Understanding Neck Pain

by Ann E. Butenas

Why Do I Have Neck Pain and What Treatment Options Are Available?

Neck pain is a common complaint among adults, affecting millions each year. From mild discomfort to debilitating pain, it can significantly impact an individual’s daily life, limiting mobility, and affecting one’s overall well-being. But why does one’s neck hurt, and how can a professional like Dr. C. Lan Fotopoulos, a board-certified physiatrist with Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance in Leawood, Kansas, provide relief?

Causes of Neck Pain

There are numerous reasons one might experience neck pain:

Muscle Strain: Overuse of the neck muscles, such as prolonged periods of looking down at a smartphone or computer, can strain the muscles, leading to pain.

Worn Joints: Just like all the other joints in your body, the neck joints also wear out with age. Osteoarthritis causes the cushions between the bones (vertebrae) to deteriorate, leading to pain.

Nerve Compression: Herniated discs or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord, resulting in pain.

Injuries: Accidents like car collisions can result in whiplash injuries, which occur when the head is jerked backward and then forward, straining the soft tissues of the neck.

Diseases: Some diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, or cancer can lead to neck pain.

The Role of a Physiatrist

A physiatrist specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), using non-surgical treatments to address pain and enhance patients’ functional abilities. They treat a wide range of pain syndromes, disabilities, and diseases with non-surgical interventions. Their primary goal is to enhance and restore functional ability and quality of life.

Dr. C. Lan Fotopoulos, A Solution in Kansas City

Dr. Fotopoulos is not just any physiatrist; he is a board-certified specialist, holding certifications from the following:

*American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

*American Board of Pain Medicine

*Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine

*American Board of Family Practice – Sports Medicine

His expertise extends beyond the standard care. Dr. Fotopoulos, an interventional physiatrist, excels in treating back and neck pain through minimally invasive techniques like vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, sacroplasty, radiofrequency ablation, and spinal cord stimulators. Additionally, he addresses musculoskeletal issues in the shoulder, hip, and knee.

How can Dr. Fotopoulos help with your neck pain?

Comprehensive Assessment: Dr. Fotopoulos will first perform a thorough examination to diagnose the root cause of the pain. This could involve physical examinations, patient histories, and imaging studies.

Personalized Treatment Plans: Based on the assessment, Dr. Fotopoulos will create a customized treatment plan that might involve physical therapy, medications, and other non-invasive treatments.

Interventional Procedures: For those who may not benefit from conventional treatments, Dr. Fotopoulos is skilled in advanced interventional procedures, such as radio frequency ablation, trigger point injection, and Botox.

Guidance on Lifestyle Changes: A holistic approach to treatment often involves lifestyle modifications. Dr. Fotopoulos will provide advice on ergonomic improvements, posture correction, and exercises to strengthen neck muscles and maintain flexibility.

Continued Support: Neck pain management is an ongoing process. Dr. Fotopoulos and his team provide continued support, ensuring that patients are making progress and adjusting treatment plans as necessary.

Neck pain can be a hindrance to daily life, but with the right treatment and professional care, relief is attainable. Dr. Fotopoulos brings his specialized expertise as a physiatrist to help patients navigate their pain, offering them a renewed sense of mobility and life without discomfort. If you or someone you know is suffering from neck pain, considering the expertise of a physiatrist like Dr. Fotopoulos might be the key to a pain-free future.


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