Facts

  • Most individuals will experience neck pain at some point during their lives
  • 10% of the world’s population experiences neck pain each year

Overview/Description

The cervical spine is composed of the first ten vertebra of the spine and is responsible for supporting the head, allowing for movement and rotation of the neck. The cervical spine allows for a rotating movement of 180 degrees, a flexing movement of 90 degrees, and a tilting movement of 120 degrees, which makes the neck vulnerable to sprain or injury.  Cervical back pain or neck pain is also commonly referred to as Cervicalgia.

Symptoms

Generally neck pain will fade and disappear with time however if pain is severe or persists a doctor visit is highly recommended.  The following symptoms should not be ignored:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Sharp pain
  • Severe headaches
  • Radiating discomfort/tingling in the arms or hands

Diagnosis

Diagnostic tests are not usually necessary to confirm the cause of your neck pain however a physical examination will be completed by a physician to assess the severity and duration of your pain, flexibility, and range of motion.

If your physician suspects that there is a reason to determine the specific cause of your neck pain, an X-ray, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), or a Bone Scan may be ordered.  These tests are done to pinpoint the cause of your neck pain and help with treatment planning. There is a chance however these tests may not determine the cause of your pain however, neck pain can be treated and improved even if the specific cause is unknown.

Causes

Neck pain is generally due to injuries, aging, or poor habits. Common causes of neck pain include:

  • Whiplash
  • Poor Posture
  • Degeneration due to aging
  • Spinal disease i.e. spinal cord compression

Treatment Options & Care

  • Acupuncture
  • Epidural Steroid Injections
  • Physical Therapy or Chiropractic Therapy
  • Therapeutic Message
  • Anti-inflammatory medications note: medications should be taken as directed by your doctor