Cervicalgia is neck pain, and millions seek help from healthcare professionals for this very common complaint every year. There can be many different reasons for neck pain, and the cause may be as minor as a muscle strain or as severe as stenosis. It is important for people suffering from any type of neck pain to be evaluated by a medical professional, as great harm can be done if a serious underlying cause goes untreated.
Any activity that places a significant amount of pressure on the neck can cause cervicalgia. For instance, many people complain about neck pain immediately upon awakening in the mornings, which may be due to sleeping in positions that fail to adequately support the neck. Common complaints may also come after sitting in the same position for an extended period of time since bad posture while sitting and standing can cause neck pain.
Often, this condition occurs due to injury. Muscle strains are a common injury of the neck and are usually a result of overstretching. A strain is caused by an injury to a muscle or tendon. Automobile accidents, falls, and sports-related activities, which may result in hard jarrings of the neck, are some usual ways to get a strain. Other than neck pain, an individual with a strain may also experience stiffness, tenderness, and neck spasms.
Another common cause of cervicalgia is general wear and tear, which can happen from overuse and as a direct result of aging. Arthritis can be an age-related condition that may cause neck pain, and in many incidences, bone spurs will form in spaces affected by arthritis. The formation of these tiny bony prominences can make the pain worse by placing added pressure on connecting nerves, which can also cause difficulty moving the neck.
Spinal stenosis can also cause this condition. If neck pain is caused due to some sort of stenosis, this generally means that there is a narrowing in one or more parts of the spine. The narrowing typically appears in the neck and the lowest portion of the back. Other symptoms of this condition can include numbness and weakness in the neck, back, arms, and legs. If the condition is very severe, some individuals may also experience problems with walking and maintaining balance.
A patient presenting neck-related symptoms to a medical professional will be sent for diagnostic tests for an accurate diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans are commonly used to diagnose neck problems. It is important for people not to self-diagnose cervicalgia, as this type of pain could indicate a serious health problem. Neck pain accompanied by a fever, chill, nausea, and a headache could all be symptoms of meningitis. Although not very common, pain in the neck can also be caused by tumors, which makes seeking prompt medical care all the more important.