Around 30% of American adults experience neck pain in their lifetime. Acute neck pain may dissipate on its own with time — but for about half of all neck pain sufferers, that pain becomes chronic.
Neck pain can stem from a variety of factors, including poor posture, injury, and spinal degeneration, and it can have a serious impact on your health and your quality of life.
Fortunately, there are lots of treatment options for chronic neck pain, and we’re here to help you find the most effective remedy for your discomfort. Eric Fanaee, MD, and our team specialize in chronic pain management in Bethpage, Smithtown, and West Islip, New York.
In this blog, we describe four of the most popular nonsurgical treatments for neck pain.
1. Physical therapy
Physical therapy is one of the most effective nonsurgical treatments for musculoskeletal pain. It involves exercises and other techniques to gradually build muscle strength, improve mobility, restore function, and reduce pain.
If Dr. Fanaee recommends physical therapy for you, your therapist works with you to develop a treatment plan individualized for your needs. It may include exercises to improve your strength and flexibility as well as manual therapy techniques like massage or joint mobilization.
Physical therapy is a safe and effective way to address the underlying causes of neck pain. By strengthening your muscles and increasing your flexibility, physical therapy can make a significant difference in your pain level over time.
2. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
TENS is a noninvasive pain relief technique that involves using a small device to deliver electrical impulses to your neck. It’s a type of electrical stimulation therapy that works to block pain signals from the nerves in your neck and spine, reducing pain sensations.
TENS can effectively relieve nerve-related chronic neck pain. Because it’s noninvasive and drug-free, it has a low risk of side effects, and we can combine it with other treatment methods for maximum relief. TENS may not be effective for everyone, so talk to Dr. Fanaee to determine if it’s a good option for you.
3. Steroid injections
Pain medication is another way to manage chronic neck discomfort. But if over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t effective enough, Dr. Fanaee may suggest trying steroid injections. Injecting corticosteroid medication into the affected area reduces inflammation and swelling, which helps relieve neck pain and improve your mobility.
Dr. Fanaee typically recommends steroid injections for patients with chronic neck pain that’s related to inflammation or injury. He uses an injection with a local anesthetic to offer immediate pain relief, and the steroid medication takes effect in the following days. For many people, steroid injections provide pain relief that lasts for months.
4. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
PRP is a relatively new nonsurgical treatment option that involves injecting a concentrated solution of platelets and other growth factors into the painful area. PRP therapy is a type of regenerative medicine. The concentrated platelet solution is derived from your own blood, and therapy helps reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Dr. Fanaee recommends PRP therapy for chronic neck pain because it’s drug-free and has a low risk of side effects. It can be particularly effective for people with neck pain that’s caused by injury or a degenerative condition like arthritis because it stimulates your body’s healing mechanisms to reduce pain over time.
Chronic neck pain can be debilitating, but you don’t have to turn to surgery. Book a consultation with Dr. Fanaee and our team to learn more about what’s causing your pain and how nonsurgical treatment can help you start living better. Call us at 631-265-2020 or book an appointment online today.