Neck Pain Specialist

Neurology Institute of Huntsville, Inc.

Board-Certified Neurologists located in Huntsville, AL

Neck pain affects 10-20% of adults and is one of the most common causes of disability in the United States. When you need help with a neck problem, you want Jitesh Kar, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained neurologist at the Neurology Institute of Huntsville in Huntsville, Alabama. With his expertise, you can feel confident in receiving an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your underlying problem. If you struggle with neck pain, schedule an appointment by calling the office or using the online booking system.

Neck Pain Q&A

What causes neck pain?

Neck sprains and strains frequently occur following whiplash or a sports accident. This injury can also occur from poor posture. Many people strain their neck muscles as they spend a long time bending their heads to use electronics.

Your neck is also susceptible to daily wear and tear. As you get older, degenerative changes cause painful neck problems such as:

  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Bone spurs

A pinched spinal nerve is usually the cause of the neck pain that develops due to these degenerative conditions.

What symptoms develop along with neck pain?

Knotted muscles, limited movement, and headaches often accompany neck pain. Additional symptoms also develop when you have a pinched nerve.

When the nerve is damaged, a condition called neuropathy, you may experience symptoms along the length of the nerve, such as pain and tingling that radiates down your arm. In severe cases, a compressed nerve may lead to a burning sensation or numbness in your arm.

When should I get medical care for neck pain?

Any time you have severe neck pain or pain that doesn’t improve, you should schedule an exam with Dr. Kar at the Neurology Institute of Huntsville. Since potentially serious neurological problems are associated with neck pain, you should seek medical attention if you experience:

  • Sudden weakness
  • Neck pain after a blow to your head or neck
  • Fever or headache
  • Progressive weakness or numbness in your arms and/or legs

You should also get a neurological checkup if you notice symptoms that gradually develop over weeks or months.

How is neck pain treated?

After reviewing your medical history and conducting an exam, Dr. Kar may order diagnostic imaging such as a CT scan, MRI, myelogram, or X-rays. When nerves are damaged, you may also need an electromyogram and nerve conduction study to measure electrical impulses in your nerves and muscles.

Dr. Kar may recommend many possible non-surgical treatments, depending on your diagnosis. Conservative care typically includes brief rest, modifying your activities, physical therapy, steroid injections, and medication to reduce inflammation or relax muscles.

If your pain persists or your neurological symptoms get worse, Dr. Kar may recommend surgery to repair the underlying problem. Examples of procedures to relieve neck pain include:

  • Spinal decompression
  • Discectomy to remove a damaged disc followed by spinal fusion
  • Removal of bone spurs or other tissues pushing against the nerve 

To get help for neck pain, call the Neurology Institute of Huntsville, or book an appointment online.