Is A Stiff Neck Serious
Rarely. Nearly all neck stiffness is minor, diffuse musculoskeletal pain: several mildly irritated structures adding up to uncomfortable, reluctant movement as opposed to physically limited movement. The most common scary neck stiffness is the nuchal rigidity of meningitis which makes it very difficult and uncomfortable to tilt the head forward but that will be accompanied by other serious warning signs, of course. Like feeling gross otherwise .
If you have severe neck stiffness for a long time, plus any other warning signs, there could be a worrisome cause but still probably not, and probably not urgent. Investigate if you have enough red flags, and even then its likely to amount to nothing.
Is It Something More Serious
If neck pain is severe, lasts for weeks or months, drastically limits your ability to move your head, radiates into the shoulders, or feels worse in the morning, consider seeing a doctor. Fever or weakness or numbness in the arms are other “red flags” that warrant additional evaluation. In some cases, an underlying physical problem, such as arthritis, an infection, or a compressed nerve, may be the cause. Depending on the diagnosis, you may need additional treatments or even surgery to relieve the pain and get back to your normal activities.
Simple neck stretch
Look straight ahead. Tuck your chin in slightly and move your head backward, slowly and smoothly. Be sure to keep your head level you should be gliding your head backward, not bending or tipping it. Hold for five seconds. Repeat five times.
Either Cervical Radiculopathy Or A Pinched Nerve
A compressed or irritated nerve is referred to as being pinched. It could be brought on by a traumatically herniated disc or wear-and-tear damage.
A herniated disc has symptoms that are comparable to those of a pinched nerve. Your arm may experience tingling, burning, or numbness as a result. When you move, your pain can get worse.
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Diagnostic Process To Treat Symptoms
Neck pain is not a diagnosis but rather is a symptom. An accurate diagnosis is essential to best clinical outcomes. Masking pain with medications and injections is a disservice as it risks the underlying problem most likely getting worse. Establishing an accurate diagnosis starts with history of the current Neck pain, aggravating, alleviating factors and triggering event. Review of past medical, surgical history and traumas is important. Thereafter a physical examination will focus on range of motion, muscle symmetry and an intact neurologic system. Radiographic studies are often recommended and may include flexion, extension x-ray, CT scans and MRI. At the Centeno-Schultz Clinic an in office ultrasound examination is used to evaluate tendon, ligament and muscle integrity.
Neck And Shoulder Pain On Left Side Causes & Solutions
Neck and shoulder pain on left side can have several causes. These may include:
- Strained or pinched nerves in the neck
- Arthritis and inflammation of the joints in the neck
- Stress and overuse injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your neck
- Pain caused by disc degeneration in the cervical vertebrae due to aging or wear and tear from such things as poor posture or sleeping disorders
- Cervical or neck injury from a car accident or sports problem causes the spine discs to herniate and press on nerves.
In addition, one study from 2015 suggests that neurological factors may play a role in neurogenic disorder-mediated muscle pain. In other words, this means that your nervous system may play an important role in the pain you feel.
Therefore, if you suffer from neck pain due to muscle injuries or nerve problems, specific strategies can help reduce the pain. This includes seeing a chiropractor for treatment and learning proper body mechanics , stretching techniques, and how to prevent other injuries that may continue to cause pain.
However, suppose your neck pain is due to issues like arthritis or other types of degenerative changes in your bones . In that case, surgery may be the only option for reducing pain. So make sure always to see your doctor if the condition is getting worse and not better.
Another major cause of neck pain is due to injuries related to sports. I can relate to this as an athlete who has suffered from recurring neck problems throughout my career.
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When To Call Your Healthcare Provider Or 911
Some causes of pain between the shoulder blades are serious and can be life-threatening.
- Shortness of breath
Even if you just have a “gut feeling” that something bad is happening, don’t wait. You need urgent medical treatment for many of the serious causes of pain between the shoulders.
Thoracic Vertebral Compression Fractures
Compression fractures are those that happen when the spine squeezes down to a shorter height. They can occur as a result of metastatic cancer or osteoporosis.
These fractures can cause interscapular pain.
Since fractures in this region aren’t as common as those in the cervical or lumbar spine, the diagnosis may be delayed.
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Neck And Shoulder Pain Medications
There are also medication options for treating neck and shoulder pain based on the cause of your pain. While some medications can be helpful for acute and mild cases of pain, others may help with moderate to severe pain after trying less invasive treatments and seeing no benefits.
A common first treatment is non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen . You can purchase this over the counter and use it for short-term relief.
Antidepressants, such as serotonin-and-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors , can also help with neck pain.
Your doctor might also prescribe muscle relaxants and anticonvulsants for temporary relief while you recover or skin patches containing capsaicin.
What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your neck pain, including how often it occurs and how much it hurts.
