General Neck Pain, also called cervical pain, is a common medical condition causing symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Some patients report pain in only one part of the neck or that pain diminishes over time, while others experience worsening pain that spreads to other parts of the body.

Causes of General Neck Pain

There are many diverse causes for neck pain and it can result from a number of events or underlying conditions, including:

  • Injury, such as whiplash
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc
  • Pinched nerve
  • Infections, such as osteomyelitis, septic discitis or meningitis
  • Fibromyalgia

General Neck Pain Symptoms

General Neck Pain symptoms can vary, with some patients reporting immediate onset of mild or intense pain and others reporting the gradual appearance of symptoms. Pain may be described as sharp or as an ache and may be located in one particular spot or over the course of the entire neck. Other symptoms associated with general neck pain include:

  • Neck stiffness or difficulty turning head
  • Radiating pain through the shoulders or arms
  • Tingling, weakness or numbness
  • Difficulty lifting or gripping objects
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

General Neck Pain Diagnosis

The spine specialists at Mischer Neuroscience Associates may diagnose general neck pain using a variety of methods, including:

  • Medical history
  • Physical examination to detect tenderness and range of motion
  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Bone scan
  • Electromyography (EMG)

Treatment Options for General Neck Pain

Treatment for general neck pain is tailored to the patient based on its cause. In many cases, general neck pain can be resolved through conservative, non-surgical methods, such as:

  • Rest
  • Ice or heat application
  • Massage
  • Physical therapy and/or exercise
  • Lifestyle modifications including posture improvements
  • Over-the-counter medications such as anti-inflammatories
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Cortisone or anesthetics injections

If these methods do not properly alleviate pain, surgery may be performed to stabilize or decompress the spinal cord or to remove physical matter, such as a damaged or deteriorated disc, which is irritating the nerves of the neck.

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