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Getting to the Bottom of Neck Pain
Your cervical spine, or neck, consists of an elaborate system of bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments and more. These elements all work together to provide you with movement and function. When any of these parts is compromised, it can cause neck pain that impacts your movement and comfort level.
Scheduling an appointment with a qualified physician like Dr. Charla Fischer at NYU Langone in NYC is the first step in evaluating your neck pain and identifying what is triggering it. In addition to pain, you may also experience numbness, tingling or weakness that can even extend down the shoulders, arms and hands. Dr. Charla Fischer will diagnose your condition using tools like CT scan, X-ray, MRI, discography, electromyography and more.
There are a variety of reasons that neck pain may occur. Age, medical history, injury, disease or posture can all impact the health of your cervical spine. One common culprit is disc degeneration, which means the discs between the vertebrae become worn over time and can tear and bulge. Also, the spinal canal may narrow and place pressure on nearby nerves, causing pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness. It is called cervical stenosis when the spinal canal narrows and pushes on the spinal cord. Arthritis can be another root cause of neck pain, and less commonly, meningitis or cancer.
Sudden trauma from a car accident, fall, or sports injury may lead to neck pain. The cervical spine is closely tied to the spinal cord and many nerves pass through the neck to the rest of the body. This means that problems with the cervical spine can result in symptoms in multiple locations. This is another reason that Dr. Charla Fischer’s experience is very beneficial in the diagnosis and treatment of the symptoms you may be having related to your cervical spine.
Once Dr. Charla Fischer diagnoses your condition, you can work together to develop a treatment plan. This will likely consist of conservative options at first, such as pain medication, physical therapy, rest or limited activities. In some cases, steroid injections are helpful in treating cervical spine problems. If conservative treatments aren’t effective, surgery may be considered. Dr. Charla Fischer is careful to recommend the ideal treatment for each patient that will help you return to your desired activities without any more neck pain or other symptoms.