Neck Pain

Town Center Orthopaedic Associates

Orthopaedic Surgeon located in Reston, VA & Centreville, VA

Neck pain can be particularly limiting if it restricts your head movement, and without expert care, could become chronically disabling. If neck pain is disrupting your life, the highly skilled orthopaedic surgeons at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates in Reston and Centreville, Virginia, can help. They're able to treat the cause of your neck pain using non-surgical physical therapies, cutting edge regenerative medicine and other injectable therapies, and, where necessary, minimally invasive surgery. Call to schedule a consultation or book online today.

Neck Pain Q & A

What causes neck pain?

Your neck is the topmost part of your spine, composed of the cervical vertebrae. It's the most flexible part of your spine, but also has the least support and protection, so neck pain is a common problem.

Most causes of neck pain are the same as the causes of lower back pain, for example:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spondylosis
  • Muscle and tendon strains
  • Ligament sprains
  • Bone spurs

One other common cause of neck pain is whiplash, which occurs when your head snaps violently back and forth. It's an injury that often affects people involved in auto accidents, but could occur when playing sports or as a result of physical abuse.

How is neck pain treated?

After diagnosing the cause of your neck pain, the Town Center Orthopaedic Associates team creates a personalized treatment plan for you.

Physical therapy forms the underpinning of the most successful treatment programs for neck pain. Stretching and strengthening exercises help to keep your neck mobile and improve blood flow, which reduces swelling. Posture reeducation and joint mobilization and manipulation can be useful too.

There are also passive forms of physical therapy available such as heat and ice treatments, therapeutic massage, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound therapy. Medications that relieve pain and reduce inflammation can also be helpful, as can trigger point injections.

If these conservative approaches aren't producing results, you might benefit from a spinal injection. These contain anti-inflammatory steroid medication or a local anesthetic, and often both. Examples include:

  • Epidural steroid injection
  • Facet joint injection
  • Occipital nerve procedures
  • Sympathetic nerve blocks

Other interventions that could help with persistent, severe neck pain include radiofrequency ablation and spinal cord stimulation, which help stop the nerves in your neck sending pain messages to your brain.

If you have a vertebral compression fracture in your neck – most likely as a result of osteoporosis – then vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty could be helpful.

These treatments involve having an injection of bone cement into the affected vertebrae to stabilize the vertebra. Kyphoplasty also uses a balloon technique to increase the height of the fractured vertebrae.

Regenerative medicine injections that boost healing and tissue repair could also be helpful. The Town Center Orthopaedic Associates team offers platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, prolotherapy, stem cell therapy, and Clarix® Flo placental tissue.

Would I need surgery for neck pain?

Most patients find conservative treatments effective in reducing neck pain. However, if yours persists for more than six months with no improvement, your provider at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates can discuss whether surgery is an option for you.

Surgical procedures for neck pain include:

  • Spinal fusion
  • Laminectomy
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
  • Artificial disc replacement (ADR)
  • Posterior cervical laminoforaminotomy
  • Microdiscectomy
  • Foraminotomy

It's often possible to perform these surgeries using minimally invasive techniques, which have the advantages of causing less tissue damage and pain while enabling a swifter recovery.

To get to the root cause of your neck pain and find a treatment that works, call Town Center Orthopaedic Associates today or book an appointment online.