Neck Pain

BY Dr. Om Prakash Gupta(MBBS, MS) Published on January 24, 2022


Let’s not miss any chance of understanding the anatomy of our very own body and also why do we suffer from different types of aches. To acknowledge each of these in detail, let us dwell deeper about what exactly is neck pain, why does our neck hurts sometimes, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, etc.

Your neck is made up of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso. Cervical discs absorb shock between the bones. The bones, ligaments, and muscles of your neck support your head and allow for motion. Any sort of inflammation, abnormalities, or injury can cause neck pain or stiffness. Most people do experience neck pain or stiffness occasionally because of poor postures or by sleeping in awkward or improper postures and positions. Most of the time, neck pain is caused by injury from a fall, contact sports, or whiplash (Whiplash occurs when a person’s head moves backward and then forward suddenly with great force). Moreover, neck pain is not considered any serious condition and can be relieved within a few days or weeks. But again, if you are experiencing neck pain for more than a week or so, then it is said to be somewhat severe or is accompanied by other symptoms, then it’s highly advised to seek medical attention straight away.


Symptoms of neck pain are seen to be ranging in severity with duration. More often neck pains are observed to be acute and last for only a couple of days or weeks. But sometimes, it can also be chronic. Your neck pain may be mild and not interfere much with your activities or daily living, or it may be severe and may cause disability. Now let us know what all the symptoms of neck pain are:-

  •  Sharp pain- Sensation of sharp pain or stabbing-like pain that is localized to one area.
  • Pain when moving- Neck pain is often exacerbated by moving, twisting, or extending your cervical spine either from side to side or up and down.
  • Radiating pain or Numbness- Studies reveal that your neck pain may radiate to your head, trunk, shoulder, and arms. If the neck pain involves the compression of a nerve, you may also feel numbness, tingling, or weakness in either of your arms or hands. Neck pain that arises from a pinched nerve may feel like a burning or sharp pain that starts at the neck and flow down the arm. In this case, if you are experiencing this symptom it’s highly advised to talk with a doctor.
  • Stiff Neck- People with neck pain often describe feeling as though their neck is “stiff” or “stuck”. Neck pain can sometimes cause a degraded range of motion.
  • Headache- Pain that starts in your neck may also lead to a headache called a cervicogenic headache. Neck pain with a headache may also be a symptom of migraine headache.
  • Pain when palpated- Neck pain may increase if your cervical spine is palpated (physically examined).


Neck pain is usually caused by our daily activities and behavior which include

  •  Poor Posture
  • Working at a desk for too long without either changing position or improper postures
  • Sleeping with your neck in a bad position
  • Jerking off your neck during exercise


A doctor will perform a physical exam and take your complete medical history. Be prepared to tell them about the specifics of your symptoms. Also, let the doctor know about all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplements you’ve been taking.

Even if it doesn’t seem related, let your doctor know about any recent injuries or accidents you’ve had, too.

Treatment for neck pain depends on its cause. In addition to a thorough history and physical exam by your doctor, you may also need one or more of the following imaging studies and tests to help your doctor determine the cause of your neck pain and make a diagnosis:

  • blood test
  • X-ray
  • CT Scan
  • MRI Scan
  • Electromyography, which allows your doctor to check the health of your muscles and the nerves that control your muscles
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)

Depending on the results, your doctor may refer you to a specialist. Treatment for neck pain may include:

  • Heat & ice therapy
  • exercise, stretching, and physical therapy
  • pain medication
  • Muscle relaxants
  • neck collar
  • antibiotics if you have an infection
  • hospital treatment, if a condition such as meningitis or heart attack is the cause
  • surgery, which is rarely necessary

There are other Alternative therapies which include:

  • Acupuncture or Acupressure treatments
  • Massage
  • Transcutaneous Electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

Make sure you’re seeing a licensed professional when using these methods.


Dr. Om Prakash Gupta(MBBS, MS)

Orthopedics (Bones & Joint)

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