What is neck pain and what causes it?
Nearly everyone experiences neck pain at one time or another during their life. Whether it’s because of a muscle strain, an accident, worn joints, a degenerative disc disease, a herniated disc, or a pinched nerve, there are many causes.
In many cases, neck pain will go away on its own. But, when it doesn’t, the neck pain specialists at the Florida Hospital Celebration Health Spine Center can review your case and provide you with the treatments and therapies needed to address your pain issues and return you to an active life as soon as possible.
How is the neck designed?
The neck is composed of the spinal cord and canal, which are surrounded by seven cervical vertebrae. Between the vertebrae are discs, which allow the neck to flex. Other structures in the neck are the muscles, arteries, veins, glands, esophagus, larynx, and trachea. A condition in any of these tissues can either cause or contribute to neck pain.
What are the symptoms associated with neck pain?
The onset of neck pain often starts with a dull, achy feeling, which worsens when you move your neck in certain directions. Other symptoms vary, but can include numbness, a tingling sensation, tenderness, sudden and sharp shooting pains, a difficult time swallowing, pulsations, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, swollen glands, and swishing sounds inside your head.
How do doctors diagnose neck pain?
A doctor will usually start by reviewing the history of your neck pain, noting such things as its duration, location, intensity and how it radiates. If you’ve had a neck injury in the past, you’ll want to make sure to tell your doctor about it. As part of the exam, your doctor may ask you to make certain motions to see if they alleviate or aggravate the situation.
If required, your doctor may also recommend additional testing, such as an X-ray, CAT scan, bone scan, MRI, or tests to see if and how the nerves are involved in the pain you’re experiencing.
When should I see a doctor?
The answer largely depends on the nature of the injury, its severity, and its cause. If you experience neck pain for more than a few days, you should see a doctor. If you’ve been in an accident, fallen, or are experiencing tingling or numbness, you should see your doctor immediately or visit the emergency room at Florida Hospital Celebration Health.