Neck pain is a common complaint affecting anywhere from thirty to fifty percent of adults every year. Depending on the cause of neck pain most treatments will remedy the situation and alleviate any pain.
Neck pain can be caused by muscle strain, abnormalities of the cervical spine, or injury. Symptoms can include pain, stiffness, headache, and tingling or numbness in the arms and hands.
There are quite a few causes for neck pain, whether it’s chronic or acute. The most common cause is muscle strain. Muscle strain is typically caused by overuse of the muscles in the neck and shoulders and can be a result of a sudden, wrong movement or poor posture—how you hold your head while reading or using the computer, for example.
Neck pain can also be caused by a herniated disc due to normal wear or a bone spur on the vertebrae. Injuries such as fractures or compression of the vertebrae and whiplash, and diseases such as meningitis can all cause neck pain.
Neck pain is diagnosed through a physical examination by your doctor and in some cases imaging techniques such as x-ray, MRI, or CT scan may be used. For more common causes of neck pain a variety of treatments may be employed, such as:
Prognosis varies depending on the causes of neck pain and how well the pain is managed by the patient.