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Neck Pain - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Neck Pain?

The neck is made up of vertebrae which extend from the upper torso to the skull. The muscles, ligaments and bone allow for motion and also supports your head. Any injury, inflammation and abnormalities can cause neck stiffness or pain. neck stiffness can also be caused due to overuse of the neck muscles or poor postures. Neck pain is more commonly caused due to a whiplash, contact sports or a fall.

What causes neck pain?

Neck stiffness or pain can arise due to a lot of reason such as:

Muscle strain and tension-

  • Poor posture or keeping your neck in an uncomfortable position for a long time.
  • Working on a desk for a prolonged period of time wthou changing our posture.
  • Falling asleep with your neck in an uncomfortable position.
  • Jerking the neck while exercising or performing a strenuous workout.

Injury- Neck pain can also be caused during fatal falls or car accidents. In this case, the ligaments and muscles are forced to move excessively outside their normal boundaries. If the cervical vertebrae or the neck bones are fractured, the spinal cord also tends to be damaged.

Heart attack – In some cases, neck pain can be an underlying cause of a heart attack. if neck pain is caused due to a heart attack, it can be accompanied by other symptoms such as shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, vomiting, jaw and arm pain.

Meningitis- Neck pain can also be caused due to meningitis. This disease is characterized by an infection or an inflammation of the tissue which surrounds the spinal cord and brain. During meningitis, headache and fever is accompanied along with neck pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis- This condition can be characterized by swelling and pain in the bone spurs and swelling of joins. When these signs start to occur along with neck pain, it can be an early sign of rheumatoid arthritis.

Fibromyalgia- Neck pain can be caused due to this disorder which is characterized by muscle pain in the entire body especially in the shoulder and neck region.

Herniated cervical disc- This condition occurs when a disc in the body starts protruding as a result of an injury or trauma. This condition is also known as slipped or ruptured disc.

Other causes- Sometimes neck pain can also be caused due to spinal cancer, tumors, abscesses, infections and congenital abnormalities.

Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test sometimes required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Non communicable
Pain in the neck region of the anatomy. Inflammation of the spine.

Popular Health Tips

Spinal Cord Stimulation For Chronic Back And Neck Pain!

MD,DNB, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Fellowship In Pain Management
Pain Management Specialist, Mumbai
Spinal Cord Stimulation For Chronic Back And Neck Pain!

It is very challenging to find operative treatments for chronic pain that offer improved daily functioning. Spinal Cord Stimulation is an excellent pain management method that can be used for patients when their neck or back pain cannot be treated by surgery or other options.

Each year more than 14,000 patients undergo the spinal cord stimulator transplant. The procedure comprises of mild electrical stimulations to the spinal cord. This modifies the nerve activity reducing the pain sensation or sensitivity that reaches the brain.

Neurostimulation therapy recommended by doctors is very effective, especially for chronic pain sufferers. The benefit of this proven therapy is that the pain experienced by the brain is minimized to a great extent. The therapy was designed only after observing how pain is managed by the brain. The therapy approved by the FDA is used to treat the pain caused due to nerve damage in the legs, arms and in the trunk. Spinal cord stimulation for chronic back and neck pain is provided to patients in pain management centers. The staff taking care of patients in these centers are specialized and trained in pain relief -how it occurs and best ways to treat it. Injections are also used to ease the pain.

How to treat back Pain?
Probably the worst pain an individual can experience is back pain, in some cases so severe that it hampers daily life. The treatment options that are used for treating back pain include electrical stimulation to the back and medication to the spine. The most common reason for spinal cord stimulation is failed back surgery. The pain related to the following conditions can also be alleviated through this therapy, scarring of the protective layers of the spinal nerves, painful inflammation and arachnoiditis.

Devices Used for Spinal Cord Stimulation
The devices used for spinal cord stimulation are available in several types but they comprise mainly of three parts. The pulse generator with a battery, a lead wire with 8-32 electrodes and a hand-held remote control that is useful in adjusting the settings of the device, and to switch it on and off. Electrical pulses are delivered to the spinal cord through the electrodes. It is very important that the procedure is carried out by doctors who specialize in pain management or by neurosurgeons. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!


4216 people found this helpful

Electrotherapy - How It Can Help In Managing Pain?

MD,DNB, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Fellowship In Pain Management
Pain Management Specialist, Mumbai
Electrotherapy - How It Can Help In Managing Pain?

Pain management is an issue that stares back at mankind, irrespective of the underlying health condition. Whether it is a headache or a back pain, burn or fracture, heart attack or cancer, pain is always a symptom. In some cases like migraines, cancer, etc., the pain is chronic and the patient needs to be constantly on the vigil to know when an attack will ensue. This has also put high pressure on the medical fraternity to identify ways that can provide relief to these people. Various methods have been identified, and one of them is the electrotherapy.

