Neck and Back Pain Management

Neck Pain

Neck pain affects many people at some point in their lifetime. It may result from sleeping the wrong way, poor body mechanics (such as poor posture, or holding the telephone between your shoulder and ear), or from an injury. Symptoms of cervical spine disorders include:
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Arm pain
  • Tingling in the arms, hands, or fingers
  • Numbness in the arms, hands, or fingers
  • Sharp pains in the arms, hands, or fingers
  • Weakness in arms
  • Frequently dropping items
  • Weakness in legs
  • Headaches

The healthy neck is well balanced and allows for movement, stresses, and strains of the head and body. If parts of the neck are injured, start to degenerate, or become unbalanced, it can be a source of neck pain, shoulder stiffness, and arm pain. Many patients report numbness, tingling, or sharp pains in their arms, hands, or fingers.

Neck pain includes general pain and stiffness in the neck region, and pain with movement. The muscles can be sore and tense. Patients often report of mild to severe headaches. Most pain is due to the aging of the spine. As the spine ages, the discs can degenerate and herniate. The joints may become arthritic, stenosis can occur (narrowing of the spinal canal), and instability may develop.

Treatment Options:
Non-surgical care and conservative care are terms commonly used to describe any treatment option that does not involve surgery.  

There are many instances where non-surgical care is preferable to spinal surgery. In fact, most patients do not require surgery. And in many instances, non-surgical treatment can provide good to excellent results in patients.

Learn about non-surgical options for the neck:

  • Neck Immobilization
  • Physical Therapy
  • Medications Management

While most neck pain may respond to non-surgical treatment, you may be in the small minority of patients that can benefit from neck surgery.

Learn more about some surgical treatment options for the neck: 

  • Corpectomy
  • Foraminotomy
  • Minimally Invasive Discectomy

Back Pain 

  • People who may be candidates for back surgery have:
  • Constant pain
  • Pain that recurs frequently and interferes with their ability to sleep
  • Pain that prevents them from functioning at their job
  • Pain that makes it difficult to perform daily activities

In general, there are two groups of people who may require back surgery to treat their spinal problems.

People in the first group may have:

  • Chronic low back pain
  • Sciatica 
  • A herniated disc Spinal stenosis 
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Vertebral fractures with nerve involvement

People in the second group may have predominant lower back pain without leg pain. These are people with low back pain, in which discs wear out with age. In most cases, the outcome of back surgery is much more predictable in people with sciatica than in those with predominant low back pain.

Some of the diagnoses that may require back surgery include: 

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Vertebral fractures
  • Low back pain

Treatment Options: 
Non-surgical care and conservative care are terms commonly used to describe any treatment option that does not involve surgery.  

There are many instances where non-surgical care is preferable to spinal surgery. In fact, most patients do not require surgery. And in many instances, non-surgical treatment can provide good to excellent results in patients.

Learn about non-surgical options for the back: 

  • Epidurals
  • Physical Therapy
  • Medications Management

Back Surgery for Herniated Discs  
Herniated discs are a potentially painful problem in which the hard outer coating of the discs, which are the circular pieces of connective tissue that cushion the bones of the spine, are damaged, allowing the discs' jelly-like center to leak, irritating nearby nerves. This causes severe sciatica and nerve pain down the leg. A herniated disc is sometimes called a ruptured disc.

Back surgery options for a herniated disc include:

  • Laminectomy/discectomy
  • Microdiscectomy

Back Surgery for Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, through which the spinal cord and spinal nerves run. This condition is often caused by the overgrowth of bone resulting from osteoarthritis of the spine. Compression of the nerves caused by spinal stenosis can lead to:

  • Pain
  • Numbness in the legs
  • Loss of bladder and/or bowel control

Back Surgery for Vertebral Fractures
Vertebral fractures are caused by trauma to the vertebrae of the spine or by breaking down of the vertebrae resulting from osteoporosis. This causes mostly mechanical back pain, but it may also put pressure on the nerves, creating leg pain. Back surgery options for osteoporotic fractures include:

  • Kyphoplasty

Back Surgery for Discogenic Low Back Pain
Most people's discs degenerate over a lifetime, but in some, this aging process can become chronically painful, severely interfering with their quality of life. Back surgery options for discogenic low back pain include:

  • Spinal fusion
  • Disc replacement

Center for Surgical and Specialty Care 
255 Terracina Blvd Suite 104B
Redlands, CA 92373
(909) 793-4336