Kink in Your Neck? Learn How to Get Relief.
Silver Cross Hospital offers free lecture on neck pain on January 30
New Lenox, IL (January 22, 2014) —Does your neck hurt? Do you feel numbness or tingling throughout your shoulders, arms or hands? Have you had trouble with your balance and coordination? Well you’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from neck pain each year. The diagnosis of neck pain is determined by a medical history and physical examination. Silver Cross Hospital is offering a free lecture to help those suffering with neck pain find relief.
Free Lecture on Neck Pain
Dr. Kris Siemionow, MD, spine surgeon, will present a free program titled: Pain in the Neck on Thursday, January 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.Find out if you could be living with a Disc Herniation or Cervical Spinal Stenosis. This FREE program will discuss the causes, diagnosis and treatment options to alleviate the narrowing of the spinal canal in your neck. Please bring your imaging CDs (MRI, CT) if you would like them reviewed. To register, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).
All age groups are at risk for neck pain. Neck pain may occur slightly more often in women than men. People who do a lot of lifting as well as people who sit in one location (example: looking at computer screens) for long periods of time may be at an increased risk for neck pain.
What do your symptoms mean?
Neck pain that is limited to the width of your neck is often due to muscular spasm. These symptoms can last a long time, particularly after serious injuries. Neck pain that radiates into the shoulder and/or down the arm is often due to a pinched nerve in the neck.
Arm pain in the wrist, or increases with moving the shoulder, are often due to local problems in the arm. However, pain that moves down your arm, or numbness or weakness in the arm can be due to a serious condition in your neck and should be evaluated by a spine specialist.
What causes neck pain?
Neck pain can be attributed to the following:
• Smoking. If you smoke, stop. Smoking is a predisposing factor for neck pain.
• Being overweight can cause neck pain too. Commit to getting into shape.
• Systemic disorders that can also lead to neck pain include tumors, infections, rheumatoid arthritis, and polymyalgia rheumatica.
Common Mechanical disorders that can cause neck pain include:
• Muscle strains usually are due to prolonged physical activity for extended periods of time or sleeping in an awkward position.
• Osteoarthritis resulting from the narrowing of the intervertebral discs (pieces of cartilage between the bones of the spine). The adjacent vertebrae grow spurs in response to the increasing pressure placed on them. The bony growths can cause localized pain in the neck or arm related to nerve compression.
• Herniated intervertebral discs cause arm pain more frequently than neck pain. The pinching of a nerve in the neck causes severe arm pain. Disc herniations may cause a loss of function of the nerve that may include a loss of reflex, feeling, or muscle strength.
• Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the spinal canal that causes compression of the spinal cord. The narrowing is caused by disc bulging, bony spurs, and thickening of spinal ligaments. The squeezing of the spinal cord may not cause neck pain in all cases but is associated with leg numbness, weakness, and loss of bladder or rectum control.
• Whiplash is a suddenly fast forward and backward injury to the soft tissues of the neck, most commonly caused by rear-impact car accidents. The pain and stiffness associated with these accidents generally develop within 2 days after the injury.
How do I relieve my neck pain?
Most pain in the neck is due to muscular irritation, and can be treated with stretching, exercises, and over-the-counter medications.
“The best way of living with neck pain is trying to prevent it,” said Dr. Kris Siemionow, spine surgeon on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “Don’t sit at the computer for hours without getting up to frequently stretch your neck and back. You can remove a lot of stress out of your neck muscles by doing an exercise routine. Also, you can minimize your risk of reinjury by paying attention to proper lifting techniques.”
Here are a few rules of thumb for treating your neck pain at home:
- Ice vs. Heat Packs: Typically sore muscles prefer colder temperatures right after an injury, and more chronic muscular pain responds better to heat. However, there is no danger in trying both methods or alternating at any point in time.
- Anti-Inflammatory Medications: Anti-inflammatory medications can be taken in symptomatic or therapeutic doses. Please be sure to contact your general doctor if you had problems with stomach ulcers, or kidney/liver problems in the past, as these medications may become dangerous, even at safer doses.
- Rest: When you have significant pain, short periods of rest are a good idea. It is important to remember that every day you do not use your core muscles while lying down, they become weaker. It will take added time to recover the strength you lose if you rest too much.
- Stay Active: It is always safe to walk. Your body releases natural pain medications when you walk, and the increased blood flow is good for maintaining strength, and improving muscular pain.
About Dr. Kris Siemionow
Kris B. Siemionow, M.D., is a spine surgeon that is board certified in orthopaedic surgery. Dr. Siemionow completed a residency at the Cleveland Clinic Spine Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, OH; and a spine surgery fellowship at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University in Chicago. Dr. Siemionow is Chief of Spine Surgery at the University of Illinois. Dr. Siemionow’s office is located with the Illinois Spine and Scoliosis Center 12701 W. 143rd Street, #110, Homer Glen. To schedule an appointment, call (877) 694-7722.
About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years and as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 3,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a new 295-bed acute care hospital at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox and 8 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.