Conservative therapies are almost always indicated in seniors who have had neck pain for less than six months and who do not appear to have an immediate risk of spinal cord injury, severe nerve trauma, spinal instability or other serious issue.
Unfortunately, many elderly patients are at higher risk of developing serious problems like those just mentioned due to an increased likelihood of falls or trauma, malignant growths, or acquired degeneration of tissues in the spine. When asking the question ‘Is it worth having surgery at my age?’ the typical answer, therefore, is ‘yes.’
Surgery for Seniors with Neck Pain
If less invasive treatment protocols fail to address symptoms then surgical intervention for neck and back pain in elderly patients may be warranted, depending on any other health issues from which they are suffering and their expectations over quality of life. Some seniors decide against spinal fusion or decompression surgery, believing the risks to be greater than the potential benefits. Others who are keen to remain active may choose to undergo surgery to restore mobility and improve quality of life.
Aside from neck surgery for neck pain, seniors may choose to address their condition using:
- Physical therapy to improve strength and posture
- Occupational therapy
- Steroid injections
- Natural medications
- Diet and nutritional supplements
- Spiritual approaches to pain relief
In our next blog post we’ll take a look at ways to minimize the risk of developing neck pain as you age.