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Neck Pain


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Pain in the neck, also called cervical pain, is often a dull, aching feeling that gets worse when you move your head. Neck pain can come with headaches, facial pain, and muscle spasms.

Neck pain is acute (a sudden, intense pain that lasts a few days to a few weeks) or chronic (lasts more than a few months). Common causes of neck pain include:

  • Overuse, strenuous activity, or improper use (such as repetitive or heavy lifting)
  • Fractures due to compression or dislocation
  • Trauma or injury, like whiplash
  • Degeneration or break down of the vertebrae, disc, or cartilage due to stress, normal “wear and tear,” or aging
  • Infection in the bone or spinal fluid
  • Abnormal growth such as a tumor or bone spur
  • Poor posture or sleeping position
  • Muscle and ligament sprains, strains, or tears
  • Herniated disc between the vertebrae
  • Pinched or compressed nerve
  • Congenital (present at birth) abnormalities

If you have neck pain that lasts longer than a few days, schedule an appointment with one of our University of Miami Health System physiatrists (physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors). Early care means less chance for chronic (ongoing) pain.


During this test, you will receive an injection of saline into your disc(s) under image-guidance, either using CT or fluoroscopy (dynamic X-ray) technology. This is done to provoke any pain and/or abnormal response. It can show abnormal nerve pathways generating pain inside the injured/degenerated disc.

Electroneurophysiological testing is done with current and electrodes to determine nerve and muscle function/dysfunction and damage. Tests include electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS).


Neurostimulation, also called electrical stimulation, uses low-voltage electricity to stop the nerve impulses that cause pain. Examples include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), applied on the skin over nerve endings, and spinal cord stimulation (SCS), which is inserted under the skin.

Interventional spine procedures
These procedures use image-guided technology to deliver steroids and medications right to the pain source. Selective epidural injections, cervical facet injections, cervical selective nerve blocks, and discograms reduce pain and inflammation in the neck. This treatment is usually prescribed with physical therapy or exercise.

Ultrasound-guided injections
Ultrasound imaging allows doctors to view nerves, bones, tendons, and muscles. Combining this technology with injection therapy means we can deliver medicines to the exact trigger point to relieve pain and inflammation. Steroids and platelet-rich plasma injections are commonly used to treat neuromusculoskeletal pain.

Radiofrequency ablation
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat from radio waves to damage nerve tissues, disrupting their ability to send pain signals. This is performed on the facet joints in the spine.

Why Choose UHealth?

Multispecialty care with teams built around your condition. Our rehabilitation team works closely with orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, and neurosurgeons, and many other specialists to customize your treatment plan. We have special expertise in conditions that cause neck pain, such as neuromuscular diseases, sports injuries, and cervical spine disorders.

Leading-edge non-surgical and minimally invasive therapies for neck pain. You have access to the latest approaches to managing chronic pain, including neurostimulation and neuromusculoskeletal ultrasound-guided injections, all in one place.

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