Dr. Richard Day of the Rocky Mountain Neurosurgery Center will present a free community health class on eliminating neck pain and the many treatment options available at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, Thursday, Jan. 16.
From holistic approaches, injections and minimally invasive treatment options to new technological surgeries, Dr. Day will present reasons to come be evaluated for neck pain. He will cover neck pain experiences and options.
“Neck pain is pretty common and most pain isn’t surgical,” Day said. “We think by educating the public that some people who have been suffering from neck pain and been reluctant to come in and get it checked out will be inspired to consider coming, rather than just suffering in a kind of a hopeless state.”
Chronic neck pain may start to build slowly over time. The pain may come and go, be only in your neck, may move to your arms, back, shoulders, legs. Pain could start in another body area and move to your neck.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “The number of persons experiencing chronic pain (includes neck pain) in the United States is substantial and widespread. Causing an increase the use of prescribed narcotics. Based on a survey conducted during 2001–2003, the overall prevalence of common, predominantly musculoskeletal pain conditions (e.g., arthritis, rheumatism, chronic back or neck problems, and frequent severe headaches) was estimated at 43% among adults in the United States, with 11.2% of adults report having daily pain.”
At the class on Thursday, Day will explain about how necks work, why they hurt and encourage people to receive an evaluation to see if there are beneficial treatments that relieve their pain. He said there are local community members who have had many successful treatments and surgery.
There are options.
“My specialty is surgery but we can direct patients to more conservative treatments,” Day said. “We don’t do physical therapy or injections [in the Rocky Mountain Neurosurgery Center] but we have close ties and connections with those disciplines.”
A screening process and evaluation will help guide decisions about where to start in pain management.
“Most patients don’t need surgery but they don’t know that until they’ve been screened, and understand the options,” Day said.
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Neck pain can be constant or intermittent but all pain should be addressed.
“The change to spines is inevitable,” Day said. “At some point we lose some function, flexibility of our neck, some discomfort it just goes along with aging but there are certain things you can do to minimize those effects. We do promote healthy lifestyle, posture and daily things you can do even if you don’t need surgery.”
Day said his goal is to help someone with neck pain not evolve into someone that has a more advanced problem like nerve or spinal cord problems.
“Now it is an emergency that now they can’t walk or their arms don’t work very well,” he said. “Neck pain is the first symptom and then it can threaten their mobility.”
He said that at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital the plan of treatment includes non-surgical efforts before surgery. The preventative is considered first, then there are other options.
“The reason we’re talking about it is we have new technologies that have come into play that are quite promising and we want to make sure the public is aware of those advancements,” Day said.
He said success has been proven in community members who are again able to do their careers, their hobbies and lead pain-free lives. Attendees will hear from patients that had debilitating neck pain, who now have their life back.
“Patients do well and get back to their normal life a lot quicker with an artificial disk than they do with standard fusion,” Day said. “We’ve have been doing this for several years now and are happy with the results. We’re tickled with how quickly we can get people healed up and back to work if they are a good candidate for this technology.”
The community is invited to come and learn about options, including a surgical procedure that has proven success.
Day incorporates yoga and other holistic approaches into his own lifestyle.
The free “Eliminate Neck Pain” class will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16, in the Blodgett conference room. Doors will open at 5 p.m. at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital. For more information visit www.MDMH.org/events.