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Neck and shoulder pain can be classified in many different ways. Some people experience only neck pain or only shoulder pain, while others experience pain in both areas.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Causes of neck pain include:
Abnormalities in the bone or joints
The treatment of soft tissue neck pain includes the use of anti-inflammatory medication (such as Aleve or Motrin) and/or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Depending on the source of pain, drugs like muscle relaxers and even antidepressants might be helpful. Pain also may be treated with a local application of moist heat or ice. Local corticosteroid injection is often helpful for arthritis of the shoulder. For both neck and shoulder pain movement exercises may help.
Research has also shown chiropractic to be helpful in treating neck pain and headaches. In addition, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia may respond to the moderate pressure used both by chiropractors and practitioners of deep tissue massage.
The causes of back pain can be very complex, and there are many structures in the back that can cause pain. The following test procedures are used to test and evaluate the cause of pain:
X-RAYS X-rays can be very effective in diagnosing traumatic bone and joint injuries such fractures and dislocations. An X-Ray provides images that can be used to evaluate bones, joints and degenerative lesions in the spine.
MYELOGRAM A myelogram uses X-rays and a special dye called contrast material to make pictures of the bones and the fluid-filled space between the bones in your spine. A myelogram may be done to find problems with the spine such as a herniated disc, or narrowing of the spinal canal caused by arthritis.
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) An MRI is a common test to evaluate the lumbar spine. MRI’s can be used to evaluate vertebral bones, discs, joints, nerves, and soft tissue
CAT SCAN (CT) CT scans may be requested when problems are suspected in the bones or when a patient is unable to obtain an MRI
DISCOGRAPHY A discography is a medical procedure that involves injecting a dye into the jellylike center of a spinal disc to help diagnose back problems. During discography, a doctor looks at the amount of pressure needed to inject the dye into the disc, whether it causes pain that is the same as your regular pain, how much dye is used, and how the dye appears on X-ray once it is inside the disc.
EMG An electromyogram (EMG) measures how well and how fast the nerves can send electrical signals. If you have leg pain or numbness, you may have these tests to find out how much your nerves are being affected. These tests check how well your spinal cord, nerve roots, and nerves and muscles that control your legs are working.
BONE DENSITY Bone mineral density (BMD) testing generally correlates with bone strength and is used to diagnose osteoporosis
BONE SCAN A bone scan is a test to help find the cause of your back pain. It can be done to find damage to the bones. A bone scan can often find a problem days to months earlier than a regular X-ray test.