Can neck pain be a sign of something serious?
Hi, this Dr. Salam and I practice at One Care Medical Center and International Ortho hospital in Coimbatore. Neck pain is an exceedingly common orthopedic issue and it affects both men & women of all age groups.
In this short read, I am going to tell you everything about neck pain and other associated neck disorders.
Neck pain issues are fairly common. Common causes of neck pain can occur due to an incorrect posture or while hunching back over the laptop. Neck pain may signal something serious if there is sever shooting/radiating pain associated with numbness in the arm. This is when it would be wise to seek medical attention
Neck pain signs
Common signs/symptoms of neck pain include
When you notice that you have decreased ability to move or rotate your head
You notice a very specific stiffness in the neck region
And sometimes, a neck pathology can also present as a severe headache
Sometimes your neck pain might have occurred after a severe injury like that of an RTA, in these cases it is important to see a medical professional immediately. While most neck pain issues should spontaneously settle down on its own, if you have persistent pain that is increasing in intensity, it would be wise to see an oorthopedicspecialist.
Well known causes of neck pain
Given below are some of the well-known causes of neck pain.
Muscle strain:- A muscle strain can commonly result from spending prolonged hours spent on the computer hunched over or by a long-standing improper posture.
Nerve root compression:- Another very common cause of neck pain includes nerve compression. Nerve compression can occur due to a disc bulge occurring in the neck/cervical region of the spinal column.
Whiplash injuries: – Whiplash injuries commonly result from motor vehicle accidents and more commonly from rear-end collisions. In these injuries, the neck forcibly flexes backward and forward thereby straining the muscles/ligaments in the neck region.
Certain medical conditions:- like cancer, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis & meningitis can also lead to severe neck pain.
Diagnosis of neck pain:-
Your orthopedic consultant will do a full-fledged physical exam to ascertain the cause of neck pain. The range of motion of your neck will also be assessed.
Sometimes, additional imaging may be necessary to ascertain the cause. This includes MRI, CT, and X-Ray. Most of these imaging tests are only done as an adjunct to routine physical examination
A CT/MRI will usually show some nerve root compression in the spine in patients complaining of neck pain that radiates to the arm or hand
Blood tests are also sometimes done to ascertain whether the neck pain is caused due to an infectious condition like meningitis
Neck pain treatment:-
The treatment of neck pain primarily depends on the cause.
A. Different treatment strategies are used for treating neck pain. These include…
B. Physical therapy combined with rest, ice and painkillers
C. Supervised traction combined with short-term immobilization, this includes the use of pulley’s, weights and other devices that can provide some relief in the event of nerve root compression.
Steroid injections, which are rarely used when conventional therapy fails.
How to prevent neck pain?
Neck pain prevention can be fairly simple and straightforward. These include
Maintaining the right posture
Getting some breaks in between your work schedule
Sleeping in the right posture. In fact, keeping a pillow under your thighs can relax your spinal muscles
Avoid lifting heavy objects.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article on”can neck pain be a sign of something serious”. Do watch this space for more interesting articles and do of course share this article with all your friends and loved ones!