Neck Pain

About Neck Pain

We often refer to life’’s challenges as “a pain in the neck,” and for good reason. Neck pain can be a nagging annoyance that interferes with your ability to focus mentally and perform physically. Neck pain can stem from a number of causes, and treating the symptoms alone is not enough. You need to find and treat the source of your neck pain if you want to get rid of it for good.

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Dr. Lev Kalika
Dr. Lev Kalika

Clinical director & DC RMSK

About Neck Pain Specialist Dr. Lev Kalika

Dr. Lev Kalika’s mission is to change the way chiropractors and physical therapists treat common conditions like neck pain. The neck pain specialists at NYDNRehab leverage cutting edge technologies and innovative treatment methods that are rarely found in private PT clinics.

Patients with neck pain are often subjected to unnecessary surgeries or treated with pain medications, steroid injections and muscle relaxants that fail to resolve their condition. They often go from doctor to doctor without finding lasting relief for their pain and dysfunction.

Dr. Kalika uses diagnostic ultrasonography to accurately confirm his clinical assessment. He believes that accurate diagnosis is the ultimate key to successful treatment.

The neck pain specialists at NYDNRehab go beyond treating your symptoms, pulling out all the stops to get to the true source of your neck pain and correct it for good, so you can enjoy pain-free movement again.

Why Treatment at NYDNRehab is Better than Conventional Neck Pain Physical Therapy

Conventional neck pain treatment focuses on the locus of pain without looking at the bigger picture. But your neck does not function independently of the rest of your body, and your pain could stem from issues anywhere along your body’s kinetic chain, from soles of your feet to the top of your head. In most cases, neck pain is only a symptom, not the cause itself.

Conventional neck pain treatment often includes:

  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation
  • Cervical nerve root block injections to relieve pain
  • Muscle relaxants to relieve tension
  • Narcotic pain medications
  • Ice and/or heat therapy to reduce inflammation and ease pain
  • Surgery to remove a disc that irritates a nerve root
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At NYDNRehab, we look at the whole person, not just the part that hurts. Only after we learn more about your activities, lifestyle, health history and other factors do we begin our diagnostic process. You may undergo ultrasound imaging, postural evaluation, gait analysis and other assessments until we pinpoint exactly what is going on.

Once we get to the source of your problem, we design a custom treatment plan especially for you, based on your unique patient profile.

Symptoms and Causes of Neck Pain

Symptoms

  • Stiff and sore neck muscles

  • Sharp pain in the neck

  • Tenderness in the neck region

  • Pain that radiates to the shoulder and arm

  • Tingling, numbness and weakness in the arm

  • Difficulty gripping objects

  • Headaches and migraines

Causes

  • Athletic injuries and trauma

  • Awkward sleeping position

  • Poor posture

  • Texting and computer use

  • Whiplash

  • Herniated or degenerative disc

  • Osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis

Risk Factors

  • Advanced age

  • Poor sleep habits

  • Excessive use of mobile devices

  • Poor sitting posture

  • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Overuse from sports and exercise

  • High-risk sports and activities

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Awkward sleeping position that places short-term pressure on muscles and nerves, causing a “stiff” neck
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Athletic injuries including falls, collisions and other trauma occurring while the body is in motion at rapid velocities
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Postural misalignment caused by poor postural habits or physical overuse from work or sports. Poor posture anywhere along the kinetic chain, especially the upper body, can lead to neck pain.
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Prolonged poor neck position from texting, talking on the phone, using a computer or other activities that put the head in a forward position
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Whiplash caused from rapid deceleration or collision in a moving vehicle
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Herniated disc, where a disc becomes compressed between two vertebrae
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Degenerative disc disease, due to wear and tear over time
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Osteoarthritis due to eroding cartilage and inflammation
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Spinal stenosis, where degeneration leads to a narrowing of the spinal canal

Accurate Neck Pain Diagnosis Means Successful Treatment

Because neck pain can originate from a number of different causes, accurate diagnosis of your condition is critical. Once the source of pain is identified, a treatment plan can be put in place to resolve it.

To diagnose your neck pain, your therapist will conduct a thorough exam that may include some or all
of the following:

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Patient history

We review the description and location of your neck pain, your daily physical activities and lifestyle behaviors, your postural and sleep habits, and your past and recent injuries.

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Physical exam

Your physical exam may include:

  • Postural evaluation
  • Range of motion assessment
  • Assessment of reflexes and sensations
  • Evaluation of muscle strength
  • Palpation of the affected area
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Ultrasound-Guidance makes Our Injection Therapies More Accurate and Effective

Being able to visualize damaged and dysfunctional tissues is a game-changer for effective treatment and optimal results. Ultrasound guidance allows us to precisely target damaged tissues and trigger points for injection therapies and dry needling procedures to relieve neck pain.

