Neck pain is characterised by pain that originates in the neck and can radiate down one or both arms. Neck pain can be caused by a variety of disorders or diseases that affect any of the tissues in the neck, including nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. The cervical spine, or neck region of the spinal column, is made up of seven bones (C1-C7) that are separated from one another by intervertebral discs. During the activity, these discs allow the spine to move freely and act as shock absorbers.
Nowadays, neck pain is a common complaint. Poor posture can strain your neck, whether it’s leaning over your computer or hunching over your workbench. Osteoarthritis is another common cause of neck pain.
Neck pain is occasionally a symptom of a more serious problem. If your neck pain is accompanied by numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands, or if you have shooting pain in your shoulder or down your arm, seek medical attention.
In this article, Matrix Diagnostics is a top diagnostics centre in Hyderabad, providing the symptoms of neck pain, its causes, diagnosis, and treatment. We hope that it will be useful to you. Keep on reading….
Neck pain is a very common problem, it will be cured in two to three days. But if it lasts for more than one week, then it will be a more serious issue. If you are suffering from neck pain, you may notice other symptoms like:
- Neck stiffness- People who suffer from neck pain frequently describe their neck as stiff or stuck. Neck pain can sometimes lead to a reduction in range of motion.
- Pain that worsens when you hold your head in a specific position while working on a computer, driving, or performing other tasks.
- Moving, twisting, or extending your cervical spine suddenly can aggravate neck pain.
- Irritation in the neck can sometimes affect the muscles and nerves that connect to the head. The pain that begins in the neck can also cause a headache known as a cervicogenic headache. A migraine headache may also be accompanied by neck pain.
- If you palpate your cervical spine, your neck pain may worsen.
What are the causes of neck pain?
Many medical issues and injuries can cause neck pain. Below are the some of the conditions include:
- Working long hours at a computer
- Sleeping in an improper position
- Carrying heavy bags on the shoulder
- Long drives
- Poor head posture while using smartphones or reading a book
- Jerking your neck suddenly
- Gritting your teeth regularly
Physical exam for diagnosing neck pain
Following a medical history, the doctor conducts a physical examination that includes the following:
- Observation- Examine the posture, particularly the neck and shoulders, and look for any lesions or abnormalities in the neck.
- Palpation- Examine the soft tissue of the neck for signs of muscle spasms, tightness, or tenderness.
- Range of motion evaluation- Examine how the neck moves side to side, up and down, and rotates in comparison to what is considered normal. Even if the neck has a full range of motion, the doctor will note whether it is easy to achieve or if certain movements cause pain or difficulty.
- Reflexes- Simple tests with a rubber hammer can be used to examine reflexes in the biceps, triceps, and forearm, which can indicate whether nerves in the neck are sending signals correctly.
- Muscle strength- Check for any signs of weakness in the muscles of the shoulder, arms, or hands.
- Sensation- Examine your body for unusual sensations, such as tingling in your shoulders, arms, or fingers.
The medical history and physical exam of the patient are used to diagnose many cases of neck pain. Advanced diagnostics labs may be required to reach an accurate diagnosis when more information is required.
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be asked to have an X-ray, CT Scan, or MRI to help with the diagnosis of your neck pain.
A cervical spine X-ray takes pictures of the cervical vertebrae using a small amount of radiation (bones in the back of your neck). While dense structures, such as bones, appear white on x-rays, soft tissues allow X-rays to pass through and appear black. If you have a neck injury or pain, persistent numbness or weakness in your arms that does not go away, your doctor may recommend a neck X-ray. An x-ray of the neck can help detect:
- Extra bone growth
- Fractured bone
- Bone tumours
- Thinning of the bone
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CT scans combine X-ray images from various angles to produce detailed cross-section views of the internal structure of the neck.
A cervical spine MRI scan creates high-quality images of the spine by using a strong magnetic field, radio waves, and computer analysis. It is frequently used when there is no improvement in pain and is accompanied by numbness. It can assist doctors in the following ways:
- Evaluate chronic diseases of the nervous system.
- Evaluate cancer or tumours
- Evaluate injuries to the spine.
Now, an MRI scan centre is available in Hyderabad with the latest technology equipment. Matrix Diagnostics is offering an MRI scan facility to all people at affordable prices.
Treatment for neck pain
Within two or three weeks, the most common types of mild to moderate neck pain usually respond well to self-care. If your neck pain persists, your doctor may suggest other treatments.
Your doctor may prescribe stronger pain relievers than what is available over-the-counter, as well as muscle relaxants and tricyclic antidepressants.
- Physical therapy- A physical therapist can teach you proper posture, alignment, and neck-strengthening exercises, as well as use heat, ice, electrical stimulation, and other methods to help relieve your pain and prevent it from recurring.
- TENS- Electrodes placed on your skin near painful areas deliver tiny electrical impulses that may relieve pain.
- Traction- Traction gently stretches your neck by using weights, pulleys, or an air bladder. Under the supervision of a medical professional and a physical therapist, this therapy may provide relief from some neck pain, particularly pain caused by nerve root irritation.
- Short-term immobilisation- A soft neck collar that relieves pain by relieving pressure on the structures in your neck. A collar, on the other hand, may cause more harm than good if used for more than three hours at a time or more than one to two weeks.
Surgical and other procedures
- Steroid Injections- In order to relieve pain, corticosteroid injections are administered near the nerve roots, into the small facet joints in the bones of the cervical spine, or into the muscles of the neck. Numbing medications, such as lidocaine, can also be injected into your neck to relieve pain.
- Surgery- Although surgery is rarely required for neck pain, it may be an option for relieving nerve root or spinal cord compression.
If you are suffering from neck pain for a long time, it is important to go for a checkup and know its cause. Visit matrix diagnosis, we are here to tell you precisely if you have any serious underlying conditions that require treatment.