What is done?
A few electrical impulses are directed at the area of the pain using a hand-held device. This is similar to providing electric shocks of mild intensity to the affected area (forehead, low back, neck, etc.). What this does is stimulate the nerve endings, improves circulation and muscle strength and promotes bone growth and tissue repair. The end result of all this is overall improved functioning and pain relief. Depending on the actual condition, the sessions will have to be repeated. In some patients, the electrotherapy is used in conjunction with other therapy so that they can go about their routine exercise and pain relief.
The sessions may also have to be repeated as most often these are used in individuals with chronic pain. They are also helpful in providing relief during the acute attacks.

How does it work?
The most common form of electrotherapy is known as TENS, which stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. The area to be treated is cleansed with spirit and then small sticky pads are applied through which the electricity is passed. A hand-held device is used, through which electrical impulses are passed to the skin, which stimulates the nerve cells to provide relief from pain. It causes a vibrating and tingling sensation in the treated area. It is believed that it blocks the nerve impulses and therefore provides pain relief. Another theory states that they promote the release of endorphins which are natural painkillers; it is also very effective in case of migraine and sciatica and neck pain where the chronic pain is coupled with acute spurts.

With narcotic painkillers having various side effects, techniques like electrotherapy are gaining popularity. A small catch also is that it does not work for everybody and in most people with back pain, fibromyalgia, and migraines, requires repeat sessions for relief. The cost of each session also needs to be considered against the extent of relief achieved. However, for those whom it works, it is a very good technique for chronic pain control. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!


4216 people found this helpful

Neck Pain - Why It Usually Happens?

MS - Orthopaedics, M.Ch - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Ghaziabad
Neck Pain - Why It Usually Happens?

Having a neck pain one of these days is not an uncommon fact. With long hours of sitting stiffly in front of laptops, television, computers etc., it has surely contributed to many of you getting regular neck pains. But apart from digitally generated neck pains, there are several other factors, which contribute to headaches, with mild to chronic intensity.

Some of them are discussed below:

  1. Posture-oriented neck pains: This would involve neck pains arising out of a bad posture. This will also include sitting in front of laptops and desktops for long hours. It is necessary to keep your posture straight as this is what supports your spinal cord.
  2. Neck pains out of exercises: It is always recommended that you exercise with the help of a trainer. Trying to exercise without proper guidance might sometimes cause adverse effects on your health like neck pains instead of helping you burn calories.
  3. Injury: If you are into the field of sports, which requires you to be physically strong or mentally vigilant like wrestling or car races, you need to be careful about your neck. One slight injury in the neck can harm the spinal cord. The spinal cord is the backbone of your body. Slight damage can even lead to full body paralysis.
  4. Arthritis: If you happen to be suffering from arthritis, you might experience neck pains as well.

There are several treatments for your neck pain. At times, simple massages might help and at times you need to opt for proper medicines or homeopathy. Here are some of the remedies for relieving yourself of the neck pains:

  1. Ice and heat therapy: This helps in expanding and contracting the neck muscles upon application of cold or hot pack. This helps in easing out the muscle tension and thereby providing instant relief.
  2. Neck collar: This is prescribed to hold your neck in a proper manner. It helps you to build the proper posture for your neck so that posture-oriented neck pains can be treated effectively.
  3. Exercises: There are certain exercises that are prescribed by doctors. But these are to be practiced only under strict vigilance of trainers or experts.
  4. Traction: This is also a very common form of remedy, which is prescribed to those who are suffering from neck pain. It is performed by specialists and can be given either at home with special preparations or in the hospital.

These are some of the common causes and treatments of neck pain. You should not suffer from prolonged neck pain. It is advisable to visit a medical practitioner as soon as possible.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2598 people found this helpful

Back & Neck Pain - Different Ways Pain Can Be Managed!

MBBS, MD, M.N.A.M.S(Anaesthesiology), FWACS
Pain Management Specialist, Delhi
Back & Neck Pain - Different Ways Pain Can Be Managed!

The neck and back are closely related, and pain in one area can easily affect the other. Both neck and back pain have become lifestyle problems, due to prolonged sitting and incorrect working postures. Treating one area can help in subtly treating the other and also reduce the onset of pain.

Pain in neck and back can be due to strained muscles, wrong posture, injury or stress due to knots in muscles and can be easily treated with a number of ways such as physical therapy, muscle relaxants and trigger point injection. Also, facet joint arthritis occurs due to degeneration of joints in elderly, excessive strain in some type of jobs or injury. Physical therapy along with injection in the nerves that carry a message from these joints to the brain along with medications that can numb sensation and Radiofrequency Rhizotomy for long-term relief is performed by pain specialists. Disc prolapse of neck/ lumbar vertebrae can also cause back pain.

