The cause for chronic low back pain is multifactorial. The evaluation of neck pain, the goal is to rule out any injuries or organic disease processes that place the patient at risk of further injury if not treated or addressed. In addition, a specialist will consider diagnoses that can be treated in order to reduce the pain. A good patient history and a thorough physical examination by a well-trained physician are the most important aspects of the evaluation. The main causes of neck pain are cervical ligament sprain, trapezius muscle sprain, prolapsed intervertebral disc, cervical myelopathy, infection of the cervical spine and fracture of the cervical vertebrae. In most of the cases the neck pain is because of obesity, lack of exercise, less water intake, chronic tobacco chewing, chronic smoking and chronic alcohol consumption. Certain investigations which include blood tests, radiography (X-ray films), bone scans, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diagnostic injections, electromyography (EMG) and other specialised tests may require diagnosing the particular condition.
Symptoms of patient vary according to the conditioned patient is suffering. Patient with acute cervical or trapezius strain has a history of lifting heavy weight or injury. Patient with long-standing history of pain due to degenerative condition have complained pain elsewhere in the body also like low back and knee joint. Pain due to prolapsed disc starts from neck and radiates to one or both upper limb with or without tingling, numbness. If the disc prolapsed is severe may cause weakness in upper, lower limb and bladder, bowel weakness.
Treatments for neck pain can vary greatly depending on the type and source of the pain.
Conservative: Conservative treatment opts in a condition such as a cervical sprain, trapezius muscle sprain, mild disc prolapsed. The goals of the treatment are to reduce pain, improve the quality of life and increase function. There are several different general categories of treatment that are usually recommended for neck pain. These categories include physical therapy, medications, coping skills, procedures and alternative medicine treatments. The treating physician will tailor a program involving a combination of these options to address the patient's pain. Physical therapy includes patient education, and patient training in a variety of stretching and strengthening exercises, manual therapies, and modalities (ice, heat, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), ultrasound, etc.).
Surgical: If there is a definitive organic cause of pain such as prolapsed intervertebral disc causing severe compression of the nerves, infection of the bones, then such conditions need to be addressed surgically. The surgical treatment varies according to the condition. The surgery for such condition at shanta spine is done via an endoscopic method which helps to mobilize the patient faster and decrease the recuperation time.
How to prevent chronic low back pain:
We at Shanta spine institute believes in prevention is better than cure, so we keep our main emphasis on prevention of the disease more than the treatment. The main cause of neck pain is aging process and unhealthy lifestyle. So we aim to prevent the disease by certain lifestyle modifications which had to be followed regularly. This includes daily 1 hour of exercise, healthy diet which includes lots of fruits and salads, 4-5 liters of water daily and to maintain weight which is normal according to your height and age. The exercise program like swimming, yoga, walking jogging etc helps to develop core strength and allows us to maintain strength and flexibility of the spine. Lifestyle modifications such as quitting tobacco chewing, smoking cigarette and alcohol is also very important.
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