Neck pain

Neck pain

Neck pain is a very unpleasant phenomenon that can affect anyone. Let's look at why neck pain occurs, what it looks like, how to properly diagnose and treat it.

The neck has many functions; It is responsible for the functioning of the spine and supports the head. Neck pain occurs frequently and is usually caused by heavy loads placed on this fragile but multifunctional part of the body. There are many reasons that cause neck pain. So, first things first.

Causes of neck pain

The causes of neck pain can be associated with several types of illnesses or injuries. We invite you to familiarize yourself with the main factors causing pain:

  • Chronic diseases (osteochondrosis, osteoarthritis) are degenerative and can appear in the neck muscles, ligaments or in one part of the spine.
  • Injuries – pain occurs when there are injuries to the intervertebral discs, ligaments, vertebrae and joints.
  • Intervertebral disc herniation.
  • Referred pain from diseases of the esophagus, muscle spasms, heart, lungs.
  • Tumors in the cervical spine or metastases from kidney, thyroid or breast cancer.
  • Infectious bone diseases, tetanus, meningitis and others.

How does neck pain manifest?

There are different symptoms of neck pain and everyone experiences them differently. Let's look at the most common of them.

  • It is difficult to turn your head from side to side or move up and down.
  • The neck hurts on the left or right side, and special pain is felt when trying to lift the head.
  • When turning the neck, painful sensations occur in the temples and shoulders.
  • Pain may also occur in the back of the neck, causing a feeling of numbness.
  • Sleeping in the wrong position, motionless sedentary work is the cause of pain in the neck, shoulders and back.

Neck and head pain

Neck and head pain occurs due to injury, mechanical damage or illness. If the pain is caused by injury or spasm, it will stop after 1 to 2 weeks. Other causes of pain:

  • Damage to the base of the neck, muscles or ligaments of the spine.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Keeping your head in an incorrect and uncomfortable position for a long time.
  • Consequences of injuries or tumors.
  • Acute thyroiditis.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Infections and rheumatoid arthritis.

If neck and head pain causes discomfort, pain, or interferes with your normal activities, see your doctor immediately. The doctor will help determine the cause of the pain and eliminate it.

Headache in the neck region

Headache in the neck region can occur due to active movements of the cervical vertebrae. The cause of pain can be fatigue, lack of sleep, pressure surges and general illnesses. Headache in the neck region also occurs due to chronic illnesses or old injuries. Pain may appear due to exacerbation of osteochondrosis or chronic tonsillitis. Unpleasant sensations permeate the base of the head, sometimes the pain radiates to the temples when trying to tilt or turn the head.

With such symptoms, it is necessary to take timely treatment measures. If the pain is not associated with compressed muscles, but with a progressive disease, the consequences will be very unfavorable. Violation of blood vessels will negatively affect the supply of oxygen and blood to the brain, that is, it will lead to vascular insufficiency. As a result, hearing will significantly decrease, vision and memory will decrease, and concentration will decrease. To avoid this, it is necessary to consult a surgeon or neurologist.

Pain in the neck region on the right

Pain in the neck area on the right, as a rule, occurs due to cervical osteochondrosis (disease of the intervertebral discs). Most often, elderly people suffer from this disease. Pain is treated with rubs, ointments, massages, manual therapy and orthopedic exercises.

But pain in the neck area on the right can also occur for other reasons. Thus, injuries to the intervertebral discs, joints, vertebrae, muscles or ligaments will cause pain on the right side of the neck. Various immune disorders, infections, and spinal diseases also cause pain. Do not forget about referred pain and tumors located in the neck region. They significantly harm the immune system and cause pain.

Severe neck pain

Intense neck pain can occur due to already formed illnesses, injuries or rather, common situations. Let's look at the causes of severe neck pain.

  • Increased stress on the spine and prolonged stay in an uncomfortable or incorrect position lead to spasms and severe muscle pain.
  • Chronic illnesses, infections, immune system problems.
  • Sudden movements, emotional stress.
  • Hypothermia of the muscles impairs blood circulation, which causes neck pain.
  • Excess weight is another cause of severe pain.

Pain in the left region of the neck

Pain in the left neck is a sign of problems and may be caused by injury, illness or mechanical damage. If the pain is not associated with an illness, it disappears within 1 to 2 weeks. But some pains are chronic and can persist for many years, causing inconvenience and pain.

Pain in the left neck occurs in patients of all ages. Pain may occur due to spinal disease, damage to the neck muscles, or ligament problems. In children, pain occurs due to cervical lymphadenitis, that is, complications after sore throat and other colds. A neurologist or chiropractor can diagnose the pain and prescribe treatment.

