The neck is a crucial part of our spine that supports the weight of our head while allowing for a good amount of movement. Even so, it’s also quite susceptible to injuries and issues that can lead to pain and limit our ability to move comfortably. While some people might just go through a phase of temporary neck pain that eventually goes away on its own, others might need some professional help to deal with their chronic pain or discomfort. That’s where orthopaedic surgeons come in – they’re the specialists when it comes to identifying and treating problems with our muscles and bones, including those that affect the neck.
Orthopaedic surgeons have a range of techniques up their sleeves to help patients manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. These could include things like physical therapy, medications, lifestyle changes, and sometimes even surgery. But hey, let’s not jump the gun on surgery; it’s usually considered when everything else has been tried and hasn’t worked out. So, if you find yourself dealing with persistent neck pain or other symptoms that are interfering with your daily life, it’s a good idea to reach out to an orthopaedic surgeon for some guidance and assistance.
Neck pain can happen for all sorts of reasons, and the diagnosis can be tricky. That’s why it’s a smart move to talk to an orthopaedic surgeon if you’ve got neck pain that just won’t go away. Chronic neck pain which lasts for months at a time, may be a sign of an underlying condition. These are some reasons why you should consult an orthopaedic surgeon:
The causes of neck pain fall into two main categories: injurious and non-injurious causes. Injuries often come from accidents like falls or car crashes. These accidents can lead to neck pain either right away or later on, depending on the severity of the accident and the patient’s condition.
Now, let’s delve into the non-injurious sources of neck pain, which often has a lot to do with our work setups. Many workplaces use a kind of one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to setting up our desks and chairs. This can be a real pain in the neck, literally. Sometimes, we’re stuck with computer screens and chairs that just won’t budge or can’t be adjusted enough. That means we end up sitting in strange positions that put extra strain on our necks.
If you already have an underlying neck issue, well, things can get even trickier. Any trouble in your neck can make it less stable, and your body tries to make up for it by overworking neck muscles. Over time, these muscles can get tired out, and they can’t compensate anymore. That’s when you start feeling real neck pain, and it might bring along some other symptoms too. Now, when it comes to neck pain, it usually has three main sources:
So, in a nutshell, neck pain can happen for all sorts of reasons, from accidents to unhealthy work setups, and it usually comes from these three sources: muscle strain, disc issues, or problems with facet joints. Orthopaedic surgeons utilize different methods to diagnose the specific cause of your neck pain. If you experience the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention:
In essence, neck pain can cause various symptoms, depending on the underlying issues, including pain, numbness, weakness, unusual sensations, and even difficulties with coordination and mobility. It is also important to note that neck pain can also be a symptom of many other health conditions, like gallbladder issues, meningitis, and cancer. To diagnose and rule out any conditions, you will undergo diagnostic tests.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Neck Pain in Singapore: Finding the Right Orthopaedic Specialist
At The Orthopaedic & Pain Practice, the orthopaedic surgeon, with the help of a team, initiates the process with a comprehensive medical interview to understand the patient’s neck pain symptoms and potential causes. Following this, a focused examination of the neck and related areas is conducted to identify any signs of neck issues.
After that, you might be asked to have some cervical spine X-rays or an MRI scan to get a better idea of what’s causing your neck pain. With this information in hand, the orthopaedic surgeon will talk to you about their findings. Together, you can discuss your treatment options. Each patient will have a treatment plan because this plan always depends on the severity of the pain and the condition of the patient.
The Orthopaedic & Pain Practice offers a variety of treatments for patients with neck pain. These are all geared to alleviate your symptoms so you can live your life to the fullest. These are some treatments for neck pain:
It’s worth noting that not all neck pain requires immediate medical attention. Sometimes, it gets better on its own, and you can manage it at home. However, if your neck pain starts affecting your daily activities, it’s a good idea to reach out for help. An orthopaedic surgeon is the right person to see. They can figure out what’s causing the problem and create a treatment plan that suits you personally. Your comfort and well-being are what matters most.
Consulting an orthopaedic surgeon is crucial if you have neck pain because they can accurately diagnose the underlying cause, which could be muscle strain, disc issues, or facet joint problems. They also ensure you receive appropriate and timely treatment to prevent the pain from worsening.
The two main categories of neck pain causes are injurious and non-injurious sources. Injuries can result from accidents, while non-injurious causes often stem from poor workplace ergonomics or pre-existing neck issues.
Common symptoms of neck pain can include shooting pain down the arms, arm or hand numbness and weakness, tingling sensations, spinal cord pressure, loss of coordination, and unsteadiness when walking. These symptoms can vary depending on the underlying issue.
You may undergo medical interviews, cervical spine X-rays, and MRI scans as diagnostic tests to gain a better understanding of the causes of neck pain.
Treatment options for neck pain at The Orthopaedic & Pain Practice include medications to alleviate pain, lifestyle changes and advice for better management, physiotherapy sessions to improve mobility and function, pain procedures to target the root cause, and surgery to release pinched nerves and address cervical spine issues. The specific treatment plan depends on the severity of the pain and the patient’s condition.
Dr. Yong Ren graduated from the National University of Singapore’s Medical faculty and embarked on his orthopaedic career soon after. Upon completion of his training locally, he served briefly as an orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital before embarking on sub-speciality training in Switzerland at the famed Inselspital in Bern.
He underwent sub-specialty training in pelvic and spinal surgery, and upon his return to Singapore served as head of the orthopaedic trauma team till 2019. He continues to serve as a Visiting Consultant at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
Well-versed in a variety of orthopaedic surgeries, he also served as a member of the country council for the local branch of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen (Trauma) in Singapore. He was also involved in the training of many of the young doctors in Singapore and was appointed as an Assistant Professor by the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. Before he entered the private sector, he also served as core faculty for orthopaedic resident training by the National Healthcare Group.
Dr. Yong Ren brings to the table his years of experience as a teacher and trainer in orthopaedic surgery. With his expertise in minimally invasive fracture surgery, pelvic reconstructive surgery, hip and knee surgery as well and spinal surgery, he is uniquely equipped with the tools and expertise necessary to help you on your road to recovery.