Pain in the neck

Symptoms of neck pain are familiar to everyone: it contracts and pulls the muscles, cannot tilt and turn the head, look to the side and turn the whole body. The culprit of troubles, as a rule, is the spine: encroachment, hernia, curvature of the spine lead to the fact that a person has pain in the back and neck. The discomfort caused him to buy his own medicine. But if pain that radiates to the neck doesn't go away with home treatment, the next step is to see a doctor.

Neck pain in adults

Neck pain in women

neck pain in young women

Neck pain during pregnancy

Back and neck pain often worries expectant mothers. The explanation is simple - with a change in the weight and proportions of the body, the posture changes, the load on the spine increases.

How to deal with this nuisance? A pregnancy band will help keep your back in place. To strengthen the muscles in your back and neck, you should practice swimming and yoga (with the permission of your obstetrician-gynecologist, of course). You need to sleep in a comfortable position, on a firm mattress and low pillow. But the most important thing is to consult a doctor, as any self-made medicine can negatively affect the condition of the mother and the fetus.

Neck pain in young mothers

Back and neck pain is common in young mothers. Complicating matters is that the lactating woman must not take many drugs because toxic substances will be absorbed into the milk. How can you help yourself and prevent neck pain from getting in the way of your baby's joy?

  • Monitor your posture. When holding a baby, the center of gravity shifts with the rise of the belly - you have to lean back for balance and your shoulders are always tense.
  • Do not over-exercise, try to distribute the load to the back properly. Various portable devices can help with this. They distribute the child's weight across both shoulders and prevent back and neck fatigue.
  • Baby care items need to be adjusted to the child's height so that they don't have to stand for long in an uncomfortable position.
  • It is very important to stay in a comfortable position while breastfeeding, especially at night.

Neck pain in men

neck pain in men

Neck pain, as a rule, does not differ by gender - it can appear in both men and women. However, there are some anatomical differences: the necks of men are decorated with a pronounced Adam's apple - a thickened section of thyroid cartilage, their plates are inclined to each other.

Adam's apple pain in men can be a sign of a rather serious illness:

  • Thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. With thyroiditis, patients are worried when they have neck pain when turning, Adam's apple pain, swelling around the neck.
  • Thyroid cancer - its danger is that the onset of the disease can be like the common cold: sore throat when swallowing, difficulty turning the neck and even breathing.
  • Thyroid aneurysm is an overgrowth of cartilage and soft tissue in the neck, which is life-threatening. The patient complains of chills and high fever, pain when swallowing, loss of voice, difficulty breathing.
  • Cartilaginous tuberculosis occurs, as a rule, with existing pulmonary tuberculosis and its complications.
  • Kadik can get sick from osteonecrosis. Invasion leads to pain when swallowing, sneezing, coughing.
  • Fractures, bruising, and compression of cartilage can lead to displacement, neck swelling, and suffocation.

Neck pain in the elderly

Pain radiating to the neck, in the elderly, can indicate the development of diseases:

  • Lung cancer (cancer with Pancost and Horner syndrome). The patient's pain in this case was related to tumor growth into the scapular nerve.
  • Tumors of the neck, salivary glands.
  • Coronary heart disease. The pain can radiate from the chest to the neck and arms, causing symptoms similar to those of osteonecrosis.
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory disorder characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder and hip muscles.
  • Spinal metastases in various cancers (it is no secret that the likelihood of cancer increases with age).
  • Cervical spondylosis as a complication of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The most common causes of neck and shoulder pain in the elderly are osteoarthritis and osteochondrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic inflammation of the connective tissue.

Neck pain in children

neck pain in children

Severe neck pain in children occurs for the same reasons as in adults:

  • hurt
  • Bone tumor
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Tumor
  • Diseases of other organs causing distant pain

Perhaps the most "baby" specific cause of neck pain is torticollis, when a child's head is turned sharply to one side. Scoliosis is very dangerous because it leads to curvature of the cervical spine and disrupts the skeletal formation of the face.

