Neck pain: what to do and how to treat it?

A large number of people, regardless of age, social status, habits and even health status, can experience such an unpleasant symptom as neck pain. Why does this happen?

Neck pain is an insidious symptom that can be serious, indicating active inflammation or tissue destruction. Feelings of varying intensity are often accompanied by numbness in the neck, as well as loss of sensitivity of the hands, local redness and even swelling. Often, with neck pain, headaches and dizziness are observed.

Neck pain

Determining the causes of neck pain is not easy. To accurately diagnose the problem requires a comprehensive diagnosis, which includes computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well as ultrasound (ultrasound) and laboratory tests.

Relief of neck pain is performed using medications as well as physiotherapy methods.

general information

Neck pain occurs in 70% of the adult population. Feelings can vary in intensity and duration, depending on many factors. So even one and the same person may periodically experience short-term discomfort and severe pain syndrome, which worsens the quality of daily life.

Often, the pain is localized in the cervical spine as well as along its anterolateral surfaces. Diagnosed cases show that most often patients experience a sharp "lumbago", followed by severe discomfort.

The pain can be given not only to the neck, but also spread to the shoulder, shoulder blade, occipital region and be of a different nature:

  • pulsating;
  • tingling sensation;
  • contracting.

In most cases, the pain increases with various head movements, which force the whole body to rotate.

Structure and functional features of the cervical spine

The cervical region is the upper part of the spine (seven interconnected vertebrae), which carries a fairly large amount of stress every day.

The nodes that connect the vertebrae to each other form the part of the spinal canal in which the spinal cord is located.

The neck muscles are responsible for regulating head movement, and also allow you to hold it in the right anatomical position. Each muscle attaches to the bone using strong connective tissue (tendons).

Once you have studied the structure, you can conclude that pain is provoked by pathologies of various types, the development of which is concentrated in any of the components of the cervical region of ODA.

Classification of neck pain

Today, it is customary to distinguish several types of neck pain:

  • cervicalgia - painful sensations of different types, originating of different types;
  • cervicago or cervical lumbago - acute, sudden pain caused by compression of nerve roots;
  • cervicobrachialgia - pain that appears in the neck and spreads as it grows in the upper limbs;
  • cervicocranialgia is a common condition when neck pain and headache are felt at the same time.

Why does your neck hurt?

Among the causes of neck pain, there may be a large list of diseases that have a similar list of clinical manifestations, but with different mechanisms of progression.

Causes of sore throat

Most people associate scratching and scuffing immediately with colds, however, with a number of diseases of this type, manifestations of such a force may be present for the patient to feel neck pain.

Severe anxiety and high pain rates accompany conditions such as:

  • laryngitis;
  • viruses;
  • bacterial infections;
  • allergic reactions;
  • foreign body in pharyngeal tissues;
  • lack of vitamins, lack of trace elements;
  • reflux;
  • malignant neoplasms.

Causes of anterior neck pain

Are the uncomfortable sensations concentrated mainly in the front, under the chin? Such a limited area can show a lot, because there is a large number of fabrics of different types. If the discomfort increases while swallowing and performing head turns, then among the reasons for this condition are:

  • pathological processes progressing in the tissues of the thyroid gland;
  • suffered injuries;
  • inflammatory processes of various kinds;
  • purulent diseases;
  • damage to the tissues of the lymphatic system;
  • respiratory diseases;
  • angina pectoris.

Causes of cervical back pain

If the patient's complaints speak of discomfort in the back of the cervix, then there is a risk of diagnosing serious pathological conditions.

In a situation of this type, as a rule, there is "lumbago", due to which the mobility of the head and even the shoulder girdle is significantly limited.

Experiences of this kind indicate the presence of pathologies such as:

  • destructive processes localized in vertebral tissues;
  • trauma;
  • damage to the ligament or muscle apparatus;
  • development of infectious processes;
  • presence of vertebral anomalies.

