Neck Pain

Neck pain can range from mild discomfort that is easily ignored to severe, burning pain. Pain located in the neck is very common among adults and can occur at any age. Around 15% of American adults have neck pain that lasts at least one full day each year. These pains usually can be relieved through home-care, but may require nonsurgical medical treatments. Neck pain can develop suddenly, such as from an injury, or it may develop slowly over time, such as from years of poor posture or wear and tear.

Symptoms of Neck Pain Are:

  • Numbness
  • Sharp Pain
  • Headaches
  • Stiff Neck
  • Soreness

The neck is very susceptible to injury, particularly when the neck is pushed outside of its normal range of motion. A common neck injury is “whip lash” which is caused by a sudden jerk of the head pulling the neck outside of it normal range of motion.

Neck Pain is Diagnosed by:

  • Blood Tests
  • X-ray
  • MRI scan
  • CT scan
  • Lumbar Puncture/Spinal Tap
  • Electromyography

Neck pains can be eased through home care. If your pain is minor try some of these methods to help relieve your pain. Excercise you neck everyday, use slow streching motions up and down and side to side. Use ice on the location of the pain. Use good posture and change your position often.

Conditions Associated with Neck Pain

  • Cancer Pain
  • Facet Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Spinal Stenosis

Common Treatments for Neck Pain

  • Epidural Nerve Block
  • Facet Joint Injections
  • Medial Branch Block
  • Medication Management
  • Radiofrequency Neuroablation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Trigger Point Injections

Neck Pain FAQs

Muscle strain is the most common cause of neck discomfort, which occurs when a muscle is overstretched and torn. Neck strain is often caused by poor posture or support, such as when sleeping with the neck in an awkward position. Other possible causes include:

  • Lifting objects that are too heavy
  • Accidents involving collisions or falls, as well as sports injuries
  • Trying a new hobby
  • Repetitive Actions - Too much repetition can cause muscle tension.

Correct posture and body position can prevent neck pain. Here are a few additional tips-

  • Try not to be sloppy. Consider keeping your head, neck, and spine in a straight, aligned line.
  • Sit up straight in a chair, supporting your lower back.
  • Keep one foot flat on the floor.
  • Place your computer so that the screen is at eye level.
  • Instead of holding the phone on your shoulder, use a headset or speaker when talking on the phone.
  • Regularly stretch your neck muscles.
  • Use a neck pillow while sleeping.

Neck discomfort is common and may not cause much concern at first. The most common types of mild to moderate neck discomfort are usually relieved within one to two weeks by improving posture and lifestyle changes. If neck discomfort persists, your doctor may recommend different therapies. However, chronic neck discomfort can last for more than three months. If the pain becomes persistent, psychological stress is often the cause.

Most of the neck pain cases can be treated non-surgically, including self-medication at home and/or under the guidance of a physician. A short rest, applying ice, and gentle stretching can relieve the pain in a few days. Other common treatments for neck pain include-

  • Surgery
  • Non-surgical treatments
  • Medicine (to reduce inflammation and control pain)
  • Physical therapy
  • Osteopathic manipulation
  • Neck brace or immobilization
  • Exercise
  • Massage therapy
  • Epidural Nerve Block
  • Facet Joint Injections
  • Medial Branch Block
  • Medication Management
  • Radiofrequency Neuroablation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Trigger Point Injections

Neck pain should be first treated using self-care methods. However, your neck pain is serious; if these symptoms persist-

  • The situation worsened even after self-care.
  • It extends along your arm or leg.
  • Headache, weakness, numbness or tingling.
  • Muscle fatigue- Weakness in an arm or leg or difficulty walking
  • Fever- Meningitis, an infection of the lining that covers the spinal cord and brain, can occur if you experience neck discomfort and a high temperature.

Aside from the discomfort caused by neck pain, it can also interfere with your routine. More issues might occur, such as-

  • Pain radiating into both arms or legs
  • Arm or leg numbness, tingling, or weakness
  • Balance or coordination issues
  • bowel or bladder control problems
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Chills or fever
  • Headache with a stiff neck

Avoid keeping your head in one position for extended periods, such as when driving or working at a computer.