Our advanced technologies set NYDNRehab apart from run-of-the-mill physical therapy clinics that use antiquated and ineffective methods to treat neck pain.

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Pelvic Personalized Pain Therapy

Ultrasound Guided Dry Needling

Neck pain is sometimes caused by trigger points, tiny knots of muscle tissue that often form near the tendon-bone junction. They can sometimes be palpated from the skin’s surface, but oftentimes they are buried deep in muscle and fascia tissue. Trigger points can cause pain and limit your neck range of motion.

Using ultrasound guidance, we can detect hidden trigger points and treat them by inserting a dry (non-medicated) needle with precision into detected trigger points to elicit a twitch response, instantly relieving pain and tension.

ESWT and EMTT For Neck Pain Relief

ESWT (Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy) delivers pulses of energy at near-supersonic speeds into damaged and painful tissues. Shockwave therapy promotes blood vessel formation and increases blood flow for greater oxygen and nutrient delivery. ESWT has been shown to accelerate tissue healing and reduce pain.

EMTT (Electromagnetic Transduction Therapy): EMTT uses electromagnetic fields to reduce pain and stimulate cellular regenesis in targeted tissues. It is often used in conjunction with ESWT to optimize cellular regenesis and speed healing.

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Benefit from Our Innovative Non-Invasive Therapies

Surgery for neck pain should only be considered as a last resort. Most neck pain can be resolved with non-invasive conservative treatment. Your neck pain specialist will likely incorporate a combination of approaches in your customized treatment plan.

Some of the unique neck pain treatment approaches at NYDNRehab include:

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Exercises for motor control of the upper quarter of the body

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Range of motion exercises

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Postural correction

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Ergonomic workspace correction

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Individualized home exercise program

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Chiropractic care

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ESWT and EMTT

More Treatment Options

Acute Neck Pain

Acute Neck Pain

  • Over the counter NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to reduce pain and inflammation

  • Acupuncture

  • Chiropractic care

  • Ultrasound guided dry needling (UGDN)

  • Steroid Injections

Chronic Neck Pain

Chronic Neck Pain

  • Physical therapy

  • Chiropractic care

  • EMTT (electromagnetic transduction therapy)

  • Ultrasound guided dry needling (UGDN)

Preventing Neck Pain

Staying in shape with regular exercise is the best way to prevent neck pain. You should also be aware of your posture, especially when using a computer or mobile device. Be sure to use protective gear when playing sports or engaging in high risk activities. Good sleep hygiene, including and appropriately firm mattress and pillow can help protect your neck while you sleep.

Preventing Neck Pain

Get Personalized Neck Pain Physical Therapy Designed Just for You

At NYDNRehab, we never take a cookie-cutter approach to patient care. The symptoms of neck pain vary from one patient to the next, each with their own causative mechanisms. We thoroughly examine each patient and base our treatment solutions on your unique diagnosis. We provide one-on-one Physical Therapy, custom-designed for the individual patient.

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neck pain dr kalika
neck pain manual therapy

Range of Available Unique Physical Therapy Treatments at Nydnrehab

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Get Neck Pain Treatment That Really Works!

TMJ pain can be relentless and debilitating, interfering with your ability to enjoy life to its fullest. Pain medications and surgeries fail to get to the root cause of neck pain, they only treat the symptoms without resolving their underlying causes.

At NYDNRehab, we make it our mission to get to the source of your pain and dysfunction and correct it, so you can move freely again and enjoy life to its fullest. Contact us today and make an appointment to get rid of your pain in the neck or good.

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    Dr. Lev Kalika
    Dr. Lev Kalika

    Clinical director & DC RMSK

    Research at NYDNRehab

    Neck Pain Treatment NYC
    Nowadays there is significant increase in the amount of patients with neck pain. Clinical experience and scientific data shows that this recent increase is due to excessive usage of hand held devices, computers, excessive sitting and increased amounts of stress.

    SYMPTOMS of Neck Pain

    Many patients complain of the pain in the shoulder area where in fact what they are experiencing is lower neck pain. Muscles and joints of the lower neck are also known to refer pain into mid back or between the shoulder blades. Myofascial involvement occasionally may refer pain into the arm, elbow or even as far as the hand. The herniated disc in the cervical spine which compresses the nerve root will produce pain, numbness and tingling down the arm and into the hand. Although disc bulges, protrusions and herniations in the cervical spine are not uncommon, majority of people suffer from myofascial pain when it comes to the neck pain. The most consisted characteristic of the myofascial pain in the neck is that of the pain changing location.

