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Neck Pain

Causes of neck pain

Neck pain or stiffness can happen for a variety of reasons.

Muscle tension and strain

This is usually due to activities and behaviors such as:

  • poor posture
  • working at a desk for too long without changing position
  • sleeping with your neck in a bad position
  • jerking your neck during exercise

Injury

The neck is particularly vulnerable to injury, especially in falls, car accidents, and sports, where the muscles and ligaments of the neck are forced to move outside of their normal range.

If the neck bones (cervical vertebrae) are fractured, the spinal cord may also be damaged. Neck injury due to sudden jerking of the head is commonly called whiplash.

Heart attack

Neck pain can also be a symptom of a heart attack, but it often presents with other symptoms of a heart attack, such as:

If your neck hurts and you have other symptoms of heart attack, call an ambulance or go to the emergency room immediately.

Meningitis

Meningitis is an inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. In people who have meningitis, a fever and a headache often occur with a stiff neck. Meningitis can be fatal and is a medical emergency.

If you have the symptoms of meningitis, seek help immediately.

Other causes

Other causes include the following:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, swelling of the joints, and bone spurs. When these occur in the neck area, neck pain can result.
  • Osteoporosis weakens bones and can lead to small fractures. This condition often happens in hands or knees, but it can also occur in the neck.
  • Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes muscle pain throughout the body, especially in the neck and shoulder region.
  • As you age, the cervical discs can degenerate. This is known as spondylosis, or osteoarthritis of the neck. This can narrow the space between the vertebrae. It also adds stress to your joints.
  • When a disk protrudes, as from a trauma or injury, it may add pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. This is called a herniated cervical disk, also known as a ruptured or slipped disk.
  • Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal column narrows and causes pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots as it exits the vertebrae. This can be due to long-term inflammation caused by arthritis or other conditions.

In rare instances, neck stiffness or pain occurs due to:

  • congenital abnormalities
  • infections
  • abscesses
  • tumors
  • cancer of the spine
When to see your doctor

If symptoms persist for more than a week, consult with your doctor. You should also see a doctor if you have:

  • severe neck pain without apparent cause
  • lump in your neck
  • fever
  • headache
  • swollen glands
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • trouble swallowing or breathing
  • weakness
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • pain that radiates down your arms or legs
  • inability to move your arms or hands
  • inability to touch your chin to your chest
  • bladder or bowel dysfunction

If you’ve been in an accident or fall and your neck hurts, seek medical care immediately.

How neck pain is treated

You doctor will perform a physical exam and take your complete medical history. Be prepared to tell your doctor about the specifics of your symptoms. You should also let them know about all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplements you’ve been taking.

Even if it doesn’t seem related, you should also let your doctor know about any recent injuries or accidents you’ve had.

Treatment for neck pain depends on the diagnosis. In addition to a thorough history and physical exam by your doctor, you may also need one or more of the following imaging studies and tests to help your doctor determine the cause of your neck pain:

Depending on the results, your doctor may refer you to a specialist. Treatment for neck pain may include:

  • ice and heat therapy
  • exercise, stretching, and physical therapy
  • pain medication
  • corticosteroid injections
  • muscle relaxants
  • neck collar
  • traction
  • antibiotics if you have an infection
  • hospital treatment if a condition such as meningitis or heart attack is the cause
  • surgery, which is rarely necessary

Alternative therapies include:

Category
Diseases

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Dhaka Specialized Pain Management and Research Centre Ltd is a multidisciplinary Pain Management Centre in Bangladesh. Our prime goal is to provide one stop service to the Pain patient. We treat Low Back Pain with non-surgical C-arm guided different interventions. neck pain, post-surgical chronic pain syndrome

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