Neck Pain (Cervical Spine Pain)

What is neck pain?

Neck pain also known as cervical spine pain can be a common concern among most people. Even a bad posture while sitting or sleeping can cause neck pain. However, neck pain can even be a symptom of a complex condition. It is important to seek medical help if the neck pain is accompanied by loss of strength on the hands or arms and numbness.

Neck Pain diagram

What are the symptoms of neck pain?

Neck pain can be accompanied by the following issues:

  • Stiffness in the neck

  • Difficulty in making movements

  • Numbness

  • Pain in the arms

  • Loss of strength in the arms or hands

What causes neck pain?

A variety of simple to chronic issues can result in neck pain. Some of the common causes of neck pain are:

  • Arthritis

  • Cancer

  • Meningitis

  • Worn joints

  • Muscle strains

  • Injuries and

  • Nerve compression

How is neck pain diagnosed?

The doctor will have a physical examination and check for previous medical history. To rule out the undelying causes of the condition, he/she may suggest for certain imaging tests such as:

  • X-rays

  • MRI

  • CT scan

  • Nerve tests (EMG)

  • Blood tests for inflammatory infectious conditions

  • Lumbar puncture or spinal tap to test for meningitis

What are the treatments for neck pain?

Mild cases of neck pain can be tackled with some rest. If the pain persists after rest, it is better to visit a doctor. After checking ge may prescribe over-the-counter medications for mild cases. It may include muscle relaxants and antidepressants. Otherwise, therapies are suggested for bit complex cases. It may include the following:

  • Stretching and neck exercise

  • Short-term immobilization and

  • Traction.

If the pain still persists, doctor may suggest other treatment options such as:

  • Steroid injections

  • Surgery

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