Neck Pain

Chronic neck pain is... a real pain in the neck. It restricts your motion and limits the things you can do. Experience neck pain relief in the hands of our orthopedic spine team at Detroit Medical Center (DMC) in Michigan. Count on us to help relieve your neck pain.

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We Help You Overcome Neck Pain

The neck has a significant amount of motion and supports the weight of the head. However, because it is less protected than the rest of the spine, the neck can be vulnerable to injury and disorders that produce neck pain and restrict motion.

For many people, neck pain is fortunately a temporary condition that disappears with time. Others need medical diagnosis and treatment to relieve their symptoms.

At the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), we understand the burden of living with neck pain and stiffness. Together, we'll work to find the source of your pain and put you on the road to neck pain relief. Our orthopedic surgeons who specialize in spine conditions are located on our main campus in Detroit and at DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in Commerce Township.

The DMC's Spine Center team includes:

  • Surgical and non-surgical physicians
  • Pain management specialists
  • Nurses specializing in spinal care
  • Physical therapists

The team works together to design a comprehensive treatment plan tailored for neck pain relief, with a focus on exploring all your nonsurgical options first. You'll have access to some of the latest technologies, including minimally invasive procedures that may result in quicker recoveries.

The DMC Spine Center will help you with everything from getting timely appointments and referring you to additional specialists (should they be required). We take the hassle out of healthcare and let you focus on what’s most important: your treatment and recovery.

The DMC’s Spine Team specializes in:

  • Neck sprains and strains
  • Neck fracture (cervical vertebrae)
  • Pinched nerve (cervical radiculopathy)
  • Spondylosis, or arthritis in the neck
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal cord compression in cervical spine
  • Whiplash
  • Cervicogenic headaches

What Causes Neck Pain?

Neck pain may result from abnormalities in the soft tissues — the muscles, ligaments, and nerves — as well as in bones and disks of the spine. The most common causes of neck pain are soft-tissue (muscle and ligament) abnormalities due to injury (a strain or sprain) or prolonged wear and tear (commonly known as arthritis). In rare instances, infection or tumors may cause neck pain. In some people, neck problems may be the source of pain in the upper back, shoulders, or arms.

Neck pain can develop suddenly, such as from an injury, or it may develop slowly over time, such as from years of poor posture or wear and tear.

The pain can usually be alleviated with self-care, such as rest, icing the area, or improving posture. Sometimes medical treatments are needed, such as medication, physical therapy, or injection therapy. If nonsurgical treatments are not helping, surgical options may be considered.

When You Need a Neck Pain Doctor

When neck pain does not improve after a few days or weeks, some medical treatment or guidance is likely needed to alleviate symptoms. Getting an accurate medical diagnosis for the cause of neck pain can help set up a more effective treatment plan.

Neck pain requires immediate medical attention if it is accompanied by any of the following:

  • Radiating pain into both arms or legs
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in arms or legs
  • Problems with balance or coordination
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fever or chills
  • Severe headache with stiff neck

Why Does My Neck Hurt?

The most common types of neck pain include:

  • Bone pain in the cervical vertebrae itself. It needs immediate medical attention.
  • Facet joint pain that may radiate to your upper back or shoulder and worsens if you lean your head toward the affected side.
  • Muscle pain due to overexertion, prolonged emotional or physical stress
  • Muscle spasm or the sudden tightening of neck muscles
  • Neck-related headache felt in the upper neck and back of the head. The ache usually feels dull rather than sharp. Moving your neck worsens the pain.
  • Nerve pain due to the pinching or irritation of the spinal nerve roots. The pain may be severe, sharp or fleeting. The pain may radiate down the arm or hand depending on the affected nerve.
  • Referred neck pain that is triggered by a problem in another body part

Non-Surgical Neck Pain Treatment Options

The DMC Spine Center offers non-surgical or minimally invasive treatment options for neck pain relief. Some of the treatments include:

  • Epidural Steroid Injections
    Injections used to treat back and neck pain by reducing inflammation around the nerves.
  • Face Joint Injections
    Injections used to treat joint pain in the back or neck caused by arthritis.
  • Facet Joint Radiofrequency Ablation/Neurotomy
    A minimally invasive procedure using heat from a needle tip to stop pain signals caused by arthritic back or neck pain.
  • Minimally Invasive Decompression
    Procedures aimed at decreasing pressure in the spine caused by spinal stenosis or disc herniation.
  • Osteopathic Manipulation Treatment (OMT)
    Treatment that involves moving a patient’s muscles and joints through techniques, such as stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.
  • Peripheral Nerve Stimulator
    Minimally invasive modality for controlling pain arising from trauma or dysfunction of the peripheral nerve(s).
  • Physical Therapy
    A conservative approach for restoration of movement and physical function using therapeutic exercises and education.
  • Spinal Cord Stimulator
    A small implantable device used to block pain signals in the back and legs and/or the neck and arms.

Surgical Neck Pain Treatment Options

Some of the surgical treatment options we offer for neck pain include:

  • Deformity Spinal Surgery
    Surgery involving both spinal fusion and instrumentation to improve the alignment of the spine for those with scoliosis or kyphosis.
  • Microdiscectomy
    A minimally invasive procedure for removing disc material that has herniated or moved to an abnormal location, causing pressure on the spinal cord or one of its nerve roots.
  • Revision Spinal Surgery
    A revision of a prior spinal surgery may be necessary if you still have symptoms after the first procedure or if you have new symptoms.
  • Spinal Decompression (Laminectomy)
    A surgery that creates space by removing the back part of the vertebra that covers the spinal canal, which enlarges the spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
  • Spinal Fusion
    A surgery to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in the spine, eliminating motion between them.
  • Spine Fracture and Spinal Cord Injury
    Non-invasive, minimally invasive or invasive procedures to decompress and stabilize spinal fractures and spinal cord injury.
  • Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty
    A minimally invasive surgical procedure to stabilize a spinal compression fracture.


Our specialty trained spine doctors are located on our main campus in Detroit and at DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in Commerce Township. In addition, we have over 20 outpatient physical therapy clinics located throughout the tri-county area.

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