Neck pain

Neck pain

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

The neck has many functions; it is responsible for the function of the spine and supports the head. Neck pain is common and is usually due to heavy strain 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 linked to various illnesses or injuries. We invite you to familiarize yourself with the main factors causing pain:

  • Chronic diseases (osteochondrosis, osteoarthritis) are degenerative and can occur in the neck muscles, ligaments or part of the spine.
  • Injuries – Pain arises from injuries to the intervertebral discs, ligaments, vertebrae and joints.
  • Disc prolapse.
  • 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 itself?

The symptoms of neck pain are different and each person experiences them differently. Let's look at the most common of them.

  • It is difficult to turn your head back and forth or make up and down movements.
  • The neck hurts on the left or right side, pain is especially felt when trying to raise the head.
  • When turning the neck, painful sensations appear in the temples and shoulders.
  • You may also experience pain in the neck, causing numbness.
  • Sleeping in the wrong position, immobile sedentary work - the cause of pain in the neck, shoulders and back.

Pain in the neck and head

Pain in the neck and head arises from injuries, mechanical damage or illness. If the pain is due to an injury or cramp, it will stop after 1-2 weeks. Other causes of pain:

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

If neck pain and headaches cause you discomfort or pain or interfere with your normal activities, contact your doctor immediately. The doctor will help determine the cause of the pain and eliminate it.

Headache in the neck area

Active movements of the cervical vertebrae can cause headaches in the neck area. The cause of pain can be fatigue, lack of sleep, pressure surges and general discomfort. Headaches in the neck area also occur due to chronic illnesses or old injuries. Pain may occur due to exacerbation of osteochondrosis or chronic tonsillitis. Unpleasant sensations penetrate 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 pinched muscles but with a progressive disease, the consequences are very unfavorable. Injury to blood vessels negatively affects the oxygen and blood supply to the brain, i. e. H. vascular insufficiency occurs. As a result, hearing decreases significantly, vision and memory decrease, and concentration decreases. To avoid this, you need to consult a surgeon or neurologist.

Pain in the right neck area

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

Pain in the neck area on the right can also occur for other reasons. Injuries to intervertebral discs, joints, vertebrae, muscles or ligaments lead to pain on the right side of the neck. Various immune disorders, infections and spinal diseases also cause pain. Don't forget about referred pain and tumors in the neck area. They significantly weaken the immune system and cause pain.

Severe pain in the neck

Severe neck pain can occur due to pre-existing illnesses, injuries, or more everyday situations. Let's look at the causes of severe pain in the neck.

  • Increased load on the spine and prolonged stay in an uncomfortable or incorrect position lead to cramps and severe muscle pain.
  • Chronic illnesses, infections, immune system problems.
  • Sudden movements, emotional stress.
  • The hypothermia of the muscles impairs blood circulation, which leads to neck pain.
  • Being overweight is another cause of severe pain.

Pain in the left neck area

Pain in the left neck area is a signal of problems; they can be caused by injury, illness or mechanical damage. If the pain is not related to any disease, it disappears within 1-2 weeks. However, some pain is chronic and can last for many years, causing discomfort and pain.

Pain in the left neck area occurs in patients of all ages. Pain can be caused by diseases of the spine, damage to the neck muscles or problems with ligaments. In children, pain occurs due to cervical lymphadenitis, that is, complications after a sore throat and other colds. A neurologist or chiropractor can diagnose 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 (malignant) neoplasm. The tumor occurs near the spine, esophagus, thyroid, or larynx. Another cause of pain is angina pectoris. But pain can also occur due to inflammatory processes or styloid process syndrome. If the pain occurs due to needle syndrome (styloid process), the painful sensations trigger a stabbing pain in the ear and throat. Very often, patients with this disease have their tonsils removed, which is a mistake.

The cause of pain in the front of the neck can be accurately diagnosed using x-rays. Determining the cause yourself is difficult and even dangerous. Because a wrong diagnosis leads to wrong treatment. To prevent this, seek qualified medical help.

Pain in the neck

Neck pain can be caused by muscle spasms or strains (often occurring when working for long periods while sitting). Muscles put pressure on the vessels that are responsible for supplying oxygen to the brain and the function of nerves and cervical vertebrae. To eliminate muscle spasms, manual therapy and a number of massage procedures are used.

If neck pain occurs due to chronic illnesses, tumors or infections, the first step is to diagnose the disease. This will allow you to draw up an effective treatment plan and take all measures to eliminate painful symptoms.

Stinging pain in the neck area

Excruciating pain in the neck area is usually caused by an incorrect sleeping position, muscle cramps or pinched nerves. Pain occurs when you have a cold in your neck or have recently had a cold. To accurately determine the cause of pain, you must seek medical help. The doctor will refer you for an ultrasound and X-ray examination of the cervical spine.

If the excruciating pain in the neck is not related to illness or infection, the doctor will prescribe rubs and ointments that relieve the pain. Do not forget about preventive exercises that will prevent pain from occurring in the future. A little neck warm-up in the morning relieves the pain and is a great way to start the work day.

Acute pain in the neck

Acute neck pain occurs in both adults and children. There are many reasons for pain. Painful sensations may occur due to spinal deformation, that is, osteochondrosis or arthrosis. Injuries, ligament or muscle damage also cause severe pain in the neck. Only a doctor can diagnose the cause of acute pain.

When treating painful sensations, it is initially necessary to minimize physical activity and pressure on the neck. It is also worth paying attention to the correct neck position when sleeping, especially when sitting. Don't forget to do regular neck exercises to prevent muscle loss.

Whom can I contact?

  • Vertebrologist
  • Neuropathologist

Diagnosis of neck pain

The diagnosis of neck pain should be made by a specialist. The following methods are used for diagnosis: radiography, ultrasound, MRI. The method of diagnosing the cause of pain is selected by the doctor after an examination and study of the patient's symptoms and complaints.

Diagnosis and treatment of pain in the neck area is carried out by a surgeon, orthopedist, rheumatologist and chiropractor. In some cases, the patient is diagnosed and treated by a physiotherapist, masseur or traumatologist. If the cause of 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 due to a disease, it must be treated (only in this case the pain will disappear). If the cause of pain is an injury, muscle spasms or inflammation, the patient is prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs, a minimum of physical activity and special ointments.

In an emergency, the patient is guaranteed complete immobility of the neck; neck corsets are used for this purpose. When acute pain penetrates the neck, the first rule of treatment is to avoid physical activity. This will put your muscles in order and eliminate muscle spasms. A massage won't hurt, it improves blood circulation and trains stagnant muscles. If the pain is severe, patients are prescribed muscle relaxants. Remember that chronic neck pain is not normal. Therefore, at the first painful symptoms, seek qualified medical help.

Prevention of neck pain

Prevention of neck pain consists in completely eliminating the factors that cause pain. First of all, you need to make sure that your neck and spine are in a normal position. Don't sit in one place for a long time, but do regular basic exercises for your neck and back. Neck pain can be caused by smoking. In this case, prevention consists in giving up the bad habit. Obesity problems are another factor that causes neck pain. A healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and healthy sleep are the most important 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 diagnose it accurately. But regular preventive measures - neck exercises, a healthy lifestyle and giving up bad habits - will protect you from painful sensations.