Neck Pain Treatment Options, And Why Surgery May Be Necessary

Health & Medical Blog

Neck pain can be caused by different things such as injury, general wear and tear of daily life or even diseases such as cancer. The treatment option depends on the root of the pain, but the most common ones include:

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is one of the most effective treatment options for chronic neck pain. One common technique is cervical traction, which gently opens the spaces between the vertebrae to provide pain relief. You may need continuous neck traction to manage the pain. There are traction devices that you can use at home, but you should only buy one with the assistance of your physical therapist.

Bed Rest

Apart from physical therapy, bed rest also goes a long way in alleviating neck pain. Some therapists recommend the use of neck pillows (also known as cervical pillows) to help immobilize your neck while you sleep.

However, total bed rest is only recommended for acute neck pain (such as from a pinched nerve or a ruptured disc). Otherwise, your doctor may advise you to move your neck occasionally to prevent it from getting too stiff.


There are also certain medicines that your doctor may prescribe. Your doctor will start you off with the regular pain medications According to the Australian health resource site myDr, "some anticonvulsant and antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants may also help with some types of neck pain."

When Surgery Becomes an Option

The above forms of treatment may be able to eliminate your neck pain. In some cases, however, the pain may persist and necessitate a surgical approach. Most doctors will prescribe surgery if:

  • You have a pinched nerve root – the operation is meant to remove the material (such as bone spurs) that is pinching the nerve.
  • Your vertebrae are grinding – the grinding is usually caused by degenerative disk disease and it can cause severe pain if not treated.
  • You have spinal stenosis – this is a narrowing of the spinal column that causes pressure and pain on the cord. Surgery is the best treatment option for this pain.

Neck pain can be complex and difficult to treat. The best thing to do is to follow your physician's advice to the letter. For example, you should not advocate for surgery if you have been advised to try medication first, and you should be open minded about surgery if your doctor feels that it is the best option for your case. To learn more, contact a company like Southwest Idaho Ear Nose & Throat PA with any questions or concerns you have.


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