Neck Pain

Innovative Spine Care

Minimally Invasive Spine Specialist located in Tampa, FL

Neck pain can develop from poor posture, herniated discs, or numerous other causes. If you have neck pain that’s not easing off after a few weeks’ rest, Stephen Watson, MD, of Innovative Spine Care in Tampa, Florida, can help. Dr. Watson uses nonsurgical neck pain treatments as well as minimally invasive thulium laser discectomy and neural decompression for disc problems. If you’re suffering from neck pain, Dr. Watson offers hope for effective, long-lasting relief without the need for surgery. Find out more by calling Innovative Spine Care today or book an appointment online.

Neck Pain Q&A

What is neck pain?

The cervical spine (neck) is a common source of pain. The seven vertebrae, along with the muscles and connective tissues that make up your neck, need to perform a complex range of movements while supporting your head, which weighs around 10-11 pounds. 

Unsurprisingly, then, 70% of people complain of having neck pain at some point. Problems with the cervical spine that can lead to neck pain include:

  • Poor posture
  • Sleeping in an odd position
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Muscle strains
  • Herniated discs
  • Nerve compression
  • Whiplash
  • Cervical stenosis
  • Cervical degenerative disc disease  

These conditions can make it hard to move your head and may cause tingling, burning, numbness, or headaches.

How is neck pain usually treated?

Most mild neck pain responds to self-care within a few weeks. However, if your pain is severe or becomes chronic, you could benefit from additional treatment at Innovative Spine Care. Options include:


Muscle relaxants, pain medicines, and low-dose tricyclic antidepressants can all help relieve neck pain.

Physical therapy

A skilled physical therapist helps you improve your posture and alignment, as well as providing personalized exercise programs and treatments like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to deal with the pain.


Traction may help relieve compression by gently stretching your neck using weights or an air bladder.

Soft collar

A soft collar can take the pressure off of your neck, but you must only wear it for three hours at a time over 1-2 weeks.

Steroid injections

Steroid injections to the nerve roots, the facet joints of your cervical spine, or the neck muscles, can help relieve inflammation and pain, sometimes for several months at a time.

Would I need surgery for neck pain?

Surgery usually isn’t required for neck pain and only becomes an option when there are no other treatments left to try.

If surgery is your best option for chronic neck pain, Dr. Watson can perform laser cervical discectomy and neural decompression. This procedure relieves neck pain by treating the herniated disc that’s pressing on the nerve root.

Laser cervical discectomy and neural decompression typically takes 45-90 minutes, depending on how many discs need treating. Dr. Watson uses fluoroscopy (moving X-rays) to guide a thulium laser to the bulging or herniated disc.

The laser delivers light energy into the disc to turn off your pain nerves, seal the blood vessels, and sometimes shrink the bulge or herniation. The treatment relieves pressure on the nerve roots to reduce neck pain.

To take advantage of Dr. Watson’s expertise in this cutting-edge treatment for neck pain, call Innovative Spine Care today or book an appointment online.