Treatment in Dubai
Anatomy of the neck
The neck, or the cervical spine, is one of the most complicated and intricate body structures. It is a coordinated network of nerves, bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. Here are some of the most important structures in the neck.
Spinal cord: The spinal cord connects to the brain at the base of the skull. It then travels down the spinal column, supplying the body with nerves along its length.
Nerves: The cervical nerves help control the head, neck, and the rest of the body – including forward, backwards, and sideward movement. The nerves which exit the spinal cord in the neck typically provide control and sensation to the arms and hands.
Cervical bones: The cervical bones or the vertebrae consist of seven bones separated from one another by intervertebral discs, allowing the spine to move freely and act as shock absorbers during activity.
Intervertebral discs: They are located between each vertebra and are responsible for absorbing pressure while also enabling movement and flexibility in the neck.
Muscles: Several muscles are present in the neck to allow the movement of the neck and maintain its shape and structure.
Ligaments: The cervical ligaments help to hold all of the structures above together.
What causes cervicobrachial pain?
Cervicobrachial pain is neck pain and stiffness associated with pain in the arm and shoulder. It can be caused by one or more of the following:
The most prevalent cause of neck pain occurs when soft tissues become strained or sprained from overuse or extension, such as from poor posture, for example, leaning over your computer for a long time or sleeping with your neck in an awkward position can cause neck pain. Some other activities that can result in neck pain are repetitive motions, such as turning your head sideways while swimming or dancing.
Nerve compression is typically caused by herniated discs and often results in neck pain that radiates to the head and arms. In addition, nerve irritation in the neck can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms.
Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can lead to neck pain. In addition, other health problems, such as meningitis and fibromyalgia, can also cause pain in the neck and may need immediate medical attention and treatment.
Neck pain range of symptoms
Neck pain usually goes away within a few days or weeks. The duration and intensity of neck pain are classified as follows:
- Acute– pain that goes away in less than four weeks
- Subacute– pain that lasts four to twelve weeks
- Chronic– pain that lasts three or more months
It is better to have an early intervention by a physician. If the pain persists for long and is accompanied by any of the following, it requires urgent investigation:
- Severe headache with a stiff neck
- Unintended weight loss
- Lump in neck
- Numbness, weakness, or tingling in arms and legs
- Swollen glands
- Trouble swallowing or breathing
- Fever or chills
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction
- Problems with balance or coordination
Cervical spine diagnosis
After studying the patient’s medical history, the following tests are performed for diagnostic purposes of neck pain.
This involves an inspection of the patient’s neck for any abnormalities. Various tests and observations are performed to understand better the neck’s posture, range of motions, reflexes, muscle strength, and sensations felt in legs and arms.
These are performed to narrow down the cause of neck pain. Some of the imaging technologies are as follows:
- X-ray: X-rays use electromagnetic radiation to show a good picture of the neck’s bony structure. These reveal areas in the neck where bone spurs or other degenerative changes might pinch your nerves or spinal cord.
- MRI or CT scans: These scans generate contrast images of your disks, bones, and soft tissues like muscles, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels or intervertebral discs.
- Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) / Electromyography (EMG) tests: These are nerve studies performed to measure the electrical impulses generated by nerves and the responses of your muscles.
Some other imaging options include a bone scan and ultrasound.
Diagnostic injections to treat neck pain:
For a diagnostic injection test, the doctor injects anaesthesia (with or without other substances) into the cervical spine to isolate a particular structure, for example, a nerve or a facet joint. If the injection stimulates pain (or relieves it), it is interpreted that the pain source is the nerve or facet joint under study.
Neck pain treatments in Dubai
In most Dubai clinics, the following treatment methods are recommended and provided to patients who have pain in the cervical spine:
Medications to treat neck pain
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication, such as anti-inflammatory and nonsteroidal medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are typically tried first for neck pain. Some NSAIDs can be applied on the skin topically, such as Voltaren gel. Patients must ensure they have no allergies to such medications.
Physical therapy for neck pain relief
Many treatment plans for persistent neck pain include physical therapy to improve neck strength and flexibility. Physical therapies vary in length and structure depending on the patient’s case. Some of these are as follows;
- Exercise: This treatment technique is an approach to cause pain relief by restoring a more normal function and position of affected spinal joints and bones by specific exercises focusing on the neck muscles.
- Massage: Along with relieving neck pain, massages help in increasing the range of motion, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, and encouraging relaxation.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): This therapy involves the placement of electrodes on your skin near the painful areas to deliver small amounts of electrical stimulation to relieve neck pain.
To treat neck pain, surgery is not very common and is typically performed for the following reasons;
- To decompress the spinal cord.
- To decompress a nerve root.
- To stabilise the cervical spine.
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Dr Sherief Elsayed for neck pain treatment in Dubai?
Dr Sherief is one of the most renowned spinal surgeons for cervicobrachial pain treatment in Dubai. He is a comprehensively trained and highly skilled spine surgeon in Dubai, known for treating a range of spinal conditions with effective treatments.
He is also one of the rare surgeons who is trained in robot-assisted surgery. His patient reviews are a testament to his effective treatment techniques and discreet, caring, and comforting approach. You can read more about Dr Sherief or book an appointment to consult him personally.