Neck Pain

What are the common causes of neck pain?

Neck pain can severe and interfere with your sleep and daily activities. It can range from mild stiffness, to severe sharp pain. It is usually temporarily and goes away after a few days but can become chronic, lasting over 2 months if not taken care of.

Causes include
  • Muscle strains and strain
  • Arthritis of the small joints
  • Nerve impingement
  • Disc bulge or tear
  • Whiplash
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Poor sleep
What are other conditions that can mimic neck pain?

Neck pain often is simply from muscle strain or injury, but there are certain medical conditions that can result in that symptom as well. Infections of the throat or head and neck often result in swollen painful lymph nodes that can make your neck tender.

Other causes of neck pain include:
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Viral or bacterial infection
  • Tonsillitis
  • Thyroid disease
  • Heart attack
  • Reflux and oesophageal disease
  • Pain from the shoulder
How do you treat neck pain?

Treatment of neck pain will depend on the underlying cause. But because most neck pain is due to muscle strain, rest and physiotherapy may be a good starting point.

Initial options include
  • Rest
  • Physiotherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Paracetamol
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen
  • COX-II inhibitors like arcoxia
  • Trigger point injections
Treatment of severe or chronic neck pain include:
  • Trigger point injections
  • Nucleoplasty
  • Annuloplasty
  • Facet joint medial branch injections
    When should I see a doctor?
    You should seek medical attention if:
    • Your pain started following an car accident or injury
    • Your pain shoots down the arms and legs
    • There is associated weakness or numbness
    • There is a headache in addition to a neck pain
    • You are unable to walk steadily
    What tests are there to investigate my neck pain?
    After the medical interview and physical examination, the doctor may ask for one of the following:
    • X-ray
    • CT Scan: good for looking at bone and deep structures
    • MRI Scan: gold standard for looking at nerves, and discs
    • Blood test: to exclude various autoimmune conditions

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