How to diagnose and treat neck pain?
Your doctor will take a medical history and do an exam. He or she will check for tenderness, numbness and muscle weakness, as well as see how far you can move your head forward, backward and side to side.
Your doctor might order imaging tests to get a better picture of the cause of your neck pain. Examples include:
- CT scan.
- Electromyography (EMG).
- Blood tests.
The most common types of mild to moderate neck pain usually respond well to self-care within two or three weeks. If neck pain persists, your doctor might recommend other treatments.
Your doctor might prescribe stronger pain medicine than what you can get over-the-counter, as well as muscle relaxants and tricyclic antidepressants for pain relief.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
Surgical and other procedures
- Steroid injections.
- Surgery. Rarely needed for neck pain, surgery might be an option for relieving nerve root or spinal cord compression.