As with any joint that allows you to enjoy a wide range of motion, your cervical spine — or the spine in your neck — is prone to injury.
Muscle strain is a frequent cause of neck pain that often comes from spending too much time hunched over your computer or phone, while alignment issues in your lower back can cause your cervical spine to shift off-center to cause chronic neck pain.
A forceful movement that makes your head rebound can compress your neck and spine, causing whiplash. This type of neck trauma may also injure the surrounding tissues, leading to stiffness, discomfort, and chronic pain.
Other reasons for neck pain include:
Any of these problems can cause severe or long-term neck pain. Although many severe neck problems can be treated successfully with surgery, surgical treatment doesn’t guarantee a pain-free neck.
There are two types of injections that are commonly used to relieve neck pain, reduce inflammation, and promote mobility:
Receiving steroid injections in your cervical spine can help reduce inflammation to relieve post-surgery neck pain and improve movement. Steroid injections are a complementary therapy designed to support physical therapy efforts.
If post-surgery neck pain is believed to be the result of physical trauma or a degenerative condition like arthritis, it can usually be treated with a facet joint injection. It’s administered directly to the facet joints of your cervical spine, where it blocks the specific nerve signals that are causing pain.
Patients affected by chronic or severe post-surgery neck pain may also benefit from one of the following treatments:
Cervical disc decompression surgery is used to relieve pressure on an affected nerve root, usually by removing small pieces of bone that lay over the root, or by clearing away material beneath the root to ease pressure and give the nerve more space.
Also a common treatment for lower back pain, a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a device that’s surgically placed under your skin. The electrical current that the device sends to the affected nerves in your neck interrupts the nerves’ signals to alleviate pain.
This minimally-invasive procedure, also known as a cervical block, uses X-ray guidance to direct a radiofrequency (RF) needle alongside specific nerves in your cervical spine. A small amount of electrical current passes through the needle to the nerve, where it disrupts the nerve’s ability to transmit signals.