Some neck pain is caused by sprains, strains, muscle tension, or misalignment. Often those kinds of pain can be solved with massage or chiropractic therapy.
But cervical pain is a different kind of neck pain. It’s caused either by osteoarthritis or cervical spondylolysis, in which spinal discs develop cracks. The discs in your spine dry out, your bones rub together, and bone spurs appear. It can be the result of age or trauma, or both. In a case like that, a muscle rub won’t help, and so cervical pain calls for interventional pain management procedures. Dr Jason Attaman offers several treatment options (below) for cervical pain in your neck.
Cervical medial branch blocks
This treatment requires us to inject a local anesthetic near the medial branch nerve. This will numb your pain and give you immediate relief. Unless you have other complications you can expect to enjoy relief from your pain for up to two years after this procedure. It’s an outpatient procedure, and most patients return to work the very next day.
This technique allows us to disrupt pain signals via electrical impulse. This destroys damaged nerves or tissues and stops the transmission of pain signals, putting an end to your pain. It is a more aggressive procedure than a branch block. We use an X-ray and a local anesthetic to guide the needle correctly, because we’ll be creating a small burn inside of your nerve.
CerviCool is a newer variation of this procedure and is more technologically advanced. It can safely create larger lesions, removing additional pain pathways. Water-cooled technology allows us to perform this procedure safely.
The shelf-life on pain relief varies for this procedure. It lasts six months for some patients, twelve months for other, and years for others. Sometimes the lesioned nerves regrow, and when they do the pain can return. We will help you by monitoring the situation so that you continue to receive the best solutions for your pain.
Cervical interlaminar epidural blocks
This procedure allows us to target inflamed nerve roots in your neck. As with the other procedures, we use an X-ray to guide the needle to the precise nerves. We then use an epidural steroid injection to reduce inflammation. It’s different from a lesion or a block, in that we target inflammation rather than nerve signals.
You will usually receive three injections two weeks apart, but in many cases these three injections can put an end to your pain entirely.
The right treatment at the right time
Those aren’t the only cervical pain / neck pain treatment methods in our repertoire. We stay current on new pain management technologies, and often add new treatment options. Some additional options include techniques like cervical epidural catheters, zygapophyseal blocks, and superficial cervical plexus blocks.
As our patient, you can expect a no-nonsense approach to ending your pain. A thorough diagnosis will tell us exactly which solution is right for you, and we will lay out the treatment options for you. If you’ve got neck pain, you’ve got treatment options. Call our office today to make an appointment.