Episodes of pain in the back and neck for 2 years

Patient

Q: Hello, For the past 2 years I have been having problems with my back and neck, not a muscle problem as I feel my neck hitting something solid when i turn left or right. The problem occurs every about 5-6 months, probably due to sleeping in an odd position. I've been visiting a chiropractor who says its due to dislocated vertebrae (2-5 each time), and after a few visits for massaging and cracking every bone in my back the problem goes away. My question is: Is there a more medically sound way of fixing the problem more permanently rather than going to a chiropractor to pop things back in place? I've been doing some simple things like using an orthopaedic pillow, sleeping facing upwards, warming up before exercising etc. Thanks

Doctor

A:    The neck and back pain may have many causes including: muscle strain, ligaments sprains, spine joint problems, or a radicular compression (pinched nerve). These pains may be produced by everyday life stress like inadequate postures, muscle tension maybe from psychological stress or poor sleeping habits. You may have: stiffness and tightness, the pain of course and the limitation in the movements, all these may last up to six to 8 weeks. In the majority of cases the conservative treatment is effective, meaning: anti inflammatory medication, local alternating ice and heat, massage and practice a stretching exercise routine consistently every day. In your particular case, you said that for 2 years you are having episodes of neck and back pain and  you have been checked only by a chiropractor,  I would recommend you a  comprehensive evaluation  by an Orthopaedic surgeon or Spine specialist , meaning physical exam and imaging studies (X-rays, MRI) to have a look at your spine and see really what is going on in order to rule out other more serious possible causes of the neck and back pain, then decide the best treatment option for you accordingly.

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