Neck Pain

Neck pain can make it difficult to go about our daily activities. It can make accomplishing some tasks seem impossible. Is there anything that can be done to relieve neck pain?

Our pain management experts at Cayman Neurology have many years of experience treating those who have neck pain. We are here to help!

Contact our office in the Cayman Islands today for the support you need! But first, let us go over some of the basics.

What Is Neck Pain?

Neck pain is pain that can be felt in or around your cervical spine (the spine beneath your head). If you experience pain that is primarily concentrated in your neck, you may have axial neck pain. If you experience shooting pain that expands from your neck and shoulder and down to your arms, you may have radicular neck pain.

How Long Can Neck Pain Last?

The time frame of how long neck pain can last will vary from person to person, depending on their condition and the root cause of the discomfort. Neck pain can either be acute (lasting from just a few days to 6 weeks) or chronic (lasting more than 3 months and even several years).

Causes of Neck Pain

There are many different medical conditions and injuries that can cause neck pain. Some of the most common causes of neck pain can be found below.

  • Injury: The sudden forced movement associated with trauma and/or whiplash can cause pain and soreness. The trauma’s force can affect your discs, ligaments, muscles, vertebral joints, and the nerve roots located in your spinal cord.
  • Aging: As we age, degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis (when your spinal column narrows, causing pressure on your spinal cord or nerve roots) can develop and lead to discomfort.
  • Physical strain: Repetitive actions and/or strenuous activity can result in overusing your neck muscles. This can lead to pain and neck stiffness.
  • Stress and motion: Progressively, stress and motion can lead to spinal disc degeneration, resulting in a pinched nerve or even a herniated disc.
  • Mental stress: When we are stressed or tense, we tend to tighten the muscles in our neck. This tightening can cause pain and stiffness.
  • Conditions that have an impact on your spinal balance: Having weak abdominal muscles, poor posture, and/or being overweight can affect spinal balance and contribute to neck discomfort.

Additionally, there are some rare instances in which neck pain can be caused by bone spurs, tumors, or cysts. Other conditions, such as cancer, meningitis, or rheumatoid arthritis, can also cause pain.

Neck Pain Symptoms

If you have neck pain, you may experience:

  • Persistent aching
  • Stabbing/burning sensations
  • Stiff neck
  • Neck pain that is accompanied by headache and numbness or a tingling sensation in one or both of your arms
  • Elevated amounts of tension or tightening that can be felt in your neck muscles

If left untreated, your discomfort can interfere with many of your daily activities, causing them to be carried out with great difficulty. Pain in your neck can also reduce your quality of life, so seeking the expertise of a medical professional is highly advisable.

If you experience severe neck pain after a fall or trauma, seek immediate attention from a medical professional.

How Is Neck Pain Diagnosed?

To diagnose your neck pain properly, your specialist will first thoroughly review your medical history and have you complete a physical exam. During the exam, your specialist will feel and maneuver your neck to locate your discomfort and identify any issues.

Special imaging tests may also be used to get a diagnostic view. These tests include:

  • X-rays
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT)

Other tests that look more closely at your spine or the discs in your spine may be recommended. This may also include checking the function of your nerves and muscle response, as well as locating the source of your pain.

Treatment for Neck Pain

The good news is that neck pain can be treated! However, the recommended treatment can vary depending on the root cause of your condition. Some of the conservative therapies used to treat neck pain include:

  1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease pain and inflammation
  2. Muscle relaxants that aid in the healing process and relieve pain
  3. Physical therapy
  4. Correcting poor posture
  5. Steroid injections to relieve pain

Outlook for People With Neck Pain

Generally, it is possible to feel relief from your neck pain within just a few days. However, if you have injured your neck in any way and want an expert opinion, seek the assistance of one of our specialists. They can provide the treatment you need to help relieve your neck pain.

Pain can make life difficult, but we can help. Schedule an appointment with Cayman Neurology located in the Cayman Islands today!