Neck pain with osteochondrosis

Particular attention should be paid to one of the most common problems - neck pain with osteochondrosis. Osteochondrosis is one of the most common pathological diseases on the planet.

Neck pain with osteochondrosis is a serious symptom, overcoming which you may lose the opportunity for complete recovery, missing the initial stage of development of pathological processes that can be treated.

Causes of lateral neck pain

The discomfort and severe pain, concentrated on the lateral surface of the neck, may migrate to the shoulder girdle or ear. Sensation of tingling, throbbing and burning become an additional concern.

The most probable causes of lateral neck pain are:

  • pathological processes of blood vessels;
  • prolonged posture of the cervical spine in an uncomfortable position;
  • muscle spasms;
  • neoplasia;
  • congenital pathologies;
  • complications after illness or surgery.

When is it time to seek medical help for neck pain?

Often, a person experiencing pain in any spinal area prefers to refuse to visit the doctor and let everything go by itself. To prevent a serious deterioration in health, it is important to seek professional help in a timely manner.

Regardless of the type of neck pain, it is necessary to consult a specialist and determine the cause of their occurrence.

The specific indications to look out for are:

  • severe headaches;
  • traumatic effect on the cervical spine;
  • feeling of numbness, weakness in the limbs;
  • ineffectiveness of drug use.

Ignoring the symptomatic figure can lead to irreversible consequences that seriously worsen the quality of life.

There are situations when a visit to the attending physician is urgently required. Common customs refer to the following:

  • increase in body temperature, accompanied by pain in the neck and head;
  • severe stiffness of the cervical spine (inability to reach the chin to the chest);
  • the presence of signs of a heart attack (chest pain, rapid breathing, increased sweating, nausea).

Diagnosis of neck pain

To form a high quality treatment plan for any disease, it is necessary to diagnose it correctly, taking into account all the patient complaints, existing history and examination results.

Considering that the vast majority of cases are caused by pathological conditions of the spine region, in case of neck pain, it is best to seek help from a chiropractor (osteopath), vertebrologist or neurologist.

The whole complex of diagnostic procedures is the use of instrumental and laboratory methods, each of which aims to visualize the affected area and form a qualitative basis for identifying the symptoms of concomitant diseases.

Let us consider the most informative methods of diagnosis.

X-ray examination

Radiography is a major diagnostic method. With the help of images taken during the examination, it is possible to assess the configuration of the vertebrae and create an understanding of the condition of the cartilaginous tissue.

Thanks to X-ray examination, it is possible to identify such pathological conditions as:

  • displacement of spinal section elements;
  • formed hernias and other neoplasms;
  • large increase in bone tissue, etc.

X-ray images display all the information needed for the diagnosis, which allows the specialist to form an accurate diagnosis and determine the main areas of treatment.

However, there are cases when radiography is not sufficient to identify a number of pathologies. Sometimes, it is completely unattainable due to contraindications. In this case, other solutions come to the rescue.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI examination involves taking a three-dimensional image in several projections, which makes it possible to assess the condition of all types of cervical spine tissue.

Functional diagnostics

Due to the fact that one of the causes of pain in the back of the cervix is muscle spasm, it is appropriate to talk about the possible damage to tissues of this type.

To identify lesions and their extent, methods such as electromyography (determination of the level of bioelectrical activity and the ability of nerves to transmit an impulse) are used.

Also used are electroneurography (recording an electrical signal at the time of its propagation along the examined nerve) and the Forestier test (detecting the ability to assume an anatomically correct position).

Laboratory blood test

The results of a general and biochemical examination of biological fluids (blood, urine) indicate or deny the presence of inflammatory processes, which are the causes of pain.

In laboratory diagnosis, special attention is paid to the concentration of hormones.

Additional studies are considered to be the bacteriological culture of saliva and throat staining.

Treatment of neck pain

Regardless of the nature of the pain experienced, its elimination and treatment of the underlying causes should be treated exclusively by a physician. Importers It is important to remember that lack of treatment or use of inadequate therapy (self-medication) sooner or later leads to a worsening of the pathological condition and irreversible consequences (from loss of mobility to death).