Contrary to popular belief, the disease does not only occur during childbirth. Depending on the appearance of torticollis, the following types are distinguished:

  1. Congenital - it can happen in the womb if the fetus is not positioned correctly, but most commonly occurs during delivery, when the baby turns his or her head to the side and injures the neck muscles.
  2. Exogenous - when the neck is crooked due to scarring left by trauma or burns.
  3. Reflex - it happens with trauma, otitis media, diseases of the salivary glands.
  4. Neurogenic - due to muscle spasms after polio or encephalitis.
  5. Spasticity - due to excessive cervical muscle tension.
  6. Trauma - related to spine fracture.

Torticollis (with the exception of skin and nerve allergies) is usually observed in neonates, or manifests itself in the first few months. The greatest risk of its occurrence arises when:

  • The fetus in the process of natural birth is a breech pregnancy.
  • Position the fetus in the womb so that the wall of the uterus rests on the neck.
  • Childbirth is difficult and the baby's mastoid muscles are damaged (scars may form).
  • The use of forceps and vacuum suction for difficult births becomes necessary.
  • The sternocleidomastoid muscle becomes inflamed during intrauterine growth, so muscle tissue is replaced by fibrous tissue in the inflamed area.
  • The sternocleidomastoid muscle is pathologically shortened and hypertrophied.
  • With a caesarean section.

How can you cure torticollis?

  • The conservative method is with the help of a course of massage and physiotherapy, special chiropractic for the baby's head, wearing an orthopedic collar and physical exercises.
  • Operation - performed if conservative methods have not yielded results. During surgery, the surgeon lengthens the sternocleidomastoid muscle and holds the child's head upright.

Different types of neck pain

Severe neck pain

neck pain due to sedentary

Why throbbing pain in the neck? There are two reasons:

  • Trauma (fracture, blow, contusion).
  • Invasion of nerve endings - this is a case of osteonecrosis, herniated disc, compression of the spinal canal.

Treatment for pain depends on the cause and includes:

  • Prescribe pain relievers.
  • Muscle relaxants and antispasmodics to reduce muscle spasms.
  • Immobilize (immobilize) the cervical spine.
  • Exercise therapy and physical therapy.

Severe neck pain

Severe neck pain is always uncomfortable. I want to quickly figure out why it hurts and recover. What are the causes of severe pain?

  • Acute exacerbation of osteonecrosis, when an unsuccessful movement, rotation or shock causes displacement of the vertebrae, encroachment of an existing hernia mass, and compression of the spinal nerves.
  • Cervical spondylitis (inflammation and compression of the spinal roots).
  • Cervicago - "low back pain" (severe muscle spasms).
  • Severe back and neck pain can occur after trauma.

Neck pain due to bone necrosis

Neck pain due to osteonecrosis is very intense and brings the patient many minutes of discomfort. Due to muscle spasms or displacement of the vertebrae relative to each other, the arteries supplying the brain can become pinched or twisted. In the most severe cases, this can lead to a condition similar to a pre-stroke, where a person experiences dizziness, everything hangs in front of their eyes, sometimes losing both voice and vision.

Left neck pain

left neck pain

Left side neck pain is a possible symptom of problems not only in the cervical spine but also externally. What can a person suffer from left neck pain?

  • Heart disease (heart attack, coronary heart disease, angina).
  • Lung cancer on the left side.
  • Injured.
  • Metastasis of the tumor from other organs to the nodes of the left neck.
  • Inflamed lymph nodes (due to tonsillitis, ARVI, tonsillitis).

Right neck pain

Pain in the right neck is an alarming symptom, but often explained in a one-sided way: a person has osteonecrosis with all the consequences that follow. Those consequences include entrained nerves, muscle spasticity, disc protrusion and herniation, and vascular disorders.

But there are other causes of right neck pain:

  • Biliary colic that radiates to the neck and shoulders.
  • Right apical lung cancer with tumor invasion of superior nerves.
  • Bruises, trauma, broken collarbones and vertebrae.
  • Tumor of the cervical spine (metastasis from other organs).
  • If the pain is concentrated in the right front of the neck, it can also be a sign of heart problems (heart attack, coronary artery disease).
  • Inflammation of the lymph nodes due to ARVI and pharyngitis.