Pain in the front of the neck

Severe pain in the front of the neck is often a symptom of a neoplasm (malignant). The tumor appears near the spine, esophagus, thyroid gland, or larynx. Another cause of pain is angina. But pain can also occur due to inflammatory processes or styloid process syndrome. If the pain appears due to needle syndrome (styloid process), the painful sensations provoke a sharp pain in the ear and throat. Often with this disease, patients remove their tonsils, which is a mistake.

The cause of pain in the front of the neck can be accurately diagnosed using x-rays. Determining the cause alone is difficult and even dangerous. Because incorrect diagnosis will lead to incorrect treatment. To prevent this from happening, seek qualified medical help.

Neck pain

Neck pain can be caused by muscle spasms or muscle tension (usually occurs when working for a long time in a sitting position). The muscles put pressure on the vessels responsible for supplying oxygen to the brain, for the functioning of the nerves and cervical vertebrae. To eliminate muscle spasms, manual therapy and a complex of massage procedures are used.

If neck pain occurs due to chronic diseases, tumors or infections, the first step is to diagnose the disease. Thanks to this, you can create an effective treatment plan and take all measures to eliminate painful symptoms.

Dull pain in the neck region

Dull pain in the neck area is often caused by sleeping in an incorrect position, muscle spasms, or pinched nerves. The pain will appear if you have a cold in your neck or have recently had a cold. To accurately determine the cause of the pain, you need to seek medical help. The doctor will refer you for an ultrasound and an x-ray of the cervical spine.

If the dull pain in the neck is not associated with illness or infection, the doctor will prescribe rubs and ointments that will relieve the pain. Don't forget about preventive exercises, which will prevent pain from occurring in the future. A little neck warming in the morning will ease the pain and be a great start to the work day.

Sharp neck pain

Acute pain in the neck region occurs in adults and children. There are many reasons for pain. Painful sensations can occur due to deformation of the spine, that is, osteochondrosis or osteoarthrosis. Injuries, damage to ligaments or muscles, also cause severe neck pain. Only a doctor can diagnose the cause of acute pain.

As for the treatment of painful sensations, first of all, it is necessary to minimize physical activity and pressure on the neck. It is also worth ensuring that your neck is in the correct position during sleep and especially during sedentary work. Don't forget about regular neck exercises, which will prevent muscle atrophy.

Who to contact?

  • Vertebrologist
  • Neuropathologist

Neck pain diagnosis

The diagnosis of neck pain must be made by a specialist. The following methods are used for diagnosis: radiography, ultrasound, MRI. The method by which the cause of pain will be diagnosed is chosen by the doctor after examination, studying the patient's symptoms and complaints.

The diagnosis and treatment of pain in the neck region is carried out by a surgeon, orthopedist, rheumatologist and chiropractor. In some cases, the patient is diagnosed and treated by a physiotherapist, massage therapist or traumatologist. If the cause of the pain is a malignant neoplasm, the patient undergoes a biopsy and the diagnosis is made by an oncologist, surgeon, otolaryngologist or therapist.

Neck pain treatment

Treatment for neck pain depends on the causes that caused it. If the pain is caused by an illness, it must be treated (only in this case will the pain go away). If the cause of pain is injury, muscle spasms or inflammation, the patient is prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs, a minimum of physical activity and special ointments.

In case of emergency, the patient has complete immobility of the neck, which is why cervical corsets are used. If acute pain pierces the neck, the first rule of treatment is to abandon physical activity. This will tidy up your muscles and eliminate muscle spasms. A massage will not be superfluous, as it will improve blood circulation and exercise stagnant muscles. For severe pain, patients are given muscle relaxants. Don't forget that chronic neck pain is not normal. Therefore, at the first painful symptoms, seek qualified medical help.

Neck pain prevention

Preventing neck pain consists of completely eliminating the factors that cause the pain. First of all, you need to make sure your neck and spine are in a normal position. Don't sit in one place for a long time, do basic neck and back exercises regularly. Neck pain can be caused by smoking. In this case, prevention consists of abandoning the bad habit. Excess weight problems are another factor that causes neck pain. A healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and healthy sleep are the main preventive measures that will protect you from cervical spine pain.

Neck pain is a problem that everyone faces sooner or later. There are many causes of pain; only a doctor can accurately diagnose it. But regular preventive measures - neck exercises, a healthy lifestyle and giving up bad habits will protect you from painful sensations.