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Ask Our Physicians: Neck Pain

Posted on January 29, 2018
Joel Norman, MD
Joel Norman, MD

Dear Dr. Norman:

I woke up with what I thought was a crick in my neck from sleeping wrong, but the pain won’t go away even though I’ve tried massage and heat therapy. I even went to the chiropractor. Now the pain is radiating into my arms, and they feel numb. I was told a neurosurgeon might be the right person to help me. Is this true?

It’s true that neck pain alone typically isn’t a neurosurgical problem and often can be treated by other healthcare professionals with conventional therapies like massage, steroid injections, physical therapy, or chiropractic treatment.

However, neck pain that radiates to the shoulders or arms and includes weakness, tingling, or numbness can indicate a serious spine injury or condition, such as:

  • Compression or trauma to the nerves into the arms
  • Sprains or strains in the back
  • Herniated or ruptured discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolysis – a crack or stress fracture of the spinal vertebrae
  • Spondylolisthesis – instability of the spinal vertebrae
  • Stenosis – narrowing of the passageways between vertebrae

During your visit with us, we’ll review your symptoms, medical history, and MRI results, which should be obtained prior to your appointment. Our office is conveniently located at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, where your MRI can be scheduled by one of our staff. Depending on the severity of your condition, surgery may be recommended.

At TN Brain and Spine we use advanced technology and procedures for minimally invasive surgery, which o¬ffers patients many advantages, including a smaller incision, less post-operative pain, reduced risk of surgical complications, and a faster recovery.

Learn More

If you’re experiencing neck pain that radiates to the shoulders or arms, and includes weakness, tingling, or numbness in the upper extremities, call us at (865) 331-2835. No physician referral is necessary.

Disclaimer: please note that this information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you have a specific medical question or issue, we encourage you to call our office at (865) 331-2835 and schedule an appointment.


About Dr. Norman

Joel Norman, MD is board certified in neurosurgery. Click here to view his profile. He is accepting new patients, and you can schedule an appointment by calling (865) 331-2835.


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