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Neck Pain


One of the most common complaints that people have is neck pain. It’s estimated that nearly two-thirds of adults experience it at some point in their lives.

Neck pain can be both a nuisance and a serious health concern. It can make it difficult to perform everyday activities and can even lead to more serious health problems. This discomfort can occur in people of all ages, anywhere between your shoulders and your head, and range from mild to severe pain. 

If you are suffering from neck pain and would like to find some relief, then consult our pain management professionals at NY Neurology Associates located in New York. We can help you find the source of your pain and customize a treatment plan to help you resume your normal activities. Call us today to book an appointment! 

Anatomy of the Neck

The neck is made up of bones, muscles, and ligaments, all of which work together to support your head. The bones in your neck are called vertebrae, and they’re stacked on top of each other like a column.

The muscles in your neck help hold up your head and allow you to move it from side to side. And the ligaments are like strong bands of tissue that connect the bones together. When any of these structures are injured or not working properly, it can lead to neck pain.

Types of Neck Pain

Doctors usually describe the different types of back pain, based on their location, severity, and duration, in the following ways: 

  • Axial Neck Pain: Axial is the most common type of neck pain. It occurs when the bones, muscles, ligaments, or discs in the neck are strained or damaged. This pain is often caused by poor posture, repetitive motions, or sleeping in an awkward position.
  • Radicular Neck Pain: Radicular neck pain occurs when the nerves in the neck are compressed or irritated. It can be caused by a herniated disc, bone spur, or spinal stenosis. This pain is often accompanied by numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arm or hand.
  • Acute Neck Pain: This is a short-term condition that is usually caused by an injury or strain. It typically goes away on its own within a few days or weeks.
  • Chronic Neck Pain: This is a long-term condition that can be caused by many different factors, including degenerative diseases, arthritis, and muscle tension. It may require medical treatment to relieve the symptoms.

Symptoms of Neck Pain

There are several different symptoms that are commonly associated with neck pain, including:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Pain
  • Stiff neck
  • Sharp or stabbing pain
  • Pain when moving your cervical spine from side to side or up and down 
  • Radiating pain or numbness in the head, shoulders, or arms

What Are the Main Causes of Neck Pain?

There are many different causes of neck pain, but some of the most common ones include:

  • Muscle strain: This is often caused by overuse, neck stiffness, or repetitive motions. It can also be caused by poor posture or bad sleeping positions.
  • Joint dysfunction: This can be caused by arthritis, degenerative disc disease, or a herniated disc.
  • Nerve compression: This can be caused by a pinched nerve or compressed vertebrae.
  • Injury: This can be an injury caused by a car accident, sports injury, or fall that damages the neck muscles or spinal cord.
  • Aging: Over time, stress and motion can lead to spinal disc degeneration and degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis, which can cause pain in the neck.

When Should I See a Doctor for Neck Pain?

It is important to contact your doctor if your neck pain is interfering with your work or daily activities.

Sometimes, this discomfort will go away with time and rest. However, if the pain persists or worsens, it is vital to seek medical care. 

Seek medical attention if your neck pain: 

  • Developed after having an accident
  • Persists after one week
  • Doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medications
  • Is accompanied by tingling and numbness in your arms or legs
  • Causes weakness in the legs or lack of coordination
  • Is accompanied by a headache, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting 
  • Occurs with chills, fever, or unexplained weight loss

How Is Neck Pain Diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose neck pain by first conducting a physical exam and asking you about your medical history. Your doctor might feel your neck to pinpoint your pain and find motion problems. They may also test the strength of your muscles.

To further diagnose the source of the pain, your doctor may order imaging tests, such as an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan. These tests will allow your physician to see possible damage around the bones and surrounding tissues in the neck.

What Are the Treatments for Neck Pain?

The method of treatment used for your neck pain will depend on the cause of the pain. Depending on the cause of your pain, your doctor may prescribe one of these standard treatment methods: 

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (to relieve pain and inflammation)
  • Epidural injections
  • Joint injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Injections at trigger points (near the nerve roots)
  • Physical therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Surgery

Schedule an Appointment With Us Today!

If you are experiencing severe neck pain, contact one of our pain management specialists at NY Neurology Associates today. Our expert team of healthcare professionals in New York will show you the utmost care as they accurately diagnose the source of your pain and create a personalized treatment plan to help relieve neck pain. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

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