Read on to know the best ways to manage back and neck pain, as the following techniques work for both.

  • Ice and heat therapy: Alternating heat and ice therapy can help reduce pain. It helps by reducing the sensation of pain and improving blood flow, thereby providing relief.
  • Physical therapy: Exercising and stretching, whether as a preventive measure or as a part of therapy, can work wonders. It improves the agility of the bones and tendons, improves movement, reduces stiffness, and relieves pain. A program should be drawn up based on the patient’s overall health condition and symptoms. Patients should be monitored for any improvements or changes in symptoms.
  • Pain medication: When nothing else works, then pain medications become the next course of action. These can be taken for immediate relief, but cannot treat the pain permanenetly.
  • Steroids: Injecting corticosteroids into the bone and joint spaces can help with acute pain management.
  • Collar or brace: A neck collar or brace is used to keep the neck in place to reduce movement and provide support, thereby, it helps in reducing pain.
  • Acupuncture: Each area has associated pressure points in the body. These pressure points are identified and needles are applied to provide relief from pain.
  • Massage: The Massage can help by stimulating tissues, improve blood flow and also to relax muscles. The herbal oils that are used provide added benefit too, and so periodic massages are being widely used for pain management of neck and back.
  • Chiropractic therapy: This involves manipulation of the spinal cord with the belief that the spinal cord could be incorrectly settled. The cord is manipulated to get it to the correct location, thereby relieving pain and stiffness and improving movement
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation): The nerve in the affected area is stimulated by electrical impulses, thereby providing pain relief. This needs to be repeated at frequent intervals and is often reserved for acute cases.
  • Surgery: Often, used as a last resort, where all other measures have failed. Whether it is a herniated disk or a pinched nerve, the cause is identified and then surgery planned. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
4166 people found this helpful

Neck Pain: Why It Happens And How It Is Treated?

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, Spine Fellowship
Orthopedist, Mumbai
Neck Pain: Why It Happens And How It Is Treated?

The neck consists of vertebrae that extend from our upper torso to the skull. It further has cervical disks that absorb any kind of shock between the bones and prevent them from breaking. The muscles, bones and ligaments present in our neck support the head. Any kind of abnormalities and injuries can be a cause for neck pain. These include:

  1. Muscle tension - This is usually caused by:
    • • A poor posture
    • • Working at a desk or in front of the computer for too long
    • • Sleeping in a bad position
    • • Jerking your head during a physical activity or sport.
  2. Injury: The neck is highly vulnerable to injuries especially during car accidents, sports and falls. An injury in the neck occurs when the ligaments present inside it start to move out of their usual positions or range. It happens when you have had a whiplash of your head.
  3. Heart attack: In some cases, neck pain can also be a symptom of a heart attack at times. However, it is usually combined with other symptoms when it shows up. These is:
  4. Meningitis: When the tissue surrounding the back or the neck starts to get swollen, it is known as meningitis. It can be fatal at times and should be considered a medical emergency.

In case the following symptoms show-up, you need to see a doctor:

  1. Nausea
  2. Lump in the neck
  3. Severe neck pain without cause
  4. Swollen glands
  5. Weakness
  6. Numbness
  7. Tingling sensations all over the body
  8. Trouble breathing or swallowing
  9. Heavy headaches

How is neck pain treated?
The first step towards the treatment of neck pain is determining the cause of the pain. this can be determined by:

  1. Blood tests
  2. X-rays
  3. CT scans
  4. Electromyography that allows your doctor to check how healthy your muscles are
  5. Lumbar puncture or a spinal tap, which might be a little painful

Here are some of the conventional home treatment methods can be tried at home:

  • Applying cold and hot pads for pain relief
  • Exercising, mainly stretching
  • A neck collar of your size
  • Traction
  • Antibiotics if recommended
  • Injections
  • Pain medications
  • Better sleeping postures
  • Maintaining a good posture

Always take good care of your health as well as fitness. Make sure that you sit and stand in proper postures and do not spend your entire day at a desk or in front of a computer. Even if you have to, have brief exercising or stretching sessions in between breaks. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2777 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am having neck pain for the past one month going for physio too, mattress is too old, I want to go for orthopaedic memory foam mattress, us it the right choice.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - Orthopaedics, DNB - Orthopedics, MCh (Ortho)
Orthopedist, Navi Mumbai
Ideally a mattress should be neither too soft nor too hard. It should be firm enough to support our spine. Also the pillow should be of adequate size so that neck doesn't bend front or back while sleeping.
1 person found this helpful

Hi Every one, I am facing neck pain. Sometime it's due to type of sleeping lying on bed and keeping the pillow. But changing the size (Thickness) of pillow it's became common. Following are the helpful to solve. Age: 30 yrs Weight: 80 kg Ht: 5.11 ft.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Hyderabad
Usually if you use a thick pillow it will increase the stress on the cervical spine leading to pain. If you cannot avoid a pillow then use a cervical pillow. Neck pain also depends upon the posture of your neck while working, try to keep it always straight. Avoid bike driving especially on bumpy roads which will increase the stress.
2 people found this helpful

Hello, My neck is paining since last 2 years. I am doing some neck exercises but no improvement. Also I am not sleeping with this or filament at night.

