The cervical spine (neck) consists of several pairs of joints which makes the cervical spine particularly vulnerable to injury because it sits between a heavy head and a stable thoracic spine and ribs.
Pain is felt in the neck itself but it may also be referred to the shoulders or arms. If it starts suddenly after exertion and it is exaggerated by coughing and straining. think of a disc prolapse. Chronic or recurrent pain in older people is usually due to chronic disc degeration or spondylosis. These symptoms are often a result of nerves becoming pinched in the neck.
It is always necessary to enquire if any posture or movement makes it worse or better. Stiffness may be either continuous or intermittent.Sometimes it is so severe that the patient can scarcely move the head. Deformity usually appears as a wry neck, occasionally the neck is fixed in flexion. Numbness, tingling and weakness in the upper limb may be due to pressure on a nerve root; weakness in the lower limbs may result from cord compression in the neck.
Headache sometimes emanates from the neck, but if this is the only symptom other causes should be suspected. Tension is often mentioned as a cause of neck pain and occipital headache. Sometimes pain in the neck is worsened with movement of the neck or turning the head.
Other symptoms associated with some form of neck pain are tenderness, sharp shooting pain, difficulty swallowing, pulsations,dizziness or light headedness and lymph node(gland) swelling.
In diagnosing the cause of neck pain, it is important to review the history of the symptoms such as location, intensity, duration and radiation of the pain, any past injury of the neck as well as the aggravating and relieving factors. Further testing can be done through X-ray, CAT scan, bone scan, MRI, EMG, NCV etc.
Treatment depends on its precise cause. Treatment options include rest, heat or cold application, traction, physical therapy (ultrasound, massage, manipulation, mobilisation etc.), application of anaesthetic creams, topical pain relief patches and muscle relaxants.
Neck pain can be relieved by exercises and stretches, proper neck posture maintenance, neck pain can relief through products such as cervical pillows which are used during sleep. Hot pads can be very beneficial for relief of some forms of neck pain.
For further assistance/query contact PAIN FREE PHYSIOTHERAPY CLINIC (8800299652)
Dr. Aryasmita Mohapatra (PT)
MPT (Ortho), MIAP
PAIN FREE PHYSIOTHERAPY CLINIC