Neck | Rheumatology | Neck Pain (Symptom)
Neck pain (or cervicalgia) is a common problem, with two-thirds of the population having neck pain at some point in their lives. eck pain may come from any of the structures in the neck including: vascular, nerve, airway, digestive, and musculature / skeletal or be referred from other areas of the body. Examples of common conditions producing neck pain are degenerative disc disease, neck strain, neck injury such as in whiplash, a herniated disc, or a pinched nerve.
Neck pain can come from common infections, such as virus infection of the throat, leading to lymph gland swelling and neck pain. Neck pain can also come from rare infections, such as tuberculosis of the neck and bone infection of the spine in the neck (osteomyelitis and septic discitis), and meningitis (often accompanied by neck stiffness).
Neck pain can also be due to conditions directly affecting the muscles of the neck, such as fibromyalgia and polymyalgia rheumatica. More causes include poor sleeping posture, torticollis, head injury, rheumatoid arthritis, Carotidynia, congenital cervical rib, mononucleosis, rubella, certain cancers, ankylosing spondylitis, cervical spine fracture, esophageal trauma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, lymphadenitis, thyroid trauma, and tracheal trauma.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis is difficult to make based solely on clinical examination, so it will be necessary radiological investigations, sometimes MRI, CT scan, electromyogram (recording muscle activity), blood tests for signs of chronic inflammation or infection and if necessary an examination from a medical specialist physiotherapist, rheumatologist, neurologist or orthopedist.
The treatment of neck pain depends on its precise cause. Treatment options include rest, heat or cold applications, traction, soft collar traction, physical therapy.