Neck Pain

A very common yet troubling problem, neck pain can limit your range of motion and affect day-to-day activities in a big way. Particularly, chronic neck pain could be the result of a serious underlying condition that requires medical treatment.

Neck Pain Symptoms

Neck pain symptoms can significantly vary depending on the cause and severity.

Common symptoms of mild neck pain include:

  • Neck muscle stiffness causing restricted movement
  • Pain that increases due to poor posture or sitting/standing for long periods
  • Increase in pain caused by specific actions or activities

Following are the signs of severe neck pain that necessitate medical attention:

  • Neck pain with tingling sensation, numbness/weakness in arms or hands
  • Radiating pain into a shoulder or arm
  • Stinging neck pain experienced in a specific area
  • Neck pain accompanied by a headache

Neck Pain Causes

There is a long list of neck pain causes ranging from as simple as poor posture to something as life-threatening as a heart attack.

Let’s check out the wide array of neck pain causes:

  • Muscle strain caused by incorrect neck posture
  • Neck injury or trauma
  • Heavy exercise with incorrect posture
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Herniated slipped disc pressing on nerves
  • Various spinal disorders
  • Degeneration of neck joints due to ageing
  • Meningitis (Inflammation of thin tissue surrounding the brain & spinal cord)
  • Heart attack

Neck Pain Diagnosis

After enquiring about your symptoms & medical history, the healthcare provider will conduct a thorough physical examination to inspect for muscle weakness, numbness, tenderness and range of motion without pain.

Diagnostic Scans & Tests One or more of the following imaging scans or tests could then be carried out to help detect the underlying cause of neck pain:

X-Rays With the help of x-rays, the healthcare provider can find out neck regions where the spinal cord/nerves could be affected by bone spurs, a herniated disc, etc.

CT Scan A CT scan can generate detailed images of the neck structures to help identify any abnormalities.

MRI An MRI will provide detailed information about the soft tissues (spinal discs, nerves, etc.) and bones inside the neck.

Electromyography (EMG) EMG is the go-to diagnostic scan for diagnosing a pinched nerve that could be causing neck pain and also check health of muscles & nerves present in the neck region.

Blood Tests In some cases, the healthcare professional may opt for blood tests to detect inflammation/infections that could be the reason behind the neck pain.

Neck Pain Treatment

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