What Are The First Symptoms Of Neck Pain & How Do You Test For It?
Neck pain is a common problem felt by almost every person at least once in his life. It is felt in the morning soon after waking up. It is caused by poor posture in sleep, thick and firm pillows, and minor injuries. It is represented by involuntary contraction, stiffness, limited movement and pain in the neck. It resolves in one or three days without treatment. Home remedies such as ice application, warm bath, and others can reduce the pain remarkably. But, in severe cases, it has other reasons such as torticollis, osteoarthritis, cervical spondolysis or whiplash. In such cases, it does not go without treatment.
Neck pain is a common entity in our daily life. Many people have experienced neck pain at least once in their lives. It is usually felt in the morning after waking up. It is not a serious condition or problem. It mostly happens due to minor injuries or bad posture. It usually goes on its own in one to three days without medication or slight medications. In severe cases, it can cause serious problems triggered by many health issues such as acute torticollis, whiplash, osteoarthritis, cervical spondylosis, etc.(1)
What Are The First Symptoms Of Neck Pain?
The first symptoms of neck pain may include-
Muscle Spasm- it is a sudden and involuntary contraction of the muscles. It results in the feeling of stiffness, pain, and knot in the neck. People also refer it as a crick in the neck.(2)
Muscle Ache- sore and hard knots in the muscles of the neck. These muscles are tender to touch. Neck pain is the pain felt in the backside of the neck usually in one side only.(2)
Stiffness- stiffness in the neck is the tightness in the neck muscles. It increases when a too long time is spent in one position. It increases the pain that disables the affected person to move the neck.(2)
Nerve Pain- neck pain develops in the muscles of the neck. It radiates to the arms and legs. It is nerve pain that leads to the sensation of pins and needles in the arms. It is accompanied by burning, numbness or weakness in the arms.(2)
Headaches- headaches are often associated with neck pain. Headache is dull in nature which is felt in the backside of the head. It may also radiate to the sides and front of the head.(2)
Decreased Range Of Motion- neck pain causes limitation in the movement in the head towards the shoulder. It reduces the range of motion in the neck due to stiffness and muscular spasm.(2)
How Do You Test For It?
X- Rays helps to find out of pinching of the nerve caused due to bone spurs or degenerative changes. CT scan shows cross-sectional views of internal structures in the neck region. MRI scan is a precise scanning test that creates detailed images of bones, soft tissues of neck region including spinal cord and nerve fibers originating from the spinal cord.(3)
In certain cases, neck pain is suspected to be caused due to a pinched nerve. In such cases, electromyography is performed to study the speed of nerve conduction for the proper functioning of the nerve. Blood tests are also done in order to know the inflammatory conditions or infections in the neck region.(3)
Neck pain represents muscular spasm, muscle ache, nerve pain, stiffness, headache and decreased range of motion in the neck region as initial symptoms that are experienced. It can be detected through blood tests, imaging tests such as x-rays, MRI scan, CT scan, electromyography, and blood tests.
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