• Osteoarthritis of the neck
• Muscle spasms in the neck
• Occipital neuralgia
• Trigger Point Tenderness
The neck is very prone to injuries from the way I look at it, it is pretty much of a setup. Your head is a size of bowling ball and your neck is a size of the golf tee. Over time, the weight and strain that your head provides to your neck causes obvious changes as we age. It is more or less baked in the cake that you will develop some arthritis in your neck and is considered a part of nature aging. Frequently, however, people just have their head jostled a certain way, such as a slip, a fall, or even in a car accident and the neck itself can become stiff and the muscle spasms can limit the mobility of the neck. Frequent problems also occur where a nerve is being pinched in the neck which can send numbness into the upper extremities or even cause headaches if a particular nerve called the greater occipital nerve is being pinched. Along with pain in the neck, frequently the muscles that support the neck, like the trapezius muscles, become inflamed and have what is called myofascial pain which can also be treated.
Treatments for neck pain involve first of all, correct diagnosis and localizing where the pain is coming from. Is it muscle bone or nerve pain? Trigger point injections with ultrasound guidance are frequently given to help relieve muscle spasm. Osteopathic manipulation is performed to help the neck move more normally in cases of arthritis and muscle spasms. If someone has headaches that involve pinching of the nerves behind the skull called the greater occipital nerve, a greater occipital nerve block can be performed with ultrasound guided to alleviate migraine headaches.