Neck Pain & Headache

Neck pain


Reversed neck possible cause of migraine

Pain located in the neck is a common medical condition. Neck pain can come from a number of disorders and diseases and can involve any of the tissues in the neck. Examples of common conditions causing neck pain are neck injury such as motor vehicle crash, whiplash, after sleeping with the head on a improper pillow, poor work or desk posture, neck strain, pinched nerve (cervical radiculopathy), degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, cervical spondylosis, spinal stenosis, a herniated disc, or , virus infection of the throat, leading to lymph node (gland) swelling, meningitis (often accompanied by neck stiffness), fibromyalgia and polymyalgia rheumatica, etc...

Neck pain can also be associated with symptoms such as headache, facial pain, shoulder pain, and arm numbness or tingling (upper extremity paresthesias). These associated symptoms are often a result of nerves becoming pinched in the neck. Depending on the condition, sometimes neck pain is accompanied by symptoms such as upper back and/or lower back pain, as is common in inflammation of the spine from ankylosing spondylitis. 

Doctors and physicians who treat neck pain can be specialized in chiropractic, general medicine, as well as  neurosurgeons, neurologists, ENT specialists, emergency physicians, podiatrists. 

Other ancillary health profession that treat neck pain include physical therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture

In diagnosing the cause of neck pain, it is important to review the history of the symptoms. In reviewing the medical history, the doctor will note the location, intensity, duration, and radiation of the pain. Is the pain worsened or improved with turning or repositioning of the head? Any past injury to the neck and past treatments are noted. Aggravating and/or relieving positions or motions are also recorded. The neck is examined at rest and in motion. Tenderness is detected during palpation of the neck. An examination of the nervous system is performed to determine whether or not nerve involvement is present.

Further testing of undiagnosed neck pain can include X-ray evaluation, CT scan, bone scan, MRI scan, myelogram, and electrical tests such as electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity test (NCV).