Patient with neck pain at the doctor's consultation

What should be done before a diagnosis is made?

Do you have neck pain? Do not delay your visit to the doctor. However, if the diagnosis has not yet been made, and the pain is not in a hurry to subside, you need to know how to treat it.

First of all, to limit yourself from the possibility of such an unpleasant syndrome, you should avoid excessive rigidity in movement, as well as take care of protection from schemes and hypothermia.

If the pain has already appeared and the discomfort is only increasing, you are allowed to take analgesics once.

Important! The drug can not be taken for a long time without a doctor's prescription.

Methods of conservative therapy

The initial stages of any disease are eliminated by conservative methods of treatment, for which it is customary to include drug therapy.

To alleviate the sensations experienced, as well as to eliminate pathological processes, drugs of different pharmacological groups are used, which include:

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that eliminate inflammation and alleviate an unpleasant syndrome;
  • muscle relaxants that relieve muscle spasms;
  • anesthetics that relieve pain;
  • antibiotics, the action of which is aimed at eradicating bacterial and purulent processes;
  • vitamins and minerals used to support the level of nutrients in the body;
  • chondroprotectors that accelerate regenerative processes in articular tissues.

It is worth noting that chondroprotective group drugs are especially important in the phase of elimination of pathological conditions of ODA.

Physiotherapy treatment as a method to eliminate neck pain

The best activator of conservative methods is a complex combination with physiotherapy treatment.

To relieve unnecessary tension in the neck, methods such as:

  • mud baths and thermal compresses;
  • electrophoresis with the use of anesthetics;
  • manual therapy;
  • exposure to magnets or needles;
  • massage visit;
  • use of medical physical culture complexes.

Surgical intervention

When diagnosing spinal pathologies, accompanied by localized pain in the cervical spine, radical methods of treatment may be required.

To reduce excess pressure on nerve roots, discectomy (open surgery, hernia removal), foraminotomy (low-trauma intervention aimed at nerve decompression), or laminectomy (neurosurgery designed to eliminate compression) are used.

In particularly severe cases with severe degenerative lesions, it may be necessary to perform spinal fusion (artificial fusion of the vertebrae in order to intentionally immobilize them).

Prevention of neck pain and ODA disorders in general

All those who at least once faced the problem under consideration repeatedly asked the question: "What methods of warfare exist? " First of all, it is worth noting that the best treatment at all times is considered to be prevention, iwhich consists in creating optimal comfortable conditions for the functionality and nutrition of the spinal parts of the human ODA.

It is important to create such conditions, the observance of which will not only be continuous, but literally throughout life. This is the secret of the success of preventive measures.

There are several components to prevent neck pain. Let's examine each of them.

Physical activity and sports

A key component in preventing destructive processes in the musculoskeletal system. Moderate exercise helps maintain optimal health.

Workplace safety

Ergonomics of working conditions mainly determines the state of human health, because people spend a lot of time in the workplace.

If it is impossible to arrange comfortable conditions, then it is necessary to at least try to systematically relieve stress by systematically performing simple warm-up exercises.

Special diet

Lack of useful vitamins and minerals negatively affects the skeletal state of the human body. In order for the tissues to have everything you need, it is important to ensure the rationality of the diet.

The daily diet should be moderately enriched with not only energy sources but also vitamins and trace elements.

Do not forget about the drinking regime. To ensure the desired level of metabolism, it is necessary to drink from 1. 5 to 2 liters of clean water per day.

Reception of chondroprotectors

The use of prophylactic courses of taking chondroprotectors helps maintain the optimal condition of articular tissues, and also makes it possible to accelerate the regenerative processes when they are damaged.

Preference should be given to extremely reliable drugs that have been proven in the modern pharmacological market.

Want to enjoy a satisfying life? It's time to start ODA disease prevention today. By adhering to the principles of maintaining your health, you can forget about poor health and enjoy all the joys of life.