Symptoms and treatment of neck pain.


Cervicalgia is a term used to describe significant pain or discomfort in the neck , especially in the back and / or sides. Low back pain is a term similar to neck pain, except that it refers to back pain.

Many experts believe that by age 65, almost everyone (that is, 95% of people) will have at least one episode of neck pain .

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Where does cervicalgia occur?

Basically, cervicalgia is neck pain or pain that occurs in the cervical spine. The cervical spine is defined as the region that extends from the first to the seventh vertebra. The first bone of the spine is approximately at the level of the ears and the seventh, at the base of the neck.

The first seven bones of the spinal column make up the neck. This means that the bone below the seventh cervical vertebra is not the eighth, as you might expect, but the first thoracic vertebra. It attaches to the first rib and connects to the thoracic spine, which corresponds to the upper and middle part of the back.

A herniated disc can cause neck pain. The authors of a 2016 study published in the April issue of the International Archives of Otolaryngology suggested another reason, noting that impaired strength and flexibility of the neck muscles can lead to neck pain .


If you have neck pain, your symptoms may include persistent neck pain, sharp neck pain caused by movement, especially twisting or twisting, tension, muscle stiffness in the upper back and / or neck, headaches and / or muscles of the neck sensitive to the touch. .

Neck pain can be quite intense at times, but it is usually felt in the same area from which it arises. This is in contrast to radiating pain due, for example, to a herniated disc, where the affected spinal nerve root sends stabbing, electrical, or similar sensations along the path of the nerve. This type of pain is often felt away from the injury, a term that refers to the location of the problem or problem that is causing the pain. However, neck pain that you may experience from a herniated disc, either alone or in addition to radiation symptoms, can be called cervicalgia.

The sensory organs and nerves are located in the cervical spine, which means that neck pain can be accompanied by other types of symptoms. A 2016 study by the International Archives of Otolaryngology found that vertigo is very common, along with tinnitus that occurs in the ears; Cracks and pops in the neck, hearing problems and symptoms related to the cardiovascular system are also on the list .

Can cervicalgia be diagnosed?

Neck pain is a universal term. Its definition, according to the National Institutes of Health, is an alternative name for neck pain, stiff neck, and / or whiplash.

The ICD-10, which is the coding system used by most health professionals and therapists to bill insurance, does not indicate a direct cause of cervicalgia, with the exception of cervical spinal disc involvement. When the discs are at the root of cervicalgia, the IDC-10 code is M50. If no reason is given, M54.2 is used. The ICD-10 coding for neck pain indicates that it can be chronic or acute.

A 2011 study published in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America found that while it is generally difficult to identify the structural cause of neck pain, it can help guide your treatment options. The authors note that the medical history you share with your healthcare provider, such as so-called red flags or yellow flag symptoms, can help you recognize more serious causes of neck pain.

When talking to your doctor, it is recommended that you describe your symptoms in detail and accurately.

After completing the medical interview, a physical exam will most likely help confirm the diagnosis.

Cervicalgia and its psychological state

A 2012 study published in the Academica Science Journal looked at the psychological disorders associated with cervicalgia, many of which were caused by degenerative changes in the cervical spine. In this study, cervicalgia status was defined as a clinical syndrome. generally associated with limited neck mobility and / or radiating pain in one or both arms. According to the authors, radiating pain is often accompanied by a tingling sensation in the fingers.

But these are not just physical symptoms. The research team found that mood swings, especially anxiety and depression, are often part of the clinical picture.

Symptom relief is easier to achieve when neck pain is not accompanied by anxiety or depression, according to the researchers. They also note that when neck pain is present at the start of a cervical spondylosis attack, your risk of anxiety or depression may be higher .

Watch out

Cervicalgia is, as mentioned above, a universal expression for many types of neck pain. To this end, treatments can vary widely depending on the exact cause.

If symptoms continue to bother you, especially if they last longer than a week, or if they seriously disrupt your daily routine, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Treatment for neck pain usually consists of pain relievers such as acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Alev or Naprosyn aspirin, Motrin, or ibuprofen, etc.), physical therapy, short-term cognitive behavioral therapy to help control triggers for the pain and your reaction to them, reduce activity and possibly wear a collar to stabilize the area .

And don't discount the role holistic therapies can play in healing neck pain. Acupuncture , light yoga, light Pilates, and tai chi have helped many people get rid of neck pain. In fact, a 2017 study published in the journal Spine found that neck pain improved in people who developed posture awareness after practicing Tai Chi .

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