Physiotherapist, Noida
Take frequent Breaks at work. Core Strengthening Exercises. Use cervical pillow. Use Back Support.

I am getting neck pain frequently from past 4 months .if I do yoga (Sun salutations) I am feeling better but if stop for sometime it is again troubling me.

MPT - Orthopedic Physiotherapy, BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Noida
do stretching exercises in regular basis. few session of physiotherapy treatment

Table of Content

What is Neck Pain?

What causes neck pain?

Play video
Tips For Neck And Back pain
There are few simple tips that can help a person in treating neck and back pain without the need for getting into medications. You must not take such pain lightly as the problem may be aggravated.
Play video
Know More About Neck Pain
Hello, I am Dr Rajesh Pal. I am a physiotherapist and I have 17 years of clinical experience. I have been graduated from Utkal University and I have masters degree in Orthopaedics and physiotherapy. Today we are going to talk about very common problem which people are facing because of technology which is Neck pain.

India is a youth population and youth is technologically driven. So, they use more of laptops, spending more time on phones. So, because of the neck postures get affected and the muscles which control the posture of neck are under tremendous stress and gradually they develop some or other kind of problem which result into Neck pain. Today, I am going to give some tips that how to prevent all such problems.

There are different causes of Neck pain:-

Posture- One has to beware of their posture. If you keep your neck bent for a long time, then the neck muscles are in acute pressure that creates some kind of knots in that muscle which is called trigger point. So, here is my trick to prevent this that whenever you use your phone, keep the phone in eye level in order to keep your neck in neutral position. This will reduce the stress of trapezius muscle.
The second commonest cause is stress. We should adapt some technologies and modicfication in our lifestyle to take care of the stress. Under stress, these postural muscle remain in tightened state for a long period of time and that eventually leads to these kind of problems. Try to relax yourself. Go with the time and nature and keep yourself happy. One should not worry about what is happening and what should be the best way because nothing best is available in this world. Go with what is happening.
The third factor which contribute to these kind of problem is Sleep. Nowadays the sleeping schedule has changd because of work. In some MNCs, there is a culture in which people have to work in the night and sleep during the day. The sleeping pattern has changed and it is causing such kind of problems. So, try to maintain good sleep. Fix a time of sleeping. Keep the environment of the room in such a manner to induce better and relaxing sleep.
The another important factor is diet. The food we eat, plays an important role. Having a packed or preserved food can lead to muscle injury. This kind of food contains some chemicals which induce such problems. Avoid having these packed food and start having home made fresh food which is more healthy.
The last thing I want ot share is that spending more time on computer is harmful. Gadgets emit radiations which absorb water from our muscles. AS we know that our body is made up of 80% of the water. If the water quantity get reduced then the muscle problems starts developing. So, keep yourself hydrated. Make sure that you drink one glass of water in every 2 hours.
Do stretching exercises of neck muscles and shoulders.
If you indulge in such habits, you can easily prevent these problems.

If you want to contact me, I am available on Lybrate and book an appointment there for consulting me.

Thank you for watching this video.
Play video
Neck Pain
Causes and Symptoms of Neck Pain

Hi guys! I'm here to talk about neck pain today. Let me introduce myself. I'm Dr. Virmani.

I'm a Physio. I've been practicing for the last 20yrs. Many of our patients, when they come to us, quite often they complain about this Cervical Headache, or the pain originating from the head, from behind the neck and coming to the center of the head or coming to the sides of the head or sometimes they complain about burning sensation in the eyes.

You know what goes wrong? This is because of our sedentary lifestyle and the posture in which we are most of the times, that is, keeping the head bent, while on a laptop, on the mobile or on the tabloid we are keeping the neck in a bent position which leads to overstraining of the muscles behind the neck radiating the pain to the heads.

Now, there is a simple solution to it, what you can try at home is you can try massaging the back of the head and the neck area, that is, the area where the hairline stops. It is the connection between the neck and the head. You can just massage it with two fingers, massage it on both the sides. You can do this for almost two to three minutes twice a day and it'll give you good results.

In case you have any queries or you want to reach me you can always call me or put an enquiry at . Thank you.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice