Neck pain

neck pain symptoms

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 diagnose it and treat it correctly.

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 in 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 metastases from kidney, thyroid or breast cancer.
  • Infectious bone diseases, tetanus, meningitis and others.

How does neck pain manifest itself?

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

  • 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 there is particular pain when trying to lift the head.
  • When turning your 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 - cause pain in the neck, shoulders and back.

Neck and head pain

Neck and head pain occurs due to injury, mechanical damage, or disease. If the pain is due to an injury or spasm, it will go away after 1-2 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 you 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 area

Headaches in the neck area can occur due to active movements of the cervical vertebrae. The cause of the pain can be fatigue, lack of sleep, changes in blood pressure and general disorders. Headaches in the neck area also occur 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 pain radiates to the temples when trying to tilt or turn the head.

With such symptoms, it is necessary to take timely therapeutic measures. If the pain is not associated with muscle pinching, 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, you need to consult a surgeon or neurologist.

Pain in the right neck area

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

But pain in the right neck area can also occur for other reasons. Therefore, 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. Not to forget the reported pain and tumors located in the neck area. They significantly undermine the immune system and cause pain.

Severe neck pain

Severe neck pain can occur due to already formed diseases, injuries or quite ordinary 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 diseases, infections, immune system problems.
  • Sudden movements, emotional stress.
  • Hypothermia of the muscles impairs blood circulation, causing neck pain.
  • Excess weight is another cause of severe pain.

Pain in the left area of the neck

Pain in the left area of the neck is a sign of problems; they can be caused by injury, disease or mechanical damage. If the pain is not associated with a disease, it disappears within 1-2 weeks. But some pain is chronic and can bother you for many years, causing discomfort and pain.

Pain in the left area of the neck occurs in patients of all ages. Pain can occur due to spinal diseases, 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 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 appears near the spine, esophagus, thyroid, or larynx. Another cause of pain is angina. But pain can also occur due to inflammatory processes or styloid process syndrome. If pain appears due to needle syndrome (styloid process), painful sensations give off sharp pain in the ear and throat. Very often, with this disease, patients have their tonsils removed, which is a mistake.

You can accurately diagnose the cause of pain in the front of your neck using a procedure such as x-rays. Determining the cause yourself is difficult and even dangerous. Because wrong diagnosis will lead to wrong treatment. To prevent this from happening, seek qualified medical help.

Pain in the back of the neck

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

If neck pain is due to chronic disease, cancer or infection, 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 nerve compression. The pain will appear if you have a cold in your neck or if you have had a cold recently. To accurately determine the cause of the pain, you need to seek medical help. Your doctor will refer you for an ultrasound and x-ray of the cervical spine.

If the nagging neck pain is not associated with disease or infection, the doctor will prescribe massages and ointments that will relieve the pain. Do not forget about preventive exercises, which will prevent the occurrence of pain in the future. A little neck warming in the morning will relieve the pain and be a great start to the working day.

Sharp pain in the neck

Sharp pain in the neck area occurs in both adults and children. There are many reasons for pain. Painful sensations can occur due to deformation of the spine, that is, osteochondrosis or osteoarthritis. 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 pain, 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, especially during sedentary work. Don't forget about regular neck exercises, which will prevent the muscles from atrophying.

Neck pain diagnosis

Diagnosis of neck pain should be made by a specialist. For diagnosis, methods such as x-ray, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical spine are used. The method by which the cause of pain will be diagnosed is chosen by the doctor after examination, studying the symptoms and complaints of the patient.

Diagnosis and treatment of pain in the neck area is carried out by a surgeon, an orthopedist, a rheumatologist and a 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, ENT doctor or therapist.

Treatment of neck pain

Treatment for neck pain depends on what caused it. If the pain is due to a disease, then it must be treated (only in this case the pain will disappear). If the cause of the pain is an 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 is provided with complete immobility of the neck; for this purpose, cervical corsets are used. If acute pain pierces the neck, the first rule of treatment is to abandon physical activity. This will tidy up the muscles and eliminate muscle spasms. A massage will not be superfluous: it will improve blood circulation and make stagnant muscles work. 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 involves 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, regularly do basic exercises for your neck and back. Neck pain can be caused by smoking. In this case, prevention consists in 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 abandonment of bad habits will protect you from painful sensations.