Neck Pain – Symptoms and Causes
Neck pain affects the cervical region of the spine. For some individuals, the level of pain is more of an annoyance; for others, it becomes debilitating. For your neck pain, contact us at Key Clinics. With Dr. Siegal, a board-certified neurosurgeon, and his skilled medical team, you are in capable hands.
Most people think that neck pain results from sleeping in awkward positions during the night. When you consider that the neck is part of the larger body consisting of muscles, nerves, ligaments, and vertebrae/bones and sits between the head, shoulders, and arms, you can see that neck pain can be a complex problem.
Symptoms of Neck Pain
Every person is unique and has different experiences with neck pain. However, most people describe symptoms such as:
- Muscle spasms and tightness
- Decreased ability to turn the head from side to side
- Worsening pain when holding the head still in one position for too long
If you have any of the persisting symptoms listed above, contact Key Clinics. Our professional medical staff has the experience, expertise, and advanced technology to identify the cause and treat the problem. You may need immediate medical care if your neck pain becomes intense, continues longer than three days, radiates down your arms or legs or is accompanied by a severe headache, tingling, weakness, or numbness.
Causes of Neck Pain
Among the most common reasons for someone to develop pain in the cervical spine include:
- Medical Conditions – Potentially dangerous diseases such as meningitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer can cause neck pain. In some cases, early diagnosis and proper treatment could save your life.
- Trauma – Any quick back and forth movement, or “whiplash”, after a motor vehicle crash can cause pain in the neck region. That type of motion can stretch and damage soft tissues including muscles, nerves, and ligaments.
- Muscle Strain – Muscles can get inflamed, irritated, or spasm in patients who sit in front of a computer, talk on the phone, watch television for an extended period of time or lift heavy objects. Even something as simple as sitting up in bed to read a book, knitting, crocheting, or gritting/grinding your teeth can cause neck pain.
- Degenerative Joints/Discs – As people age, their body parts can degenerate or wear out, including the discs and joints (called facets) in the neck. Known as cervical spondylosis, patients with this condition experience the discs between the vertebrae, the discs between the vertebrae in the front of the cervical spine and the joints in the back of the neck dry out and develop calcium spikes or spurs that can put pressure on nerves and limit range of motion. This can cause tremendous neck pain.
- Compressed Nerves – Bone spurs and herniated discs can “squish” nerves and nerve roots. This can cause you to experience neck pain and discomfort radiating into your arms and hands.
Preventing Neck Pain
At Key Clinics, we encourage the prevention of neck pain. Because poor posture can play a significant role in neck pain, making a few body position adjustments can do wonders. For example, sitting or standing up straight can reduce neck pain substantially. If you have a job where you sit in one position for a long time, taking periodic breaks to move around and stretch shoulder and neck muscles can also be beneficial.
Other recommendations include adjusting your chair at work to the appropriate height for your desk and computer and also using a phone headset instead of resting the phone between your shoulder and chin when talking. Not smoking reduces the rate of degeneration of the spine and can help prevent neck pain over time.
Professional Diagnosis and Treatment
To determine the source of your neck pain and the best treatment, contact Key Clinics. The entire staff is dedicated to helping patients just like you. Call us or schedule an appointment online today.