Neck pain is a pain in or around the spine under your head, known as the cervical backbone. Neck pain is a common sign of many diverse injuries and medical conditions. You might have axial neck pain (felt mostly in the neck) or radicular neck pain (pain shoots into other areas such as the shoulders or arms). It can be heightened (lasting from days to up to 6 weeks) or chronic (lasting longer than 3 months to years). Neck pain can interfere with daily activities and reduce your quality of life if left untreated. Neck pain is very frequent. It occurs in about one out of three people at least once a year. It is more widespread in women than in men, and your ability to develop it increases with age.
Causes of neck pain
Aging: Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis (the wearing down of joint cartilage) and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spaces in the spine) can direct to neck pain as you mature. Over time, stress and motion can lead to spinal disc deterioration, causing a herniated disc or pinched courage.
Injury: Trauma from suddenly forced moment of the neck or skull and rebound in the reverse direction (whiplash) can cause pain and tenderness. The muscles, ligaments, discs, vertebral joints, and nerve roots in the spinal cord in the neck can be affected by trauma injuries.
Mental stress: Tightening your neck muscles due to worry usually causes neck pain and stiffness.
How is neck pain diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose neck pain with a physical examination and medical history. Your doctor will feel and shift your neck to trace pain and find motion troubles. Doctors also ensure your muscle strength and reflexes. Your doctor will inquire about preceding neck injuries that might have caused whiplash or a herniated disc. Your doctor might ask about work or other actions that could affect your neck. To diagnose the reason for the pain, your doctor might utilize imaging tests such as X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT). These tests can show harm and other issues in the bones and surrounding tissues in your neckline. Other tests that your doctor may order include electromyography, nerve conduction studies, myelogram, and nerve root block. These tests look more intimately at the discs in the spine, the spine itself, and check the purpose of nerves and muscle response and the source of the pain.
Medicines involving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to alleviate pain and inflammation and muscle relaxants to assist the healing procedure.
Physical therapy (exercises to stretch and reinforce muscles and tendons in the neck).
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) lessens pain by disrupting the pain signal with a low-level electrical current to skin near the nerves causing the pain.
Traction to allay pain with inflatable devices.
Steroid injections near the nerve roots to help relieve pain and tenderness.