Neck and shoulder pain

neck and shoulder pain

Pain in the neck and shoulder is a classic sign of cervical spondylosis and its associated complications (invasion of hernia, nerves, spinal cord). In addition, neck and shoulder pain is also a symptom of conditions such as:

  • Gallstone disease in acute exacerbation, with biliary colic.
  • Heart disease.
  • Shoulder.
  • Cervical plexusitis is inflammation of the large ganglia of the spinal nerves.
  • Shoulder periarthritis and shoulder bursitis - shoulder tendonitis and shoulder capsule.
  • Myositis.
  • Arthritis.

Neck and back pain

As a rule, pain in the neck and lower back is a sign of widespread osteonecrosis, which has invaded the entire spine. After all, it is not the case that posture in one part of the spine is good and in another part bad. With osteonecrosis, neck pain is mild when the disease is in remission, and severe pain if the disease has worsened. An exacerbation begins with a sharp pain in the neck and back accompanied by unsuccessful turning, movement, and impact. It can be eliminated with the help of medications prescribed by a doctor, rest, mild heating on the affected area, exercise, and physical therapy.

Neck and back pain

Pain in the neck and back of the head is often a symptom of fibroids - a dangerous but not fatal disease. But sometimes it indicates meningitis, and the disease is life-threatening. The causative agents of meningitis - bacteria and viruses - invade the brain and spinal cord, and cause inflammation of their membranes.

Numbness, pain in the neck and back of the head, stiffness in the occipital muscles, the inability to simultaneously pull the head to the chest, leg flexion at the knees - all are meningeal symptoms that should alert a doctor. Treatment of a dangerous disease is carried out in the hospital,

In addition to meningitis and osteonecrosis, causes of neck and back pain can be trauma, occipital neuralgia, hypertension, and muscle strain.

Neck pain causes and symptoms


neck pain due to sports injury

The cause of neck pain sometimes becomes trauma, whereby cervical vertebrae are displaced or broken, and spinal nerves are damaged. Injuries can result from accidents, falls, trauma, bad diving, or sudden movements. Symptoms of a neck injury include:

  • Improper bending of the neck, inability to turn the head, and tension in the chest and neck muscles suggest a fracture of the lower vertebrae.
  • Pain at the top and back of the head is a sign that the first cervical vertebra is damaged.
  • Swelling and "bruising" can be the result of a neck injury.
  • Neck pain when turning the head, shoulders, upper chest, and headaches are symptoms of whiplash injury, which occurs due to alternating movements of neck flexion and extension (which can occur when the vehicle is braking sharply).


neck pain in men due to tumor

An extremely dangerous cause of neck pain is malignant cancer. How can it be?

  • Neck pain is a symptom of a tumor in the upper part of the lung. It sprouts bundles of nerves and blood vessels, causing intense pain. A person may be bothered by left or right neck pain, depending on the location of the tumor.
  • A symptom of neck pain sometimes indicates the development of lymphoma - cancer of the lymph nodes. Since many lymph nodes are concentrated in the neck, they grow as the disease progresses, and it is difficult not to notice it. Other prominent signs of lymphoma are heavy sweating, seemingly gratuitous fever, and weight loss.
  • Salivary gland cancer is a tumor that affects the salivary glands behind the ears, on the side of the neck, and in the nasopharynx. In the early stages, it is not painful, only sometimes you may notice seals in the affected glands.
  • A tumor of the larynx develops into its wall, visually indicating a tuberous tumor. They are difficult to notice during routine examination, so, unfortunately, cancer is diagnosed at a late stage, when other symptoms become apparent: sensation of a foreign body in the throat, hoarseness and voicenose, difficulty breathing. nose. A tumor of the larynx is also dangerous because it is prone to early metastases, which greatly worsens the patient's prognosis for recovery.
  • Thyroid cancer presents with nodular masses, pain in the front of the neck, and voice changes.
  • In choriocarcinoma of the thyroid, patients complain of difficulty swallowing and moving food in the larynx, sensation of a foreign body or a lump in the throat.

Pain reflected in diseases of other organs

Pain that radiates to the neck does not always indicate that the problem is in the neck itself. Sometimes it hurts because the health of other organs is not good, and then the pain is called reflection. What diseases can cause it?

