Neck pain isn’t usually a serious issue that can be resolved in a matter of days. Sometimes, neck pain may signal a serious injury or illness that requires medical attention. If you have neck pain that lasts more than a week, is severe, or is accompanied by other symptoms, see a rheumatologist right away. Neck pain, on the other hand, can be acute or chronic.
- Acute- Pain that lasts less than 4 weeks
- Subacute-Pain that lasts 4 to 12 weeks
- Chronic-Pain that lasts 3 months or longer
Neck pain has yet to be identified as a specific cause. However, in many cases, the following factors can contribute to neck pain.
Causes of Neck Pain
Many people suffer from neck pain or stiffness on a regular basis. Poor posture, overuse, or sleeping in an awkward position are all common causes. Neck pain can sometimes be caused by a fall, contact sports, or whiplash. Following are some main causes of neck pain:
This usually occurs as a result of activities and behaviors such as:
- bad posture
- working at a desk for an extended period of time without changing positions
- jerking your neck during physical activity
Neck pain can also be a sign that you’re having a heart attack. It is frequently associated with other heart attack symptoms, such as:
- breathing problems
- arm or jaw pain
The neck is particularly vulnerable to injury, especially when the muscles and ligaments of the neck are forced to move outside of their normal range, as they are in falls, car accidents, and sports. The spinal cord may be damaged if the neck bones (cervical vertebrae) are fractured. Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden jerking of the head.
Other causes include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint swelling, bone spurs, and pain. Neck pain can occur when these occur in the neck area.
- Osteoporosis causes bone thinning and can result in minor fractures. This condition most commonly affects the hands and knees, but it can also affect the neck.
- Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain all over the body, particularly in the neck and shoulders.
- The cervical discs can degenerate as you get older. This is referred to as spondylosis, or neck osteoarthritis. The space between the vertebrae may become narrowed as a result of this. It also puts additional strain on your joints.
- A protruding disc, as a result of trauma or injury, can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. A herniated cervical disc, also known as a ruptured or slipped disc, is the result of this.
- When the spinal column narrows and puts pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots as it exits the vertebrae, this is known as spinal stenosis. This can be caused by arthritis or other conditions that cause long-term inflammation.
Symptoms of Neck Pain
Neck pain symptoms can be severe and last for a long time. Neck pain is frequently severe and only lasts a few days or weeks. It can also become chronic at times. Your neck pain could be minor and not interfere with your daily activities, or it could be severe and cause disability.
Neck pain can cause the following symptoms:
- Neck stiffness: People with neck pain frequently describe their neck as “stiff” or “stuck.” Neck pain can result in a reduction in range of motion.
- Sharp ache: Sharp or stabbing pain in one area of the neck can be a sign of neck pain.
- Pain when moving: Moving, twisting, or extending your cervical spine from side to side or up and down can aggravate neck pain.
- Pain or numbness: The pain in your neck may spread to your head, trunk, shoulder, and arms. If a nerve in your neck is compressed, you may experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both arms or hands. A pinched nerve in the neck can cause a burning or sharp pain in the arm that starts at the neck and travels down the arm. If you’re experiencing this symptom, see a doctor.
- Headache: A cervicogenic headache is caused by pain that originates in the neck. Neck pain accompanied by a headache could be a sign of a migraine.
- Palpating pain: If your cervical spine is palpated, your neck pain may worsen (physically examined).
Treatments for Neck Pain
A doctor will examine you and take down your entire medical history. Prepare to describe the specifics of your symptoms to them. Tell your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications or supplements you’ve been taking.
Even if it doesn’t appear to be related, tell your doctor about any recent injuries or accidents.
Neck pain is treated differently depending on the cause. In addition to a thorough medical history and physical examination by your doctor, one or more of the imaging studies and tests listed below may be required to help your doctor determine the cause of your neck pain and make a diagnosis:
- blood tests
- CT scan
Neck pain is common among people due to poor posture and muscle strain. If you practice good posture and rest your neck muscles when they’re sore, your neck pain should go away in these cases. If your neck pain isn’t getting better, make an appointment with a physiotherapist.
Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the top physiotherapists in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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1. What can help relieve neck pain?
Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter pain relievers can help relieve neck and back pain.
2. Does COVID cause neck pain?
Yes, COVID-19 patients may experience muscle pain and aches in the upper and lower back as a result of the body’s inflammatory response.
3. How long does it take for neck pain to go away?
Acute neck pain typically subsides in one to two weeks. In some people, it resurfaces in specific situations, such as after a long day at work or after engaging in strenuous sports. Chronic neck pain is defined as symptoms that last longer than three months.