Neck pain is now a common complaint with the neck muscles easily getting strained due to poor postures. And a common cause of neck pain is osteoarthritis. But it is very rare that neck pain can be a more serious problem. One should visit the doctor if the neck pain is accompanied by numbness or loss of strength in hands or arms. If there is shooting pain running down into the shoulder down the arm then there is a need to take medical help.
What is neck pain?
The neck is made up of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso. Ligaments, bones, and muscles of the neck support the head and help in the motion. And any inflammation, injury, abnormalities can always cause neck stiffness or pain. And it is occasionally that many people experience neck pain or stiffness in the neck.
Although in many cases, it is because of the poor posture or overuse of the neck that one can get neck pain, sometimes neck pain is caused by an injury from a fall.
But most of the time, neck pain is not a serious condition and one can find relief within a few days. In some of the cases, neck pain can also indicate a serious illness or injury and may require a doctor’s care.
Causes of Neck Pain
Neck pain is also termed as cervical pain. Some of the common conditions that cause neck pain include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Neck strain
- Poor posture
- Herniated disc
- Cervical spondylosis
- Spinal stenosis
- Neck injury
- Pinched nerve also called cervical radiculopathy
Neck pain can also be a result of some common infections like:
- Viral throat infections
- Tuberculosis of the neck,
- Spine bone infection in the neck (osteomyelitis and septic discitis)
- Meningitis also often accompanied by neck stiffness
Neck pain can also cause due to the conditions like fibromyalgia and polymyalgia rheumatica that directly affecting your muscles in the neck. It may also cause due to uncomfortable sleeping positioning of the neck.
Symptoms Of Neck Pain
Neck Pain is a common medical condition associated with a number of disorders and diseases. It may also involve some tissues in your neck.
- Stiff neck
- Throat pain
- Tingling sensation or weakness of the arms
Neck Pain Diagnosis
If you are suffering from neck pain, the doctor can check for numbness, tenderness and muscle weakness. The doctor will ask you to move your head forward, side by side and backward to test the sensitivity to the pain in the neck. You may be advised for X rays, CT scan and MRI. With the help of the X rays, the doctor can find out if you have bone spurs and other degenerative changes. A CT scan helps to produce cross-sectional views of the internal structures. The doctor can also advise you for blood tests to help find evidence of infectious conditions.
Treatment for Neck Pain
If you suffer from normal neck pain, it can last for two or three weeks. By a slight modification in your lifestyle and few changes at the workplace can help you put things straight. But if the neck pain lasts for a longer time, then you need to consult a specialist for the right treatment.
The treatment for neck pain advised by the doctor can include medicines and physical therapy. With the help of physical therapy, you can maintain the right posture and also helps in strengthening the neck muscles. You may also be advised to wear a soft collar that will help in relieving pain by taking the pressure off the neck’s structure. Surgery for neck pain is only recommended to relieve the nerve root or the compression in the spinal cord.