  • Cardiovascular (myocardial ischemia, heart attack, angina) - they are accompanied by attacks of pain, when the pain spreads to the shoulders, neck, sometimes to the arms.
  • Pain in the right neck, below the right collarbone, and in the right shoulder occurs when biliary colic has stones in the gallbladder.
  • Diseases of the esophagus (reflux, erosion, ulcer).
  • Cancers (lymphoma, tumor metastases) are the cause of human suffering when tumors affect the nerves. Therefore, apical lung cancer when the tumor grows upward will lead to pain in the neck and shoulder area. Intracranial tumors, head tumours also cause cervical spine pain.
  • Abscess and head bulge.
  • Bleeding into the subarachnoid space between the brain and its delicate tissues.

Psychological causes of neck pain

Symptoms of neck pain are often accompanied by muscle spasms. Spasms aren't just caused by stress, trauma, or trauma - causes can be stress, nervous shock, and fatigue. Why is this happening?

The fact is that the body perceives stress as a threat to its health, and this makes it active. There is a release of stress hormones into the blood, the heart rate increases, and the digestive process, on the contrary, slows down. Muscles increase in response to hormonal changes. As soon as the alarming situation is experienced, the body goes into normal mode. But if emotional stress takes place in a chronic form, muscle spasms become persistent, and vice versa, diseases of the spine develop (osteonecrosis, hernia, disc protrusion).

Sedentary lifestyle, regular computer work

neck pain due to computer work

Neck pain is often caused by poor posture, and the cause of poor posture may be a weak corset. As a rule, this happens in people who do not exercise, lead a sedentary lifestyle and work a lot on the computer. The situation is aggravated because the workplace is often not arranged correctly, and the person sits stooped or stooped uncomfortably. As a result, pain spreading to the neck becomes a constant companion, ordinary muscle spasms are formed, degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs begin, osteonecrosis develops. And even with osteonecrosis, neck pain becomes a constant companion: periods of diminishing pain are replaced by exacerbations and with only sensible treatment, minimal lifestyle changes. Movement to movement, postural control, and strengthening the muscles in the neck and back can break this cycle.

Diagnosing neck pain

How to determine the cause of neck pain and confirm the diagnosis?

  • First of all, you need to collect the history:
  • Anamnesis of life. It is important to find out if there has been a previous neck and shoulder injury, what disease the person has, has it become chronic, has had a cold and hypothermia recently. For example, the reality of cholecystitis may explain the painful sensation in the neck - with biliary colic, the pain sometimes spreads only to this area. At the same time, the causes of left neck pain can be: tumor in the upper part of the left lung, myositis, and compression of the left spinal root.
  • History of the disease - how it started and how, which doctor was consulted by the patient, what examination and treatment was prescribed for him, how it affected the course of the disease (whether the disease progressed or not). grow better or worse).
  • Imaging tests will help confirm the diagnosis - the doctor palpates the lymph nodes and muscles, checks the mobility of the head and neck, assesses the condition and color of the skin, looks for possible lesions and injuriescan see.
  • If neck pain is suspected as a result of other organ diseases, the patient should be referred to a specialist - oncology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, cardiology, etc. v.
  • In other cases, diagnostic radiation will help clarify the diagnosis: MSCT, CT, X-ray.
  • Sometimes electromyography (ENMG), an electrophysiological study, is a useful diagnostic procedure, determining the condition of the muscles and peripheral nervous system.

Neck pain treatment

Medicines for treatment

treat neck pain with medicine

Medical treatment of neck pain, if due to cancer or other organ problems, is aimed at dealing with the identified underlying disease. If the problem is caused by diseases of the spine and muscle strain, then the following medications may be prescribed:

  1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. NSAIDs are available as tablets, injections, and in gels and ointments. During the acute phase, both may be prescribed (several hours apart). So, if you can turn your head away from the pain in your neck with just tears, injections and ointments will come to the rescue.
  2. Muscle relaxants are drugs that decrease skeletal muscle tone.
  3. Antispasmodics - drugs to reduce smooth muscle spasms.
  4. Vitamin B is needed to improve metabolism and synthesis of neurotransmitters.
  5. If blood circulation is impaired due to compression of blood vessels and muscles, vasodilators will be prescribed.


