Integrated Care for Neck Pain in Monmouth & Ocean County

The most prevalent reason that people experience neck pain is poor posture. This underlying cause of neck pain often represents a serious strain on the health of the entire body. Poor posture places a significant amount of stress on the body’s nervous system and can lead to both neck pain and a host of other medical concerns.

Poor posture can be the result of routine behaviors such as sitting behind a desk for too long or regularly sleeping in an awkward position. It can also occur because of obesity and weak abdominal muscles that disrupt the healthy balance of the spine; age-related diseases such as arthritis, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease; and injuries or accidents that result in whiplash. Neck pain sometimes occurs as a result of sports injuries or auto accidents.

For neck pain patients, it is advisable to seek out the healthiest, safest, and most conservative approaches possible to minimize damage to the body. Because poor posture can lead to many other health conditions (and even reduced lifespan), the sooner neck pain is addressed, the bigger the benefit to the entire body. Treatment for neck pain can include conservative medical care, acupuncture, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. These medical and holistic practices represent an approach that is both effective and beneficial for the health of the whole body.

Pain Management through Conservative Medical Care for Neck Pain

A doctor that specializes in pain management (also known as a Physiatrist) often acts as the head of a team of practitioners to ensure that patients receive the healthiest and best of conservative pain management and rehabilitation. At our Monmouth County pain management office, for example, our Medical Director works closely with our acupuncturists, physical therapy team, and Chiropractic Doctors to create individualized treatment plans that address both the symptoms and the cause of neck pain. The focus of this type of care is to resolve the condition without the use of excessive medication or any aggressive, unhealthy intervention such as surgery.

When neck pain is severe enough to restrict a patient’s ability to participate in physical therapy or other rehabilitative practices, a pain management doctor may perform spinal injections. The use of corticosteroids and/or an anesthetic numbing agent can help to end the cycle of pain and inflammation that is impeding the body’s natural ability to heal. For neck pain, Epidural Steroid Injections (to alleviate pain caused by inflammation of the spinal nerves) or Trigger Point Injections (when muscle spasms are responsible for neck pain) may be used.

Relief from Neck Pain through Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a practice of Chinese medicine; it is particularly suited for the treatment of pain disorders because, through the stimulation of certain points on the body, it prompts the release of naturally occurring opiate-like chemicals. This produces an effect that helps patients to avoid the excessive use of both over-the-counter and prescription pain medications by harnessing the body’s natural ability to fight pain and anxiety.

Acupuncture also increases levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for mood; increased levels of serotonin can also inhibit the stimulation of nerve signals that cause pain.

Neck Pain and Physical Therapy

The goals of physical therapy for neck pain include relieving pain while helping patients restore normal movement and flexibility. While every patient’s treatment plan is different, there are a variety of both passive and active physical therapy practices that may be a part of neck pain treatment. Passive treatments, such as hot and cold therapies, help the body prepare for the active (exercise) component of physical therapy.

The following is a list of possible physical therapy practices for neck pain:

Spinal Decompression Traction: Traction works by removing pressure on the nerves by stretching the spine. This practice mobilizes the area and lessens pain to restore movement and flexibility.

Electrotherapy: For cases that involve not only pain but also swelling, muscle spasms, and muscle weakness, electrotherapy can assist with tissue repair to lessen pain and improve mobility.

Ultrasound: Ultrasound uses sound waves to enhance circulation and healing by creating heat. Stiffness, pain, muscle spasms, and cramping may be reduced with ultrasound.

Low Level Laser Therapy: Laser therapy speeds up cellular production for faster healing. Low level Laser Therapy also works to prevent the formation of scar tissue.

Hot and Cold Therapy: Used alternately, hot and cold therapies help by reducing inflammation and increasing circulation for faster healing.

Massage: Deep Tissue Massage for neck pain applies direct pressure to the soft tissues of the neck to release pain caused by stress and tension.

Exercise: Therapeutic exercise is used to enhance the body’s flexibility, stability, range of motion, and strength. Exercise works by addressing the current causes of neck pain while preventing future injury and pain.

Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain

The normal, healthy curvature of the neck allows the spinal cord to remain soft to facilitate the flow of blood and nerves to the rest of the body. When trauma or poor posture cause a loss or reversal in the curvature of the neck, it can result in both pain as well as an increased risk for a number of physical disorders.

When the spine is misaligned in this way, normal movement can be restricted, leading to inflammation and pain. Poor posture can also cause bone spurs by forcing the bones to remodel according to unhealthy pressure placed on the neck. This condition can lead to arthritis.

Chiropractic care ensures that the spine is properly aligned for optimal overall physical health. It also directly addresses the cause of neck pain by ensuring the health of the neck (the cervical spine).

Treatment for Neck Pain at Monmouth Pain & Rehabilitation

Monmouth Pain & Rehabilitation is different from other Medical offices—instead of forcing pain patients to travel from office to office seeking different forms of care, we offer all of these services under one roof. Our practice includes Medical Care, a Physical Therapy Department, Acupuncturists, Massage Therapists, and Chiropractic Doctors. Even better, all of these practitioners work in close communication with each other to ensure that treatment for many pain conditions is cohesive for maximum effectiveness.

Please contact our Shrewsbury, Wall, or Lacey NJ office today to learn more about treatment for neck pain in Monmouth & Ocean County.