Your provider will probably not order any tests during the first visit. Tests are only done if you have symptoms or a medical history that suggests a tumor, infection, fracture, or serious nerve disorder. In that case, the following tests may be done:
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Treatment For Spinal Stenosis
You can use over-the-counter medications to help with inflammation and pain, but if those donât do the trick, you may need stronger ones from your doctor. You also may need physical therapy or to rest your neck for a time. If your pain is severe or you have a hard time moving, your doctor may recommend surgery to take the pressure off your spine.
How Is Neck Pain Diagnosed
Doctors diagnose neck pain with a physical exam and medical history. Your doctor will feel and move your neck to locate pain and find motion problems. Doctors also check your muscle strength and reflexes. Your doctor will ask about previous neck injuries that might have caused whiplash or a herniated disc. Your doctor may ask about work or other activities that could affect your neck.
To diagnose the cause of the pain, your doctor may use imaging tests such as X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography . These tests can show damage and other issues in the bones and surrounding tissues in your neck.
Other tests that your doctor may order include: electromyography, nerve conduction studies, myelogram and/or nerve root block. These tests look more closely at the discs in the spine, the spine itself, check the function of nerves and muscle response and source of the pain.
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Getting A Diagnosis For Neck And Shoulder Pain
Seek a medical evaluation for neck and shoulder pain if any of the following are true:
- Pain persists for a couple weeks
- Pain interferes with daily activities
- Numbness or weakness are present
Only a trained medical professional can give an accurate diagnosis. Once an accurate diagnosis is reached for the specific cause of neck and shoulder pain, an effective treatment plan can be started.
Other Reading On Painsciencecom About Neck Pain
- When to Worry About Low Back Pain And when not to! Whats bark and whats bite? Checklists and red flags and non-scary possible explanations for alarmingly back pain
- The Complete Guide to Chronic Tension Headaches A detailed, science-based tour of stubborn headache diagnosis and treatment, for both patients and professionals
- Massage Therapy for Neck Pain, Chest Pain, Arm Pain, and Upper Back Pain Perfect Spot No. 4, an area of common trigger points in the odd scalene muscle group in the neck
And the big one
- The Complete Guide to Neck Pain & Cricks One-stop information shopping: an extremely detailed guide to the myths, controversies, the nature of the beast and the highlight dozens of detailed, evidence-based reviews of treatment and therapy options. This huge tutorial also focusses on something thats very hard to find information on: the frustrating sensation of a crick.
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Sharp Stabbing And Shooting Neck Pains Are Usually False Alarms
Sharp neck pain is not in itself a red flag. Believe it or not there is no common worrisome cause of neck pain that is indicated by a sharp quality. In fact, oddly, sharp pains are actually a bit reassuring, despite how they feel. In isolation with no other obvious problem they usually indicate that you just have a temporary, minor source of irritation in the cervical spine. Serious causes of neck pain like infections, tumours, and spinal cord problems tend to grind you down with throbbing pains, not stab you.
Sharp, shooting pains are mostly neurological false alarms about relatively trivial musculoskeletal troubles: your brain reacting over-protectively to real-but-trivial irritations in and around the spine. The brain takes these much more seriously than it really needs to, but evolution has honed us to be oversensitive in this way. Thats not to say that the brain is always over-reacting, but it usually is. Most of the time, a sharp pain is a warning you can ignore.
What Causes Neck And Shoulder Pain On Left Side
Neck pain is listed among the top five pains in the world. Temporary neck pain, especially on the left side, can be caused by fatigue, poor sleep position, and irritating daily activities. To be real, the neck pain we experience is caused by inflammation, muscle strain, or tension. Although there is no severe and specific cause behind the left neck pain, persistent pain means being a bad thing.
Pain in the left side of the neck can be due to a number of factors, from muscle strain to compressed nerve. Most reasons are not bad. A sore neck is possible because of lying in an awkward position or holding your neck at an angle that stresses the muscles and tendons on that side. Often, the pain on the left side of your neck will subside on its own or by reducing the pain of the counter and relaxing. See a doctor if your pain is severe, is due to a recent injury, or if it lasts for more than a week.
What are the factors contribute to neck and shoulder pain on left side
Many people experience short-term neck pain because of a variety of daily activities and activities. However, neck pain is also one of the five most common chronic pain conditions. Pain on the left side of the neck usually occurs due to adverse causes, such as muscle strain from sleeping in a bad condition or inflammation. However, severe neck or left neck pain may indicate a worse health condition.
What things you can?
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What Symptoms Relate To Neck Pain
Neck pain often spreads from the neck towards the shoulders or upper back. It can often cause headaches. The pain may be worse when you hold your head in one position for a long time, such as at a computer.
Neck pain might also come with muscle tightness or spasms. You also may not be able to move your head very well.
