Your neck is a crucial part of your body. It consists of muscles, ligaments, tissues, and spinal bones that extend from your skull to your upper torso. It is also exposed to the risk of injury. Anything from a poor posture to an auto accident can result in neck pain.

Are you one of the quarter-million Americans who experience neck pain? You can access several effective treatment options from the Greenacres neck pain specialists at American Interventional Pain Institute.

What Is Neck Pain?

Your neck supports your head to allow for motion. Consequently, it can be prone to straining. This often causes pain or stiffness and can sometimes extend to connected areas such as the shoulders and back.

Although it is normal to occasionally experience neck stiffness, some cases can be severe enough to warrant a trip to the doctor’s office. For instance, your pain could be an indication of a severe infection, illness, or injury.

Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain can result from an injury, abnormality, or inflammation. It could also be the result of a poor sleeping position or overuse. The most common causes include:

Physical Injury

Accidents involving falls, vehicles, or sports can damage your neck ligaments and muscles. More severe cases can even fracture your neck bones.

Muscle Strain and Tension

This is usually linked to activities such as poor posture, workout strain, or working at a desk for extended periods.

Meningitis

Meningitis is an often fatal tissue inflammation that affects the area surrounding your brain and spinal cord. Typical symptoms include a stiff neck accompanied by a headache and fever.

Heart Attack

This type of neck pain often presents together with other symptoms of a heart attack such as sweating, shortness of breath, and nausea. You should call an ambulance immediately if you experience these signs.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a weakness of the bones. Although it is more common in the hands and knees, it could affect the neck causing immense pain.

Other causes include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Spondylosis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Cancer of the spine
  • Tumors
  • Congenital abnormalities

When Should You See a Doctor?

Overall, you should see a doctor if you have neck pain that continues for more than a week. Another cause of alarm could be neck pain accompanied by symptoms like:

  • Lumps or swollen glands
  • Fever and headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Trouble breathing, talking or swallowing
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain in the arms or legs
  • Reduced range of motion

Note that these symptoms could be nothing serious and could resolve on their own. They could also indicate a severe underlying condition. When it comes to neck pain, it is best to err on the side of caution.

Neck Pain Treatment

Your doctor should recommend a treatment plan depending on the nature and severity of your neck pain. Typical solutions include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medication
  • Ice and heat therapy
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Corticosteroid injections

You could also require antibiotics in case your pain is caused by an infection. In rare cases, patients may have to undergo surgery.

Takeaway

Most of your movements rely on your neck muscles. Any pain or stiffness can affect the quality of your life significantly. Nonetheless, neck pain is highly manageable.

If you experience neck pain along with any of the symptoms mentioned here, call AIPI to make an appointment with Bart Gatz, MD, and his experienced team of specialists.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.