The causes of neck pain range from mild to serious. Your neck pain could be the result of poor body mechanics, stress, or an existing medical condition.
Some conditions that cause neck pain include:
Conditions that affect the cervical spine (herniated discs, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, etc.)
- Tension headaches
- TMJ dysfunction
Neck pain may feel like a dull ache or sharp sting. You may also feel it in your neck, shoulders and arms. The muscles in your neck may feel tight, making it hard to turn your head or causing spasms.
If you believe your condition is the result of stress or poor body mechanics, you may be able to relieve the pain through self-care treatments. Self-care treatments include hot/cold therapy, massage, over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicine, and/or stretching.
If your symptoms don't improve or worsen with self-care, discontinue the treatment and schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor.
Treatment Options for Neck pain
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and may order an imaging or blood test to identify the cause of your neck pain. This diagnosis will determine the best course of treatment.
Treatment options for neck pain include:
- Alternative therapies (acupuncture, massage therapy, etc.)
- Corticosteroid injections
- Muscle relaxants
- OTC or prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Cervical disc replacement
- Spinal fusion
Seek immediate medical care if your neck pain is severe, the result of a traumatic accident, or occurs with a fever, nausea, severe headache or weakness in an arm or a leg.
Depending on your diagnosis and treatment plan, your care team may include specialists from the following: