Millions of individuals suffer on a daily basis from chronic neck pain. Maybe the pain came on from arthritis and developed slowly, or a person could have been in a car accident, suffered whiplash, and end up with neck pain for a long time. Over 10% of those who sustain a whiplash injury end up with chronic neck pain needing treatment with a pain management Mesa AZ or local pain management doctors in Arizona.
When a person has chronic neck pain, surgery is usually not a good idea. Especially if the pain is situated only in the neck and does not go down a person’s arms. Those studies have been done, and showed surgery for axial neck pain had below average results.
Treatments for neck pain from either a whiplash injury or arthritis consist of mostly nonoperative options. These include chiropractor Mesa AZ treatment, physical therapy, over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and Tylenol, and pain management treatment.
Pain management treatment in the neck consists of short term narcotic medications along with injection treatments. Anything longer than a few weeks of narcotic medications is a bad idea.
Injections in the neck for arthritis consists mostly of facet injections. These are injections where a pain doctor places a needle into the arthritic facet joints and places cortisone medication. Cortisone is a hefty steroid medication that is anti-inflammatory and works really well for pain reduction. While steroid medications work well for pain reduction, they do not fix anything. This means they do not help with changing the course of arthritis. They act as a proverbial Band-Aid or the pain may be reduced but the arthritis continues to get worse. In fact, there are some animal studies showing that steroid medication may be harmful to the cartilage itself.
One of the promising new treatments in arthritis medicine is stem cell injections. Stem cell injections offer the possibility of cartilage regeneration along with pain reduction. For instance, there have been some small pilot studies which have shown cartilage regeneration in humans and there have also been animal studies showing significant cartilage regeneration for arthritis situations with stem cell injections.
There are multiple different types of stem cell injections. There are stem cell varieties that come from harvesting the bone marrow of healthy patients which can be concentrated and then injected into the patient’s arthritic joints, and there are also amniotic derived stem cell rich injection’s which can do well in those joints too.
It remains to be seen as to what extent patients will achieve pain relief along with cartilage regeneration from stem cell injections. The stem cell treatments that are available now for musculoskeletal conditions do not involve embryonic stem cells so there is not an ethical issue. It wil be interesting to see what larger studies show with regards to the effectiveness of these injections for arthritis in the neck.
Arizona Pain Specialists offers comprehensive Arizona pain management options including Board Certified pain doctors, chiropractors Phoenix AZ, and PT/Rehab in Glendale, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa, and valley wide. They also have acupuncture and massage and are the only AZ pain center offering a stem cell clinical trial for treating low back pain.
Call (602) 507-6550 to make your appointment today!