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Neck Pain and Its Treatment

Neck Pain and Its Treatment

Many types of neck pain are caused by sudden trauma like muscle strains and sprains that often heal quickly.

Neck pain treatment begins with conservative line of care in the form of pain medications, trigger point / tender spot injections, heat/ice modalities, chiropractic, physical therapy / muscle conditioning and therapeutic manual therapy.

Neck Pain Neck exercises for neck pain:

Neck exercises are common part of any treatment program for neck pain. Typical neck exercise program would consist of a combination of:

1. Neck stretches.
2. Neck strengthening.
3. Aerobic conditioning.

Trigger point exercises / manual therapy ( therapeutic massage ) for pain control.

Physical therapy is a standard conservative traditional way of getting rid of some of the inflammation that can help in reducing pain, increasing mobility and range of motion, in the effected neck area.

Use of cervical collars over lengthy period of time is not recommended, cervical pillows at night time while sleeping can be helpful.

Options available to manage neck pain are extensive, which includes:


1. Applying a heating pad prior to exercise to warm up stiff muscles and joints and make them easier to stretch.
2. After exercise, apply cold pack to reduce inflammation in the joints and muscles.

1. Use of over the counter / prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
2. Use of oral corticosteroids, COX -2 inhibitors, and narcotics (as necessary) to manage severe pain.
3. Muscle relaxers.
4. Topical Pain medications/gels/creams.
5. Medications for neuropathic pain ( Gabapentin, Pregabalin ).

Neck PainTrigger point / Tender spot Injections:

Trigger point / Tender spot injections are a good treatment option for the healing of soft tissue and for relieving myofascial pain. The injections are combinations of local anesthetics ( Lidocaine, Marcaine etc. ) with  corticosteroids (Depo-medrol, Dexamethasone, Kenalog etc.) OR in combination with natural medications like Sarapin, Trumeel/Zeel.—mixed along with some additives.

Time period for conservative neck pain treatment:

If the patient has presented with symptoms going on for a period of several weeks, certainly a period of 4-6 weeks should be given for conservative treatment, it takes a period of time to recondition the soft tissue and make it flexible and strong. If symptoms change or worsen patients are encouraged to get in touch with their physician and get reassessed.

In acute or sub-acute setting when symptoms are present for a few weeks (e.g. 4-6 weeks), 80-90 % of patients are going to improve with the treatments mentioned. Timeline for improvement may be weeks, but as long as the patients are improving and they can function, sleep, work and show improvement in the activities of daily living (ADLS). They should be encouraged to continue with the above-mentioned line of treatment.

Neck Pain Diagnostics: MRI

MRI is a good diagnostic tool to make anatomic diagnosis of the patients symptoms, it gives detailed information about the soft tissue, the muscles, the ligaments, the spinal canal, the nerve roots and the disc.

Evidence of bone spurs (osteophytes), disc herniation, spinal stenosis, corroborated with symptomology can point towards spinal origin of pain / neurological / functional compromise.

Interventional / Pharmaceutical Pain Management:

Typically, group of patients having more neurological symptoms, like radiating pain into the shoulders and arm or some tingling and numbness with correlative evidence seen on MRI, performing epidural steroid injections can certainly help. For facetogenic pain- facet block injections, Medial nerve branch block and Radiofrequency ablation ( RF ) can immensely alleviate pain. Specific nerve root and peripheral nerve blocks can be beneficial in some patients. Trigger point / Tender spot injections and advanced Prolotherapy can further help alleviate soft tissue / myofascial pain.

Interventional pain management is ideal, in combination with pharmaceutical / topical pain management.

Surgical Management of Neck Pain:

In a small subset of patients who have anatomical abnormalities along with neck pain, neck surgeries like discectomy, decompression laminectomy can be suggested / performed for pain relief, to help with any neurological / functional compromise, to improve functionality & also help improve the quality of life.


Related articles:
Exercising Your Way Out of Back and Neck Pain
Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain

Dr. Allamm Morales, M.D.

Dr. Allamm Morales has over 15 years experience in personal injury and a wide range of neurological disorders. He has privilege, and provides patient care in local Baptist hospitals.

He was Chief Resident at the Neurology Residency Program of the University of South Florida, and worked at the Florida Hospital of New Smyrna, and St. Luke Hospital in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He also served many years with the Florida Neurology Institute, Inc.

Dr. Morales is a Diplomate of the American Board of Vascular Neurology, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Dr. Morales studied in Nova Southeastern University, Davie, FL, had residency at the Caibarien General Hospital, Cuba, and obtained the MD degree at the Superior Institute of Medical Science in Cuba.

Fiaz Jaleel, M.D.
Physical Medicine & Rehab, Pain Management

“Life is short and precious. As a Physiatrist and Pain Physician my goal for my patients is to reduce their pain and suffering, enhance form, improve function and ultimately promote the best quality of life for that individual.”

Dr. Fiaz Jaleel graduated from the University of The West Indies in 1987. He completed a two year internship at Port of Spain General Hospital in Trinidad and Tobago. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, IL and went on to do a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis , MO. In 2007, Dr. Jaleel joined the team at Absolute Injury and Pain Physicians as Medical Director. He is currently Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Pain Medicine via the American Board of Pain Medicine.

In Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Jaleel held positions as an Intern, House officer, and District Medical Officer. He has also practiced in Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota and Central and North Florida.

While practicing in Trinidad , Dr. Jaleel also worked in Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Neonatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery, Orthopedics, Emergency Medicine and Community Medicine.

Dr. Jaleel has encountered many diseases, disorders and clinical situations related to multiple aspects of trauma including penetrating and non-penetrating injuries, motor vehicular accidents and concomitant injuries including intra-abdominal injuries, closed head injuries, fractures and burns.

When not treating his patients, Dr. Jaleel enjoys travelling, reading and spending time with friends and family.

Dr. Jaleel has the following affiliations:
Diplomate, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Diplomate, American Board of Pain Medicine
Fellow, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Member, American Academy of Pain Medicine
Member, Florida Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Member, Florida Academy of Pain Medicine
Member, Florida Medical Association

Deric L. D’Agostino, D.C.
Chiropractic Physician

“The health of a body is in direct proportion to the health of its nervous system. The nervous system controls every cell, tissue and organ in your body, tap into that and “miracles” will most certainly happen!”

Dr. Deric D’Agostino attended the Logan College of Chiropractic and has been helping patients at Absolute Injury and Pain Physicians for the past nine years. Around here we call him “Dr. D.”

Dr. D’Agostino specializes in Koren Specific Technique and in the treatment of injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents. He is a master of his craft and firmly believes that chiropractic treatment can not only help the body but also the mind. His sense of humor and the personal attention that he provides really puts patients at ease.

Dr. D’Agostino genuinely listens to the patient while working very hard to erase their pain-inducing symptoms. He is always seeking out continuing education and new methodology to add to his care repertoire.

When he is not helping patients find relief, Dr. D’Agostino enjoys training for sprint triathlons, gardening, as well as being an awesome father and husband. You will most likely find him at our Arlington location dawning a huge smile while drinking his homemade juice.