Neck pain is a common complaint. Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture — whether it\'s leaning over your computer or hunching over your workbench. Osteoarthritis also is a common cause of neck pain.
Signs and symptoms include:
• Pain that's often worsened by holding your head in one place for long periods, such as when driving or working at a computer
• Muscle tightness and spasms
• Decreased ability to move your head
• A medical history and do an medical exam
• Doctor will check you for tenderness, numbness and muscle weakness, as well as see how far you can move your head forward, backward and side to side.
Doctor might order imaging tests to get a better picture of the cause of your neck pain. Examples include:
• X-rays. X-rays can reveal areas in your neck where your nerves or spinal cord might be pinched by bone spurs or other degenerative changes.
• CT scan. CT scans combine X-ray images taken from many different directions to produce detailed cross-sectional views of the internal structures of your neck.
• MRI. MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create detailed images of bones and soft tissues, including the spinal cord and the nerves coming from the spinal cord.
• Electromyography (EMG). If your doctor suspects your neck pain might be related to a pinched nerve, he or she might suggest an EMG. It involves inserting fine needles through your skin into a muscle and performing tests to measure the speed of nerve conduction to determine whether specific nerves are functioning properly.
• Blood tests. Blood tests can sometimes provide evidence of inflammatory or infectious conditions that might be causing or contributing to your neck pain.
The most common types of mild to moderate neck pain usually respond well to self-care within two or three weeks. If neck pain persists, your doctor might recommend other treatments.
Your doctor might prescribe
• Stronger pain medicine than what you can get over-the-counter
• Muscle relaxants
• Tricyclic antidepressants for pain relief.
• Physical therapy. A physical therapist at Aadil Hospital can teach you correct posture, alignment and neck-strengthening exercises, and can use heat, ultrasound, infrared rays, ice, electrical stimulation and other measures to help ease your pain and prevent a recurrence.
• Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).Electrodes placed on your skin near the painful areas deliver tiny electrical impulses that may relieve pain.
• Traction. Traction uses weights, pulleys or an air bladder to gently stretch your neck. This therapy, under supervision of a medical professional and physical therapist, may provide relief of some neck pain, especially pain related to nerve root irritation.
• Short-term immobilization. A soft collar that supports your neck may help relieve pain by taking pressure off the structures in your neck. However, if used for more than three hours at a time or for more than one to two weeks, a collar might do more harm than good.
Surgical and other procedures
• Steroid injections. Your doctor might inject corticosteroid medications near the nerve roots, into the small facet joints in the bones of the cervical spine or into the muscles in your neck to help with pain. Surgery. Rarely needed for neck pain, surgery might be an option for relieving nerve root or spinal cord compression.
Consult at Aadil Hospital for physical therapy and medical treatment.