Neck Pain Specialist In Singapore
Neck pain is a common one that affects most of us at least once in a lifetime. It is the fourth-leading cause of disability globally, following ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and lower respiratory infection. However, most conditions are not serious, and we can resolve them in a short time.
Knowledge about neck pain can help resolve issues faster and prevent more serious conditions in the future. Diagnosing your neck pain type is the first thing before doing any procedures. It involves your detailed medical history where your healthcare provider will ask you questions about your exact pain location on your neck. Then, our neck and spine specialist in Singapore will perform a physical exam.
What Are The Causes Of Neck Pain?
- The major cause of neck pain is muscle strain. The common cause of neck muscle strain is due to the poor posture and poor support to the neck.Stress is one of the common conditions that causes neck pain.
- Some of the main conditions that cause neck pain include neck strain, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc diseases, poor posture, cervical spondylosis, neck strain injury such as in whiplash, a pinched nerve, or a herniated disc.
- Poor Sleeping Position: If you sleep in a poor position, you might wake up with stiff neck muscles that may cause pain to radiate to the shoulders and back.
- Whiplash: It is a common injury from an automobile accident, also known as neck sprain or neck strain. It may happen when the head is tilted backward or forward with such a force that damages the structures of your neck and spine. For some people, this effect will not manifest until a few hours or days.
- The most common symptoms include neck stiffness, dizziness, neck pain, shoulder, and lower back pain, and numbness in the hand or arms.
- Muscle Spasm: It is more painful and difficult to turn your head. It happens when a group of muscles contracts involuntarily. There are many underlying causes of muscle spasms. For example, it can be due to electrolyte imbalance, neck injury, overexertion, poor posture, or stress.
- If this neck spasm persists for a week or longer, it is best to visit your neck and spine specialist.
- Disc Degeneration: The narrowing of the spinal canal may lead to back and neck pain. In addition, for a patient with arthritis, the progression of disk degeneration may be faster, so the patient may experience neck pain more often.
Types Of Neck Pain
There are different neck pain profiles. The following are some of the types of neck pain.
- Neuropathic Neck Pain: Neuropathic neck pain may result from a herniated disc that presses against a nearby nerve and other causes of nerve compressions.
- Mechanical Neck Pain: Mechanical pain stems from the spine and supporting structures such as muscles, ligaments, bones, or cartilage. Commonly this pain is caused by neck strain caused by physical activities, stresses, and even poor posture.
- Central Neuropathic Pain: It may result from any type of injury to your Central Nervous System that includes infectious, vascular, traumatic ,demyelinating, or neoplastic disorders. Central Neuropathic pain might occur after a brain injury, stroke, or spinal cord injury.
How Can Neck Pain Be Diagnosed?
Examination after a detailed history can include motion ranges and muscle testing, including orthopedic tests that stress certain structures, and neurological tests like reflexes and sensations. In addition, Specialists may do x-rays or other detailed imaging like MRI of the cervical spine.
What Are The Treatment Options Available?
- Many treatment options exist, and neck and spine pain specialists in Singapore formulate an individualized treatment plan depending on the type of neck pain and the patient’s body conditions.
- A neck pain specialist can treat inflammation with oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medication, Muscle spasms with oral medication or botox injections, and nerve pain with joint blocks and other procedures.
The following are some of the treatment options available for neck pain.
- Over the counter and prescription medication
- Epidural injections
- Nerve/ joint blocks
- Injections at trigger points
- Massage therapy
- Evaluation for surgical repair
- Physical therapy
- Pain medicine
- Neurostimulation therapy
- Botox Injections
How To Prevent Neck Pain?
Correcting posture and movements may prevent chronic neck pain caused by poor posture. For minor neck pain, you may use immediate neck pain relief steps such as applying ice or heat to the painful area The following are some tips to help reduce your neck pain caused by your daily activities, such as sleeping or sitting at a computer.
- Adjust your computer to your eye level.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Use a neck support pillow when sleeping.
- Sit straight in the chair with your lower back supported.
- While talking on the phone, use a headset or speakerphone rather than cradling your shoulder.
- Stretch your neck muscles regularly by doing small head rolls and tilting your head from one side to the other, as well as forward and backward.
- Reduce your stress with exercise.
- Do neck exercises daily to strengthen and protect your neck.
- Healthy body weight.
What To Expect When I Visit The Pain Relief Clinic
A typical visit will involve our doctor first understanding your medical history, concerns and previous experience with other pain treatments.
For patients who have consulted many people but have yet to receive a clear diagnosis, selecting an affordable imaging scan might be recommended to confirm the cause of your pain..
Some patients have already done scans with other doctors for their pain condition but are still not clearly told what they suffer from.
Dr Terence Tan is happy to offer you a second opinion and recommend how best to manage your condition.
We also see patients who already have a confirmed diagnosis from specialist pain doctors, but are "stuck” because treatment options offered are not practical or acceptable.
We can help by discussing options that you might have potentially never been told of.
A common experience is when a patient has already consulted a specialist doctor for pain management and is told to consider orthopaedic surgery which they find too aggressive.
Or they may have seen doctors for their pain and were prescribed painkillers with potential side effects which made them feel uncomfortable.
Many of our patients have also first tried complementary treatments or acupuncture with traditional Chinese pain doctors.
They look for a second opinion after finding any relief experienced from other treatments to be temporary or requiring repetitive treatments, which add up to time and cost.
Especially in such situations, we emphasize using non-invasive medical technology you likely have not been told about .
This can make a big difference to your results.