    INCIDENCE AND PREVALENCE

    Bringing together the reported data from different studies, we can claim that pain in the neck has increased by 10.4% and 21.3% in the past five years. Prevalence in general population is higher in women compered to man, however a high peak of this type of pain is observed in sitting-workers of both genders.

    ANATOMY

    The cervical spine consists of seven vertebras interconnected by the discs, spinal joins and the ligaments. The top of the cervical spine is connected to the cranium (head) through intricate anatomically designed cranio-cervical junction. The muscle of the neck connect many anatomical areas together. In order to fulfill many different neuromuscular functions for mobility, stability and connection of the central nervous system to the neck the muscular and fascial system are anatomically very complex in this area of the body. The neck muscles serve as connectors for integration of very precise mobility necessary not only for movement but for integration of: vision, hearing, balance and breathing.

    CAUSES AND CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

    Reasons for neck pain may vary from many disorders of different tissues within shoulder girdle and cervical spine. Here are some of the causes:
    • improper breathing
    • poor posture
    • breast implants
    • head injuries
    •  trauma to the neck such as whiplash
    • hypermobility
    • poor muscles balance of shoulder girdle and cervical spine
    • falling asleep in an awkward position;
    • prolonged sitting position;
    • stress.
    • excessive computer work and excessive use of mobile devices
    • poor vision
    • improper exercise

    SYNDROMES OF THE CERVICAL SPINE

    HERNIATED DISC IN THE NECK

    The protruded, bulged or herniated disc in the cervical spine are not uncommon however most of them go away with proper conservative care in a relatively short time. Surgery is rarely necessary. However when its warranted the healing is much faster and reoperations are very rare.

    ARTHRITIS IN THE CERVICAL SPINE OR STIFF NECK SYNDROME

    Neck arthritis is not uncommon. It causes limitation in the movement of the neck and pain. However in the hands of experienced physical therapist or a chiropractor the pain can be eliminated and enough of the lost movement can be restored in order for the symptoms to subside.

    CERVICO-CRANIAL SYNDROMES

    The cervico-cranial syndrome is characterized by the neck pain at the junction with the skull, headaches, occasional dizziness and blurry vision. Sometimes patient may have concomitant pain in the jaw. Depending on the symptom presentation this syndrome may be called as orofacial pain or TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) pain syndrome. Irregardless of the name the etiology of this syndrome is within the musculoskeletal system and not the problem in the mouth or the nervous system.

    Neck pain TREATMENT NYC

    Pain in the cervical spine may be a symptom of more serious problems like degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, or a pinched nerve. Cervical facet joints are rare source of pain. Most of the pain experienced in the cervical spine outside disc disease is of myofascial character. In the absence of perpetuating factors myofascial pain responds well to variety of different manual therapies in combination with rehabilitative exercises , acupuncture and extracorporeal shockwave therapy. Preventive treatment for reducing the risks of this type of pain should include ergonomic work space arrangement, gentle stretching, postural exercises, Pilates specific neck and breathing exercises. Neck pain treatment should address all functionally interrelated body segments such as: whole upper extremity, shoulder girdle, rib cage, cervical spine, and even skull and TMJ. Movement dysfunction in any above described areas could affect biomechanics of the cervical spine through kinetic interlinking of muscular chains. Sitting postures, lifting, prehension, breathing as well as ergonomic conditions must be examined and addressed. The use of hand held devises must be minimized for the time of symptom duration because hand held devices perpetuate abnormal movement stereotypes affecting the upper quarter. Patient is recommended to take short breaks with performance of brief remedial postural exercises for reduction of strain to the neck imposed by desk and computer work.

    NECK PAIN TREATMENT AT NYDNRehab

    At Dr. Kalika’s clinic neck pain treatment is conducted by a combination of DNS (dynamic neuromuscular stabilization) therapy, clinical Pilates, variety of manual myofascial and neuromuscular methods, acupuncture, extracorporeal shockwave therapy which concurrently address all interrelated tissues as well as motor control of the upper quarter of the human body. Home exercise program based on movement impairment examination is also very effective component of successful and long lasting relief.

    Testimonials

    Our Specialists

    HyunJu YOO, PT, MPT, DPT, CPI (Licensed Physical Therapist)
    Dr. Christina Pekar DC
    Dr. Michelle Agyakwah DC
    Mariam Kodsy Physical Therapist
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    In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

    Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

    The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

    Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
    the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
    due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
    to proper diagnostic workup

    Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
    to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
    under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)

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    Complete tear of rectus femoris
    with large hematoma (blood)

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    Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
    on dynamic sonography examination

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