Neck and back pain massage is applied when the acute symptoms of the disease have subsided. The beneficial effects of massage are:

  • Improves blood flow in the affected area
  • Relieve muscle spasms, relax, help relieve stress and fatigue
  • Remove eye bags and inflammation
  • Improves blood supply to the brain
  • Restoration of joint mobility

Physical therapy

Physical therapy for neck pain begins at the same time as medication, when acute symptoms subside or are in remission. During the acute stage of the disease, only manipulations with analgesic effect are prescribed. Physiotherapy works well, because the impact is targeted specifically on the affected area. What procedures can be done?

  1. Electrophoresis with different drugs. Under the action of alternating current, the drug penetrates deep into the tissues.
  2. Phototherapy (laser therapy) - exposure to a beam of light of a fixed wavelength over the affected area of the body.
  3. Magnetic therapy is a method of treating pain under the neck and in the neck by using an alternating or continuous magnetic field. The method has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.
  4. Ultrasound therapy helps relieve neck pain and inflammation.
  5. Detensor therapy is the stretching of the spine by a person's weight on a special mattress with inclined ribs. This type of physical therapy normalizes muscle tone, relieves tension.
  6. Shockwave therapy (SWT) is based on the impact of low frequency sound waves that cannot be heard by the human ear. Treatment with the help of shock wave therapy allows you to reduce or disappear pain, improving blood flow in the area of \u200b\u200bcontact with the device.
  7. Vibration therapy - exposure to mechanical vibrations with a vibration massager.
  8. Therapeutic gymnastics (physical therapy exercises) - a complex that can vary from traditional gymnastics to an individual group of exercises, developed taking into account the patient's diagnosis and condition.

Surgical intervention

Surgical treatment of neck pain is indicated when conservative therapy has not yielded the desired results:

  • Pain that does not go away with medication
  • There are signs of compression of the spinal cord and roots.
  • Pronunciation and increased weakness in the muscles of the hand

Usually, herniated disc removal operations are performed simultaneously with the fusion and immobilization of adjacent vertebrae. To remove the compression of the spinal cord, tomography is used - removal of part of the vertebral arch, followed by removal of bone tissue and hernia.

After surgery and proper rehabilitation, the symptoms of neck pain no longer bother the patient.

Prevent neck pain

healthy lifestyle to prevent neck pain

When it comes to neck pain, turning your head, leaning or lying comfortably becomes a big problem. And if it hurts a lot, then life won't be satisfying at all. You can avoid neck troubles by taking precautions. What are we supposed to do?

  • Choose a comfortable sleeping position, a firm mattress, and a low pillow so your shoulders don't fall.
  • Monitor your posture: don't slouch, don't sit stooped.
  • Do at least simple exercises to strengthen your neck muscles regularly. Stretching and yoga are very helpful.
  • If you're someone with a sedentary lifestyle, take breaks every hour and a half to walk, stretch, and stretch.
  • Protection against physical injury: do not forcefully rotate the neck, avoid impact and traumatic sports loads.
  • Break the habit of talking on the phone by pressing it to your ear and shoulder.
  • Avoid nervous shocks, stress and anxiety. Negative emotions and anxiety can cause stiffness, fatigue, and muscle cramps.
  • Loading either shoulder is undesirable, as the deformity of the spine causes neck pain on the right or left side.
  • Avoid colds and drafts that can cause myositis (inflammation of the neck muscles).
  • Drink plenty of decaffeinated liquids. Sufficient water allows you to efficiently transport the substances and electrolytes your muscles need.
  • Eat foods that contain calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. A deficiency of these substances can cause muscle spasms and neck pain.

Severe neck pain can seriously ruin your life, especially if it happens at the wrong time - during a long-awaited vacation, for example. Therefore, at the first "call", should not ignore the alarming signals of the body, but go to the doctor and get the doctor's recommendations. It's no exaggeration that you need to remember about prevention: moderate exercise, sleeping and working with a comfortable position, proper nutrition and weight distribution during carrying will help maintain the health of the neck.