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7 Reasons for neck pain and how to deal with them | Texas Speciality Clinic

Neck pain can have many causes, ranging from acute problems such as muscle strain and whiplash to conditions that develop over time such as cervical spondylosis (osteoarthritis of the neck) and myofascial pain syndrome. Nerve compression, infections, bone fractures, and spinal cord conditions are also possible causes of neck pain.

A detailed medical history is first required to diagnose neck pain. Doctors ask about the location, intensity, and quality of pain. Whether your pain is mild or severe, burning or sharp. Doctors then do a physical examination, which may be followed by tests. It is important to get to the root of your neck pain so that you can proceed with an appropriate and effective treatment plan. Treatment plans depend on the cause of the condition.

The neck is made up of several bones, ligaments, discs, muscles, and nerves that make up the upper part of the spinal cord. Damage or disease to any of these structures can lead to neck pain.

7 Common Reasons for Neck Pain :-

  • Strain in Neck :- If the neck muscles are overstretched or torn, they will be strained. This can be caused by an injury (such as a car accident) or everyday stressors such as poor posture and poor sleep habits.

    The initial pain of neck strain is often described as sharp or knife-like. As time goes on, the pain often becomes painful and throbbing. In addition to pain, other symptoms of neck strain include stiffness and muscle spasms.

  • Whiplash Injury :- A whiplash is an event that can cause neck strain (when muscles are overstretched or torn) or sprains (when ligaments are overstretched or torn).

Whiplash occurs when an external force causes the neck to suddenly hyperextend (extreme neck and back arch), followed by rapid hyperflexion (extreme forward bending).

In addition to neck pain that ranges from mild to severe, other symptoms of whiplash include :-

  • Muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders
  • Decreased range of motion for neck flexibility
  • Can’t move neck
  • Headache, especially the back of the head
  • Cervical Spondylosis :- Cervical spondylosis, also known as osteoarthritis of the neck, is the term used for degenerative or “wear and tear” changes in the small joints and cartilage of the neck. Pain in cervical spondylosis varies from mild to severe, usually improves with rest, and may be accompanied by headaches and popping sounds (crepitus) when turning the neck.

    Bone growths (osteophytes) can occur as the neck cartilage continues to wear away. These take up space and can eventually put pressure on nerves going down the spine. Compressed nerves can cause numbness, tingling and electrical sensations in the arms and shoulders.

    Overall, cervical spondylosis is a very common condition, especially among middle-aged and older people. Factors other than age that increase the risk of developing cervical spondylosis include the following :-

    • Repetitive neck movements and heavy lifting
    • Sex
    • Smoking
    • Previous injury or trauma to the neck
    • Family history of illness
    • Obesity
    • Anxiety or Depression

  • Myofascial Pain :- Myofascial pain originates from hard and soft areas of pressure-sensitive muscles and can occur after a neck injury or due to chronic poor posture. Pain, described as tingling, often takes the form of trigger points, which can be felt as hard nodules in the muscle under the finger.

    Pressing (or even touching) a trigger point not only causes pain locally, but also in other areas like the shoulder, upper back, or back of the head.

  • Neck Fracture :- Fractures of any of the seven bones of the neck (called the cervical vertebrae) often occur as a result of severe trauma such as head trauma, a car accident, a serious sports injury, or a fall.

    Bruising and swelling may also appear along with severe neck pain that radiates to the shoulders and arms. The most worrisome consequence of a neck fracture is spinal cord injury, which can lead to paralysis and death.

  • Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis :- Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) occurs when the ligaments and tendons that run along the spine become calcified and hardened. Many DISH patients are asymptomatic, but often report severe pain and stiffness in the neck and back that worsen over time.
  • Cervical Discogenic Pain :- Cervical discogenic pain is caused by structural changes in one or more discs in the neck that act as cushions between the bones of the neck. This change in disc structure may be due to injury or more often as a result of the natural aging process.

Neck Pain Treatment at Texas Specialty Clinics :-

  • For Neck Pain, surgical and non-surgical therapies are available.
  • First, our healthcare specialists look at non-surgical options. Our healthcare professionals will tell you if you require surgery and will proceed with your care appropriately.
  • All kinds of neck pain conditions are treated by our physicians.
  • Our specialists have the knowledge, experience, and tools necessary to handle even the most difficult neck conditions.
  • If you experience severe neck pain, call for medical care immediately.
  • To schedule an appointment at Texas Specialty Care dial (469) 545-9983.

Diagnosis of Neck Pain :-

Diagnosing the cause of neck pain is a difficult task. Even with the many tests and investigations available to healthcare providers today, it can be difficult to distinguish between possible causes.

To begin the diagnostic process, your doctor will first determine whether your neck pain is traumatic or non-traumatic. Neck pain after acute trauma is usually seen in the emergency room and requires more immediate treatment.

The different techniques for diagnosing neck pain are :-

  • Knowing medical history
  • Neck Examination
  • Neurological Examination
  • Imaging
  • Blood Tests
  • Differential Diagnoses

How to Deal with Neck Pain?

Treatment of neck pain depends entirely on the underlying diagnosis, but often involves a combination of treatments such as medication and physical therapy.

Ice and Heat Therapy :- For neck strain, applying a cold pack to the affected area for 15-30 minutes, 4 times a day for the first 2-3 days after injury reduces inflammation and pain. Then apply moist heat (a warm bath or shower) to your neck to relax tight muscles.

Physical Therapy :- For neck strain and cervical radiculopathy, a physical therapist may perform certain exercises to relieve neck pain, strengthen neck muscles (with cervical traction), and improve neck mobility. Yes, in the case of cervical spondylosis, postural therapy and short-term wearing of a soft neck brace are recommended in addition to muscle stretching.

Complementary Therapies :- Complementary therapies may be used in combination with conventional medications and treatments to help relieve discomfort. For example, massage therapy, acupuncture, or biofeedback can help with neck tension. Trigger point injections can be used to treat myofascial pain.

Medications :- To diagnose musculoskeletal or nerve-related neck pain, your doctor may prescribe a variety of drugs, including muscle relaxants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Tylenol (acetaminophen), or, if the pain is severe, opioids.

Oral steroids (such as prednisone) or steroid injections (cortisone) may be recommended for the diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy or central spinal cord syndrome. Steroids not only relieve pain but also have anti-inflammatory properties.

To diagnose meningitis or a neck infection, antibiotics and/or antiviral or antifungal drugs are given intravenously (called intravenous administration).

Antiplatelet drugs (such as aspirin) or anticoagulants (heparin followed by coumadin (warfarin)) are used to treat cervical artery dissections followed by surgery unless contraindicated.

Surgery :- Surgery is not usually used to treat neck pain, but it may be needed in certain circumstances. For example, in persistent or severe cases of cervical radiculopathy, three surgeries are usually done :-

  • Posterior cervical laminoforaminotomy
  • Artificial disc replacement
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion

In addition, surgery (angioplasty with or without stenting) is required to repair severed carotid arteries. This type of surgery is usually performed by an interventional cardiologist or vascular surgeon.

For better treatment of neck pain visit Texas Specialty Clinic and seek healthcare from professionals, dial (469) 545-9983 to book an appointment.


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