Orthopaedic Surgery & Physical Therapy located in Beaufort, Bluffton, Hardeeville, & Hilton Head Island, SC
Neck & Back Pain Q & A
What Causes Back and Neck Pain?
Although neck and back pain can sometimes be due to infections like meningitis (neck pain) or kidney infections (back pain), in most cases, neck and back pain develops from damage or deterioration of your spine and surrounding soft tissues.
Some common causes of neck and back pain include:
- Strained or torn muscles
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine)
- Osteophytes (bone spurs)
- Cervical radiculopathy
Wear-and-tear conditions like stenosis, osteoarthritis, and degenerative disc disease develop gradually, and many people have these conditions without experiencing neck or back pain.
The trigger for pain is when the changes in the shape or alignment of your spine puts pressure on one or more nerves coming out from your spinal cord.
As well as neck or back pain, you might feel pain going down your legs or arms, and numbness, prickling, or a "pins and needles" sensation.
How are Neck and Back Pain Diagnosed?
Diagnosis involves seeing your provider at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine for a consultation. They review your medical history and current health, perform a physical exam, and look at how well you can move.
You might then need to undergo one or more diagnostic imaging tests to confirm a preliminary diagnosis and evaluate the damage. Tests you might need include X-rays, ultrasound, an MRI scan or CT scan, plus electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) tests.
How are Neck and Back Pain Treated?
To start with, the Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine team is likely to recommend a program of conservative treatments for your neck or back pain, such as:
- Activity modification
- Physical therapy
- Hot and cold therapy
- Pain-relieving medication
These methods are likely to be successful for most patients. If not, your provider can administer epidural steroid injections to your spine. These could include nerve blocks containing a local anesthetic, which can also be useful as a diagnostic tool.
Will I Need Surgery for Neck or Back Pain?
Nonsurgical treatments are usually effective in relieving neck and back pain, but if your condition isn't responding or the treatments stop working, surgery might be necessary.
The Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine team specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, performing procedures such as:
- Cervical artificial disc replacement
- Lumbar artificial disc replacement
- Spinal fusion
- Anterior spinal surgery
- Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF)
- Spinal cord stimulation
The team uses advanced techniques and cutting-edge technologies like the coflex® Interlaminar Stabilization® device to treat neck and back pain.
Find out more about overcoming neck or back pain successfully by calling Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine today or booking an appointment online.
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