Virtually everyone suffers from neck pain at some point in their lives. It’s usually a temporary problem that clears up on its own, the result of overwork, poor posture, or muscle strain. Sometimes, though, neck pain can be persistent, with its origins in the facet joints of the cervical spine, the seven vertebrae at the top of the spinal column.
Treating chronic neck pain can be troublesome with traditional pain relief medications, since problems often stem from degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis. Long-term use of pain relievers can cause a range of side effects. Your body tends to build up resistance, resulting in higher doses.
The team at Joint Regeneration of Lake Oconee specialize in injectable forms of joint therapy. Simple injections, given in a medical office setting, can provide long-lasting relief from neck pain. Injectable approaches can help you reduce or eliminate the use of oral pain medications, restoring pain-free living.
Here’s what you need to know about three common injection therapies that may help you with chronic neck pain.
Sometimes, problems in the cervical spine may cause symptoms in your shoulders and arms as well as your neck. This is because one or more nerve roots exiting the spinal column are compressed or irritated by tissue inflammation. You may experience numbness or tingling in your arm or hand.
Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatories that can relieve nerve inflammation at the site. Many patients report at least partial relief from pain. While corticosteroids produce only temporary pain relief effects, the goal of treatment is often to use this pain-free period to build the support muscles of the neck through physiotherapy. This can lead to long-term pain relief with no need for treatment.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance found naturally in the body. Healthy joints use hyaluronan as a lubricant to keep their function active and smooth. Over time, your natural supply of hyaluronic acid may start to fall off. This is common in osteoarthritis patients.
Synthetic hyaluronic acid is a low-risk, low-side effects treatment that augments your body’s natural levels of hyaluronan. Delivered at the joints near the nerve, supplemental hyaluronic acid adds additional cushioning and lubrication. Like corticosteroids, results are temporary, but hyaluronic acid injections can be repeated more often than cortisone shots, which can weaken tissue if used too often.
An exciting regenerative medicine therapy that’s extremely low-risk and highly biocompatible is platelet-rich plasma (PRP). PRP uses a small sample of your own blood to produce a serum that’s rich in separated platelets, a blood component that’s essential for effective healing.
Best-known for their blood clotting abilities, platelets also contain growth factor hormones, chemical messengers that drive the reduction of inflammation and pain. Injected into the cervical spine, PRP treatments can produce results similar to both hyaluronic acid and corticosteroid injections.
The right injectable treatment for your neck pain may depend on your unique condition. Request an appointment online or by phone with the team at Joint Regeneration of Lake Oconee for a consultation. Pain-free days may be closer than you think, so book your session today.