If you have a neck injury, you might also have:
- pins and needles or numbness
- changes to your vision or hearing
- problems concentrating
- difficulty swallowing
See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
Common causes of neck pain include:
- sleeping in an awkward position
- tension in your muscles
- a slipped spinal disc
- wear and tear in the bones of the neck, which is a normal part of ageing
- wear and tear of the spinal discs . This is also a normal part of ageing
Rarer causes of neck pain include:
- damage to the vertebrae, spinal cord or nerves in the neck
- a compressed nerve
Exercises For A Trapped Nerve In The Neck
A physical therapist can demonstrate the best pinched nerve stretches for your symptoms.
Mild pain, however, may be relieved with gentle exercises. These moves focus on stretching neck muscles and alleviating pressure on the nerve.
To prevent further nerve damage, do these exercises slowly. You can perform them while sitting down or standing up.
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Pinched Nerve In The Neck
A pinched nerve in the neck is also called cervical radiculopathy. It means that a nerve in the neck, at a point where it branches off from the spinal cord, is being compressed by the surrounding bones, muscles, or other tissues.
It can be caused by a traumatic injury, such as from sports or an automobile accident, especially if the injury results in a herniated disk. It may also arise from the normal wear and tear of aging.
Symptoms include sharp, burning pain with numbness and tingling from the neck to the shoulder, as well as weakness and numbness into the arm and hand.
Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and simple neurological tests to check the reflexes. Imaging such as x-ray, CT scan, or MRI may be done, as well as electromyography to measure nerve impulses in the muscles.
A pinched nerve in the neck often improves with simply a few days or weeks of rest. Physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroid injections into the spine can all be very helpful.
Top Symptoms: pain in one shoulder, spontaneous shoulder pain, pain that radiates down arm, pain in the back of the neck, severe shoulder pain
Urgency: Primary care doctor
Clinical Registry On Outcomes
Following clinical outcomes is critical to patient care as it allows both provider and patient to identify successes and areas that require additional improvement. Our registry track is easily accessed and tracks changes to pain, function and overall improvement. To see the registry please click here.
The Centeno-Schultz Clinic has 17 years of clinical experience in the treatment of common orthopedic conditions utilizing PRP and Bone Marrow Concentrate. There are no Botox injections, medication management, or Radiofrequency Ablation procedures. Our exclusive focus is the advancement of Orthobiologics so that patients can avoid unnecessary and oftentimes life-changing orthopedic surgery. To learn more about Orthobiologics and how it can help you with your ongoing orthopedic pain, please watch the video below.
State of the Art Laboratory
At the Centeno-Schultz Clinic we have a university level laboratory staffed with Cell Biologists including a PhD. This allows us to use advanced, proprietary lab processing techniques to ensure we have the right concentrations of cells to treat your specific injury. In contrast most Regenerative clinics use one-size-fits-all bedside centrifuges which can lead to suboptimal clinical results. Each individuals body and injury is unique and as such requires a tailored, customized PRP and or Bone Marrow Concentrate for optimal healing. Dont cheat yourself.
Guidance on All Procedures
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Spinal Backrack Technology For Effective Pain Relief
The Spinal Backrack is a unique and innovative device that provides long-term back pain relief through exercises that are easy to do at home and use only your own body weight. Through these exercises, massages your back to relieve any tension or spinal compression that may be present.
When it comes to neck and shoulder pain, it effectively targets the entire portion of the upper back, to ensure that the pinched nerve can be relieved.
And the best part is that it is absolutely free of side-effects, as it is 100% natural.
Thousands of people have already seen its benefits, so why not be one of them? Read more below.
Development Of Neck And Shoulder Pain
The neck and shoulder are interconnected by many nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and other tissues. A problem in the neck can send pain to the shoulder, and vice versa. Some of the underlying biomechanics that can contribute to both neck and shoulder pain include:
- Muscle dysfunction. An injury or inflammation to a muscle in the neck or shoulder may lead to pain and stiffness. Sometimes when one muscle becomes tight or dysfunctional, nearby muscles may need to work more and become painful. The muscles connective tissues , tendons, or ligaments may also become injured or inflamed, possibly sending referred pain to nearby areas.
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Understanding Neck And Shoulder Pain
Neck and shoulder pain commonly occur together. This combination of pain can be particularly challenging because both the neck and shoulder may have reduced motion, which can affect many more routine activities compared to when just the neck or shoulder is involved.
See Could That Shoulder Pain Really Stem From the Neck?
Pain In Left Side Of Neck
It started as a low grade ache and has now progressed to a constant burn. Conservative care and medications have failed. Why is there pain in the left side of your Neck? How does the pain in the left side of Neck feel? What may be causing the Neck pain? What is the diagnostic process? What are the treatment options for pain in the left Neck? What are the Regenerative treatment options? Lets dig in.
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