Doctor for Neck Pain
If you have neck pain, your general practitioner will refer you to see an orthopedist, a medical doctor for neck pain specializing in musculoskeletal system problems. The musculoskeletal system is composed of muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments and bones that support your body and allow fluid movement. An orthopedist is a highly trained surgeon, specializing in the treatment of the skeleton and its structures.
Orthopedists complete more than 12 years of formal education that includes college, medical school and five years of postgraduate work including residency at a major medical facility. Some orthopedists pursue further specialization in orthopedics such as sports medicine or choose to concentrate in specific part of the body such as the spine.
When it comes to diagnosing neck pain, orthopedic care is the optimal standard in receiving treatment.
Getting a Diagnosis of Neck Pain Symptoms
The cervical spine (neck) is made up of bones, disks, ligaments, muscles, spinal cord and nerves. Neck pain can be caused by minor or serious injury to or an abnormality of any part along these structures. Neck pain is often caused by problems within the musculoskeletal system.
Orthopedists will work closely with patients to get an accurate diagnosis. Your complete medical history will be documented, including any previous neck pain or problems and any other illnesses or injuries that might have contributed to the current pain.
After the medical history, the orthopedist will perform a physical examination that can include an evaluation of your neck motion and how sensitive your neck has become. The function of the nerves and muscles in your arms and legs will also be tested to evaluate if there are nerve problems that may be contributing to your neck pain.
Blood tests, X-rays and other imaging procedures may be ordered to evaluate the bones, disks, spinal cord, nerve roots and muscles in your neck.
Neck Pain Treatment
After the cause of your neck pain has been established by the orthopedist, treatment may include rest for a few days and avoiding activities that strain the neck. Medication may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation, relax neck muscles and relieve pain. Some patients may need to wear a neck brace for a prescribed amount of time to heal and to avoid further injury to the neck.
Orthopedist will sometimes refer patients to a physical therapist who will customize an exercise program of stretching and strengthening to relieve your neck pain and help prevent future neck problems. Some people may be hesitant to exercise when having neck pain, but careful neck exercises can help alleviate the muscles in the neck area that may be causing pain.
Surgery for Neck Pain
In serious cases, such as a herniated disk, the orthopedist might recommend surgery to help relieve the pressure the protrusion is placing on your spinal cord or nerve roots.
Neck pain usually requires some form of treatment to help reduce pain and to prevent further damage. If you are experiencing pain in the neck that does not go away or have recently suffered an injury, you should visit a doctor for neck pain. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best neck pain doctor in NYC.