What Can Cause Chronic Neck Pain?


Quick Answer

Chronic neck pain may result from neck muscle strains, neck joint wearing and tearing due to aging, and diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and meningitis, according to Mayo Clinic. Injuries to the neck and pressure on the neck nerves resulting from disk herniation are other possible causes of neck pain.

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What Can Cause Chronic Neck Pain?
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Full Answer

To determine the cause of neck pain, a doctor reviews the patient's medical history and examines the patient physically before ordering further tests such as imaging tests and blood tests, notes Mayo Clinic. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are some of the imaging tests that are handy in this process. Depending on the severity and underlying cause of neck pain, treatment options may include neck exercises, over-the-counter medications including ibuprofen and naproxen, and prescription medications including tricyclic antidepressants and muscle relaxants. Various therapies including physiotherapy, temporary immobilization and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation are also applicable in treating neck pain. In extremely severe cases such as when neck pain results from pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord, surgery may be an option.

Chronic neck pain is a condition in which an individual experiences persistent ache in the neck, states Everyday Health. Because neck pain may signify a serious underlying condition, it is advisable to visit a doctor when neck pain occurs together with other symptoms such as hand and arm numbness, or shooting shoulder pain, advises Mayo Clinic. However, neck pain mostly results from mild conditions.

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