Mechanical Neck Pain
What are the symptoms associated with mechanical neck pain?
The pain may spread down an arm to a hand or fingers. This is due to irritation of a nerve going to the arm from the spinal cord in the neck. Often mechanical neck pain is associated with other symptoms such as cervical radiculopathy that may be aggravated during times of excessive fatigue or stress. If you are curious to know if you are experiencing mechanical neck pain or cervical radiculopathy, feel free to contact me.
Restricted motion and pain in the neck that may spread to the base of the skull and/or shoulders are the main symptoms experienced with mechanical neck pain.
Movement of the neck often feels restricted and makes the pain worse
What is the outlook (prognosis) for a bout of mechanical neck pain?
- The outlook is usually good in most cases of acute (sudden onset) neck pain.
- Symptoms commonly begin to improve after a few days. But, the time it takes for symptoms to decrease varies based on the person and history of the condition. If symptoms are still present after three (3) days, I recommend that you have it looked at by a health care professional. If you would like for me to evaluate your condition, contact me at your convenience.
- Chronic and persistent neck pain occurs in some individuals. Chronic neck pain will result in the pain coming and going with some exacerbation ("flare-up") during times of stress. Often these "flare-ups" are due to poor postures or weakness. In these situations it may be best for you to engage in some form of active rehabilitation program.
How can I tell if the pain is due to a more serious cause?
A thorough assessment and examination is used to determine what type of neck pain you have is mechanical neck pain or a more serious cause. The following are the sort of symptoms that may indicate a more serious problem.
If the pain becomes progressively worse with or without treatment.
If you start having numbness or tingling of the arm or if you start to feel weakness or clumsiness of a hand or arm, or persistent numbness. As mentioned, some numbness and pins and needles may occur with mechanical neck pain, but this is very mild and is not associated with weakness.
If you feel ill with other symptoms such as weight loss, fever, etc.
If the neck bones (vertebrae) are tender, which may indicate a bone or joint issue.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, do not wait, have your neck looked at IMMEDIATELY.
What are the treatments for common mechanical neck pain?
The aim of therapy is to create optimal and pain free neck movement.
Pain Medication - it is best to speak to your medical doctor or a pharmacist to determine the best form of medication for you.
A good supportive pillow to aid in unloading a weakened neck as poor sleep habits can lead to increased stress and fatigue resulting in repetitive micro-trauma to the neck and poor breathing patterns
stress management as increased stress results in poor breathing habits and furthering irritation to a weakened neck
Treatment may vary and you should go back to see a health care professional
if the pain becomes worse.
if the pain persists beyond 3-5 weeks.
if you start experiencing numbness, weakness, or pins and needles in one or both of your arm and hand, or if pain travels along your back.
What about driving?
In order for you to drive safely (ride a bicycle or motorcycle) you must be able to turn your head quickly. Therefore, I recommend that you do not drive until you are able to move your head freely and you are free of pain. If you would like some help with your neck pain, feel free to contact me at your convenience.
Call Now to Determine if you have Mechanical Neck Pain
CAUTION: The above is only a guide and should not be used as a substitute for being evaluated by a regulated health care professional that has experience in managing neck pain. If you have any questions about your condition, please feel free to contact me at your convenience. If you feel that this is a medical emergency, please visit your closest hospital emergency department.