Neck Pain

Sravani Mehta, MD -  - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Brain and Stroke Care

Sravani Mehta, MD

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation & Brain Injury Medicine located in Nashville, TN

Your neck is especially vulnerable to injury, whether due to a simple strain, a serious whiplash injury, or a painful movement disorder, such as cervical dystonia. When you need relief from neck pain, you’ll receive effective treatments at Brain and Stroke Care: Sravani Mehta, MD. As an expert in muscle, nerve, and movement disorders, Dr. Mehta has helped many patients achieve pain relief and normal neck movement. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Nashville, Tennessee, or use the online booking feature.

Neck Pain Q & A

What causes neck pain?

Neck pain often develops due to strained muscles and tendons. Neck strain is increasingly common in patients who spend extensive time using computers and handheld electronics.

As you get older, natural degenerative changes in the vertebrae, discs, and cartilage are most likely to lead to neck pain. Some of the most common conditions affecting your neck include a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, facet joint arthritis, and degenerative disc disease. However, Dr. Mehta frequently treats two conditions: whiplash and cervical dystonia.

What causes whiplash?

Whiplash occurs when your neck is forced into a rapid back-and-forth, or whiplash, movement. The force of the movement damages soft tissues and nerves in your neck. Auto accidents most often cause whiplash, but you can sustain the same injury from a sports accident or other trauma.

After a whiplash, patients often experience immediate pain. However, it’s possible for your symptoms to be delayed for several days. The symptoms include:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Abnormal sensations like burning
  • Shoulder pain
  • Back pain

You may also experience memory loss, depression, and have a hard time concentrating.

What causes cervical dystonia?

Dystonia is a movement disorder caused by problems in the part of your brain that controls movement. As a result, you develop involuntary muscle contractions that lead to repetitive movements or abnormal postures.

When you have cervical dystonia, the muscles in your neck tighten, forcing your head to turn to one side or pulling it forward or backward. Cervical dystonia is a painful condition that usually starts slowly. 

At first, your neck may turn involuntarily, especially if you’re tired or feeling stressed. Over the course of several months or years, the dystonia worsens until your neck stays in an uncomfortable position.

What is the treatment for whiplash?

Depending on the severity of your whiplash injury, your treatment may include pain medications, muscle relaxants, and a cervical collar to temporarily immobilize the neck and give the tissues time to heal. 

Dr. Mehta often recommends a treatment proven to effectively relieve dystonia: Botox® injections. Botox blocks the nerve signals that trigger muscle contractions, which relaxes the muscles. Your head position and neck pain improve within two weeks, then you can maintain the relief with injections every three months.

If you suffer from neck pain or cervical dystonia, effective treatments are available at Brain and Stroke Care: Sravani Mehta, MD. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the convenient online booking feature.