Understanding severe neck pain

Understanding severe neck pain

Severe neck pain can make even the most basic tasks difficult.  From getting out of bed and getting dressed in the morning to performing routine chores around the house, or fulfilling your daily duties at work, the agony can be almost unbearable.  In this post we will discuss common causes and treatments of severe neck pain, in an effort to help you find a break from the anguish.  There are many options that you can consider in the treatment of neck pain, without breaking the bank or being forced to suffer needlessly.

The causes of severe neck pain are numerous, and not all are injury related.  Some people develop infections in the bones or tissue of the neck, leading to severe pain.  Viral throat infections, tuberculosis, and other conditions which cause the lymph glands in the neck to swell can cause severe neck pain.  Other causes include degenerative disc disease, a herniated disc, neck strain, whiplash, and pinched nerves.  Some conditions such as fibromyalgia and polymyalgia rheumatic can affect neck muscles, causing pain.

Treatments for severe neck pain vary based on the cause of the pain. For infections, you may be prescribed medicine and advised to use either cold or heat therapy in addition to analgesics to relieve your symptoms.  If your pain is the result of an injury, heat or cold therapy, traction, positional therapy, exercises, local injections of anesthetics or cortisone, acupuncture, physical therapy and even surgery may be considered.  Severe neck pain that arises as a result of muscular pain or conditions may require similar treatment or the prescription of muscle relaxants.  Rest, alternative therapies, topical pain patches, Jacuzzi treatments, neck pain pillows and other home or folk remedies may be useful for some individuals.

The first step in treating severe neck pain is contacting your physician.  He or she will inventory your symptoms and based on the severity and suspected cause of your pain, may either prescribe medication and/or physical therapy.  If the cause of your pain remains unclear after a physical exam and symptom history, your doctor might request diagnostic imaging.  Tests you might expect to receive include MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, and possibly an EEG (electroencephalogram) if the doctor believes your nerves are involved.

In some cases, the treatment of severe neck pain is relatively quick and easy, and might not involve anything other than rest and a modified activity schedule.  In other cases, a person may suffer for years with neck pain before the cause can even be determined.  Thanks to modern medicine’s technological improvements, the latter case is less common.  By addressing severe neck pain quickly, you increase your chances of being able to identify and relieve the cause before it can disrupt your daily life, allowing you to stay active and healthy.

Severe neck pain doesn’t have to be a permanent or debilitating condition.  Speak with your general practitioner or chiropractor today, and browse through our website for more information on how to deal with severe neck pain without rearranging your life.

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