NECK PAIN


The symptoms of neck pain can greatly vary. It can range from mild discomfort to such excruciating pain that a person avoids movement altogether. The pain can be localised, radiate to the shoulder, down the arm, or into the head and cause migraines.

The neck is a small area of the body. It is composed of some complicated anatomical structures that require a high degree of input through muscle tone and neurological input. This performs the important job of positioning the head and maintaining balance. The biomechanical arrangement and small size of the cervial vertebrae leaves the neck vulnerable to a number of problems that cause pain.

Neck pain is a reasonably common complaint. The majority of neck pain complaints are a result of soft tissue sprain (tendons and ligaments) or muscle strain

Symptoms of neck pain

General soreness: This pain is usually localised to one region of the neck and presents as a dull ache or tenderness, but not sharp. Some limited range of motion may occur.

Stiff neck: Soreness and pain on movement, especially on neck rotation and bending the neck side to side.

Sharp pain: This stinging or stabbing symptom can be localised to one spot, generally in the lower region of the neck.

Radiating pain: This type of pain that feels like a burning or a searing pain travels along a nerve from the neck to the shoulders and arms. The degree of this pain varies depending on the level of compression upon the nerve.

Weakness, tingling or numbness: These pain sensations radiate only into one arm, as they travel beyond the neck to the shoulder, arm and if severe enough into the fingers. A “pins and needles” sensation may be felt and a weakness in grip strength may accompany these symptoms.

Causes of neck pain

Neck pain usually occurs in the following ways:

Suddenly after an injury: Examples are right after a motor vehicle accident, whiplash. Sleeping in an awkward position.

Gradual onset over time: Neck pain may begin as mild intermittent discomfort from poor posture or repetitive stress. Which gets worse with time.

Sprain and strain injuries: Mild neck injuries from sports, minor whiplash and sudden movements.