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, 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 due to 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 various types of diseases or injuries. We invite you to familiarize yourself with the main factors that cause pain:

  • Chronic diseases (osteochondrosis, osteoarthritis) are degenerative and can appear in the neck muscles, ligaments or one of the parts of the spine.
  • Injuries – pain occurs when there are injuries to the intervertebral discs, ligaments, vertebrae, and joints.
  • Herniated intervertebral discs.
  • Referred pain from diseases of the esophagus, muscle spasms, heart, lungs.
  • Tumors in the cervical spine or metastasis 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 each person experiences them differently. Let's look at the most common of them.

  • It is difficult to turn your head from side to side or make up and down movements.
  • The neck hurts on the left or right side, and particular pain is felt when trying to raise 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, 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 occurs due to injury, mechanical damage or disease. If the pain is due to injury or spasm, 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 spasms.
  • Holding the 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 you discomfort, pain, or interferes with your normal activities, consult your doctor immediately. The doctor will help determine the cause of the pain and eliminate it.

Headache in the neck area

Headache in the neck area can occur due to active movements of the cervical vertebrae. The cause of pain can be fatigue, lack of sleep, pressure surges and general ailments. Headache in the neck area also occurs due to chronic diseases 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 pinched muscles, but with a progressive disease, then the consequences will be very unfavorable. Infringement 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, you need to consult a surgeon or neurologist.

Pain in the neck area 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, injury to intervertebral discs, joints, vertebrae, muscles or ligaments will cause pain on the right side of the neck. Various immune disorders, infections and diseases of the spine also cause pain. Don’t forget about referred pain and tumors localized in the neck area. They significantly undermine the immune system and cause pain.

Severe pain in the neck

Severe pain in the neck can occur due to already formed diseases, injuries or rather ordinary situations. Let's look at the causes of severe pain in the neck.

  • Increased stress on the spine and prolonged stay in an uncomfortable or incorrect position lead to spasms and severe muscle pain.
  • Chronic diseases, infections, problems with the immune system.
  • 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 neck area

Pain in the left neck area is a signal of problems; they can be caused by injuries, diseases or mechanical damage. If the pain is not associated with a disease, it goes away within 1-2 weeks. But some pains are chronic and can persist for many years, causing inconvenience and pain.

Pain in the left neck area occurs in patients of all ages. Pain may occur due to 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 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), then the painful sensations give off a sharp pain in the ear and throat. Very often, with this disease, patients 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 on your own is difficult and even dangerous. Because incorrect diagnosis will lead to incorrect treatment. To prevent this from happening, seek qualified medical help.

Pain in the back of the neck

Pain in the back of the neck can be caused by muscle spasms or muscle strain (often occurs when working for a long time in a sitting position). Muscles put pressure on the vessels that are responsible for the delivery of oxygen to the brain, the functioning of nerves and cervical vertebrae. To eliminate muscle spasms, manual therapy and a complex of massage procedures are used.

If pain in the back of the neck occurs due to chronic diseases, tumors or infections, then 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.

Nagging pain in the neck area

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

If the nagging pain in the neck is not associated with diseases or infections, then the doctor will prescribe rubs and ointments that will relieve the pain. Don’t forget about preventive exercises, which will prevent the occurrence of pain in the future. A little neck warm-up in the morning will relieve pain and be a great start to the working day.

Acute pain in the neck

Acute pain in the neck area occurs in both adults and children. There are many reasons for pain. Painful sensations can occur due to spinal deformation, that is, osteochondrosis or osteoarthrosis. Injuries, damage to ligaments or muscles, also cause severe pain in the neck. 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 making sure that the neck is in the correct position during sleep, and especially during sedentary work. Don’t forget about regular neck exercises, which will prevent the muscles from atrophying.

Who to contact?

  • Vertebrologist
  • Neuropathologist

Diagnosis of neck pain

Diagnosis of neck pain should be carried out 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.

Diagnosis and treatment of pain in the neck area is carried out by a surgeon, orthopedist, rheumatologist, and chiropractor. In some cases, the patient undergoes diagnosis and treatment by a physiotherapist, massage therapist or traumatologist. If the cause of the pain is a malignant neoplasm, then the patient undergoes a biopsy, and the diagnosis is carried out by an oncologist, surgeon, ENT doctor or therapist.

Treatment of neck pain

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

In case of emergency, the patient is provided with complete immobility of the neck; for this purpose, neck corsets are used. If acute pain pierces the neck, then the first rule of treatment is to give up physical activity. This will tidy up your muscles and eliminate muscle spasms. A massage will not be amiss; it will improve blood circulation and work out stagnant muscles. For severe pain, patients are prescribed muscle relaxants. Don't forget 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 is to completely eliminate the factors that cause pain. First of all, you need to make sure that the neck and spine are in a normal position. Do not sit in one place for a long time, regularly do basic exercises for your neck and back. Neck pain can be caused by smoking. In this case, prevention consists of giving up the bad habit. Excess weight problems are another factor that causes neck pain. A healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and healthy sleep are the main preventative measures that will protect you from pain in the cervical spine.

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.