Neck Pain

What is Neck Pain ?

The area known as the neck is actually part of the structure that makes up the spine; a complex arrangement consisting of bone, joints, nerves, muscle, tendons and ligaments surrounding the spinal cord. Like back pain, neck pain is one of the more common complaints people of all ages endure and in most cases, will subside after a few days.

There are various causes of neck pain, which is a symptom of a range of specific medical issues, rather than a disease in itself. When it strikes it can restrict and hinder all aspects of your life – family, social, work, and recreation. Without successful treatment, persistent neck pain can have detrimental effects on the state of mind and mental wellbeing.

Types of Neck Pain

Neck pain is a broader term concerning discomfort anywhere in the neck area, and in some cases extending down to the upper back and shoulder.

Characteristics of neck pain include:

  • Muscle ache or spasm
  • Discomfort in the neck, upper back or shoulders
  • Stiffness in the neck area
  • A reduced range of motion or ability to turn the head
  • Pain that radiates down one or both arms (and sometimes the legs)
  • Headache

Case Studies supporting PEMF benefits for Neck Pain

Management of Intractable Pain With Adjuvant Electromagnetic Energy


51 year old female with severe, constant pain, diffusely located in the region of her right mandible and neck. A root canal and spinal fusion were performed. The patient reported severe, persistent pain following both surgeries. Pharmacological interventions and physical therapy were attempted. Pain remained severe and constant for approximately two years. Botulinum toxin (BTX) injections were initiated, which provided some relief. When Provant pulsed electromagnetic energy was added, the need for BTX injections decreased, and the patient reported a noticeable decrease in pain intensity and an improvement in quality of life. Currently, the patient continues to use Provant regularly for pain management, which has allowed her to reduce the use of other interventions and avoid narcotic medications. These outcomes highlight the utility of a non-pharmacological, complementary therapy for closed, yet persistently painful, postoperative wounds.

Patient Details:

  • 51 year old female. Severe, constant postoperative pain for three years.
  • Diffuse pain located on her right side, involving the mandible, lower molars, neck, upper back, and shoulder.
  • Pain initially 7/10 and described as constant, burning and throbbing, for which she took Ibuprofen.

Interventions and Outcome:

  • Initial diagnosis: dental malocclusion.
  • Root Canal performed; short course of hydrocodone/acetaminophen prescribed.
  • Post-op pain 9/10, with worsening neck and shoulder pain. Pain developed in her arm, which radiated from shoulder to fingers.
  • Several meds were trialed and discontinued due to side effects: cyclobenzaprine, gabapentin, amitriptyline.
  • An MRI was ordered; the results were positive for a right C5-C6 herniated disc, and a herniated and degenerative disc at C6-C7. Cervical dystonia also diagnosed. Spinal fusion performed, C5-C7.
  • Patient reported postoperative pain relief only in her arm, not neck, jaw, shoulder or upper back. Pain rated 8-9/10. Treated with nighttime oxycodone/acetaminophen; daytime dosing not tolerated due to side effects.
  • Subsequent interventions were ineffective in providing meaningful pain relief: physical therapy, trigger point injections, ultrasound therapy, and dry needling to trigger points.
  • Botulinum toxin (BTX) injections provided additional but incomplete pain relief that lasted 6-12 weeks.

Alternative Pain Relief Intervention:

  • Provant Therapy initiated two years into course. Pain relief experienced after the first treatment day.
  • Within a month of Provant, pain declined to 4-5/10.
  • Oxycodone/acetaminophen completely discontinued.
  • The patient maintained on adjunctive PRN cyclobenzaprine for muscle spasms, lidocaine patches and naproxen.
  • Able to reduce frequency of BTX injections.
  • Provant used a minimum of 5 days per week.
  • Pain reduced to 3/10 when Provant used routinely.


  • This is a complex case with a multi-faceted pain management strategy.
  • Adding Provant to the treatment plan allowed for reduced pain and elimination of narcotic meds.
  • Patient experienced improved ability to perform activities of daily living, such as driving, lifting objects, and repetitive motions.
  • Patient experienced improved quality of life, such as sleeping and social activities.
Efficacy of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field on Pain and Function in Chronic Mechanical Neck Pain: a Randomized Controlled Trial


Background: Mechanical neck pain (MNP) is a common neck disorder affecting the middle-aged population. Magnetotherapy is considered as a safe and non-invasive physical therapy modality used in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain.

Subjects and Methods: A total of 60 male patients participated in this study. Their mean age, weight, height, body mass index (BMI) and duration of illness were 23.03 (2.239) years, 63.43 (5.195) Kg, 1.662 (5.1092) cm, 22.98 (1.879) Kg/m2, 4.483 (1.228) months respectively. They were randomly assigned into two groups. Group I (30 Patients) was treated with PEMF plus exercises (PEMF+EX) group and group II (30 Patients) treated with placebo magnetic plus exercises (PL+EX) group. Exercise program included active range of motion, muscle stretching and strengthening exercises applied two sessions/week for 6 weeks. PEMF was applied with 20 Hz, 0.8 mT for 20 minutes two sessions/week for 6 weeks. Pain level was measured by visual analog scale (VAS) and neck functions were measured by neck disability index (NDI). The level of significance was set at p< 0.05.

Results: Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test revealed significant differences in VAS and NDI in PEMF+EX and PL+EX groups (p <0.0001). Mann-Whitney (MW) Test showed significant decreases in VAS and NDI scores for both treatments (p <0.0001) with more significant decrease in PEMF group than PL+EX group.

Conclusion: : PEMF combined with exercise was effective more than exercises alone in decreasing the scores of VAS and NDI in Chronic MNP.

Case Study Reference Source:

  • 1. Management of Intractable Pain With Adjuvant Electromagnetic Energy
    (Authors: Jeffrey Niezgoda, MD, Scott Hardin, MD, Jocelyn Acompanado, PA-C, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

    (Authors: Mohamed Salaheldien Alayat, Mohamed Mohamed Ibrahim Ali, Amir Abdel Raouf El Fiky, Mansour Abdullah Alshehri)