If you’re experiencing ongoing or severe back and neck pain, the neck and spine specialists at Central Maine will diagnose your problem and work with neurologists and other medical staff to find the source of your discomfort and create a treatment plan.
Why Your Back or Neck Hurts
With back-pain, your movements may be limited. You may even have a stiff neck, which makes it difficult to move your head from side to side. Back pain like this could be caused by something as simple as carrying a heavy bag on your shoulder.
Or, your back pain may be a result of a more serious disorder like:
When a disc protrudes in an abnormal way, it creates a hernia.
Like all parts of the body, your spine can deteriorate over time, and you can lose your ability to walk and stand erect easily.
The spaces within your spine can grow narrow, causing pressure on your nerves. Stenosis often is caused by arthritis and usually happens in your lower back or neck.
Chronic back pain
Once you’ve injured your back, if it’s not treated or doesn’t heal correctly you may experience pain over time.
Diagnosing and Treating Back and Neck Pain
Identifying the source of your pain usually starts with an X-ray to rule out injuries to bones or muscles. Your doctor also may order at CT or MRI scan to pinpoint the problem.
You may also undergo an EMG (which is done via fine needles inserted into the muscles) to see whether certain nerves are working properly. A blood test is often added to check for inflammation or an infection.
The treatment, of course, depends on the nature of your condition and always is personalized. Many patients respond well to a simple regimen of physical therapy, rest, exercise and medications. However, your individual program might include strength training and aquatic therapy or wearing a foam collar.
From there, solutions get more sophisticated:
With this advanced procedure, a small machine is implanted in your chest and delivers pain medication directly to your spinal cord.
Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy
The stimulation happens in your brain. An electric current blocks your brain’s ability to sense pain in your spinal cord.
More serious spine and neck conditions call for surgery, ranging from spinal fusions to vertebrae removal. Many procedures are computer-assisted or performed by robots, giving the surgeon a better view than they’d have in traditional operations, with more accurate results.
Regardless of why you’re feeling pain in your back or neck, the specialists at Central Maine Healthcare can find a way to get your relief.