston Spine & Joint Pain Consultants works closely with you from the very beginning, using a combination of surveys and tests to properly diagnose your pain.
First, our doctors will complete a thorough review of your medical records, family history, and symptoms. This helps us get a clear picture of your overall condition. If this doesn’t provide a sufficient amount of information, we may order imaging tests. Through diagnostic tests like X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we can more accurately pinpoint the cause of your pain.
Each type of pain, and each person experiencing it, is unique. As a team, we know it requires our attention to even the smallest details of your symptoms or health history. Our method of diagnosis allows us to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to you personally.
How can Houston Spine & Joint Pain Consultants help me?
At Houston Spine & Joint Pain Consultants, we believe in a comprehensive approach to pain management. Our goal is to assist you in alleviating your pain through non-invasive or minimally invasive methods.
When it is possible to avoid surgery, you’re often able to prevent extensive recovery times and potential complications. With this in mind, it is always our goal to try other options initially. In many cases, a combination of treatments will be the best way to relieve your short-term and long-term aches and pains.
It’s important to look at the big picture when developing a pain relief approach. Complementary care is based on non-invasive methods and simple life changes. This type of treatment in combination with conventional procedures can significantly improve pain levels and quality of life.
Common approaches you may use include:
- Physical therapy: Maintaining a routine of stretches and strengthening exercises can typically lead to increased flexibility and agility, along with less pain
- Chiropractic care: People often experience back and neck pain relief after chiropractic methods using spinal manipulation, adjustments, and alignments to realign the body
- Braces and support garments: The compression created by braces and other support garments can help improve posture, while stabilizing your muscles and elongating the spine
- Sleep modifications or props: In some cases, a simple change in the firmness of your mattress or even your sleeping position can make a significant difference when it comes to back pain and neck pain
- Routine modifications: Because repetitive physical tasks are often the cause of back pain and neck pain, altering your routine at work or home may relieve some of the discomfort you’re feeling
Interventional pain management
Interventional pain management techniques can help those who are suffering from moderate to severe pain, but want to avoid surgery. Cutting-edge medical technology has resulted in minimally invasive options that can reduce pain after a short outpatient procedure.
Some of the interventional pain procedures we perform include:
- Epidural steroid injections: These injections include a steroid medication and, at times, an anesthetic to reduce pain and inflammation in an affected area of the back or neck
- Facet joint injections: A local anesthetic and steroid are injected into the facet joint area, which can lead to pain relief and reduced inflammation
- Stem cell injections: By injecting stem cells into damaged areas of the body, they can regenerate the entire area and help with healing
- Medial branch blocks: Medial branch blocks target the medial branch nerves that control the small nerves in the back and neck, stopping pain signals
- Vertebroplasty: In this procedure, cement is injected into damaged vertebrae in order to help restore the length of the spine and straighten any abnormal spinal curvature
At Houston Spine & Joint Pain Consultants, we believe in assisting you every step of the way in your pain relief process. We welcome patients from across the Houston area, including Midtown, Katy, Cypress, Spring, Sugarland, and more.
Call us today for information about our comprehensive pain management treatment plans. Our team is ready to help you get back to a life with less pain.