Experiencing neck pain is something we all get to go through at some point. Unfortunately, there is really no way to avoid it. Many times, we can chalk the pain up to sleeping in a funny position or wrenching our necks the wrong way, but if you’ve ever wondered if something more is going on, you aren’t alone. At the Spine Institute of North America, we have helped many people suffering from neck pain, and we’ve been able to see how many problems can cause it. We discussed ways to evaluate whether or not your neck pain needs medical attention in our last blog, and today, we want to get into the many medical conditions that can have you wincing and rubbing your neck.
The neck is what we call the cervical spine, and it is just as vulnerable to issues as the rest of the spine. Unfortunately, when you’re suffering from one condition, it might have neck pain as part of its symptoms. The pain can make already-difficult situations worse. However, knowing where your neck pain is coming from can help you keep your focus on the real issue. We want to discuss medical issues that are known for causing neck pain in hopes of providing clarity for you. The neck pain caused by following issues we’re going to discuss is not life-threatening, but the conditions are definitely unpleasant!
Conditions That Cause Neck Pain
- When you experience disease or infection, the lymph nodes in your neck can swell up and bulge, causing considerable discomfort. The good news here is that you’ll probably be experiencing a bunch of additional symptoms that make it clear that something else is going on.
- It is highly unlikely that you’ll ever experience this disease, as it is pretty rare. Caused by a virus, it feels like a tight grip on your lungs and chest and can easily cause neck pain. It is a temporary infection, but if you feel like you can’t breathe, definitely go see a doctor for a diagnosis.
- This issue manifests itself in a bunch of unclear symptoms, which makes it difficult to diagnose. However, if you have neck pain in addition to tiredness, depression, constipation, weight gain, and a fuzzy-headed feeling, this may be the issue troubling you.
- The brachial plexus is a bunch of nerves leaving the cervical spine (your neck). It can get inflamed for no known reason, and when this happens, you will experience pain in your neck, shoulder, and arm. The pain actually weakens the arm, causing the muscle to atrophy. After a few months, it goes away, and complete recovery is possible.
- There is a little piece of bone at the back of your throat called the styloid process. It is skinny and sharp. When you have Eagle’s syndrome, your styloid process is elongated and will “stab” into your neck. Though this condition is rare, its symptoms include neck pain, pain in the jaw, and pain in the throat.
- When you have this condition, the arteries in your temple get inflamed. The result is fever, jaw pain, ringing in the ears, severe headache, scalp tenderness, and neck pain. It usually shows up in people over 50 who are suffering from another infection or disease.
- This disease is parasitic. It happens when people eat undercooked or raw wild game or pork. It causes indigestion, spasming, and muscle pain all over the body, including the neck. It is something to take seriously because it can range from mild to fatal.
Turn to the Spine Institute of North America
When you struggle with health conditions, neck pain can be part of the trouble. However, if you are dealing with significant neck pain, whether it has come on gradually or not, the team at the Spine Institute of North America is here to help. We have the expertise and experience to explore and diagnose whatever discomfort you are dealing with. Our diagnostic process includes the following:
- A physical examination by one of our spine doctors.
- Assessment of your medical history.
- Diagnostic testing like imaging and labs to get a clear picture of what is going on.
Once we understand the issue you’re dealing with, it’s time to dive into treatments! We provide a wide array of both operative and non-operative services that we will tailor to your treatment needs. Non-operative treatments include physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, and medications. If it turns out that you need something more, our minimally-invasive spine surgery procedures can make all the difference. Several different procedures may help you, including cervical facet radiofrequency ablation, cervical epidural steroid injection, and trigger point injection. You can learn more about these procedures, and if the need for a procedure is confirmed, we will always ensure that you understand just what is going to be done.