What is neck pain?

Your neck is a delicate and flexible part of your body — it's easy to take its range of motion for granted. This flexibility, combined with the weight of your head, can put your neck at risk for pain.

At some point, most people have had neck pain, whether it's from sleeping in a strange position or looking up at a movie screen in a theater for a couple hours. But neck pain can go beyond these simple aches. Chronic or ongoing neck pain can be a sign of illness or injury.

Causes of neck pain

Causes of neck pain can include:

  • Injury to the muscles, bones, ligaments or tendons
  • Arthritis
  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative spinal disease
  • Spinal tumors
  • Bone abnormalities, often present from birth

Main Line Health offers neck specialists, including orthopaedic providers, neurosurgeons and pain medicine specialists, who will quickly evaluate and diagnose your neck pain and help you find relief. To help figure out what's causing your neck pain, your doctor will ask you questions about your pain and do a physical exam. You may also need imaging tests like an X-ray, MRI or CT scan.

In some cases, your provider may also want to take a blood sample or do a test called an electromyogram, which checks to see how well your nerves are working.


Once we've pinpointed the cause of your neck pain, our team will work with you to build a custom treatment plan. Depending on what's causing your pain, your treatment may include the following:

  • Medicines to relieve pain and reduce inflammation
  • Rest
  • A brace to keep your neck still
  • Physical therapy
  • Neck exercises
  • Surgery

Our team of doctors, physical therapists and pain management specialists through Main Line Health will all work together to make sure you get the care you need.

Non-Surgical Orthopaedic Treatments

Some orthopaedic conditions are first treated with non-surgical procedures followed by surgery as the next step.

Spine Surgery

Our spine surgery specialists are academically trained in advanced techniques and perform a high volume of surgeries using the latest technologies.

Physical Therapy

Each inpatient and outpatient physical therapy rehab is individually designed and administered by a licensed physical therapist who consistently guides you from that first visit all the way through recovery.

Orthopaedic Rehab

As one of the most extensive programs at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, our primary focus is to help patients build strength, mobility and endurance for a variety of orthopaedic conditions.

Orthopaedic Surgery



Discover how Main Line Health neurosurgeons provide expert care, from routine to complex spinal and nervous system conditions for patients.


Orthopaedic doctors at Main Line Health treat simple to complex sports and accident-related injuries as well as the painful effects of many conditions that limit your mobility and cause pain. Find an orthopaedic surgeon near me.

Sports Medicine

If you’ve had a sports-related injury or have a condition that’s keeping you out of the game, our sports medicine expert physicians and specialists are here to help you get back to doing the things you love.


Pain in your spine can affect your whole range of movement and quality of life. Learn how Main Line Health specialists provide compassionate care for your spinal needs.

Pain Management

Discover how Main Line Health experts serve Philadelphia by treating a wide range of conditions, including back, neck and oncology-related pain.