Back pain is a problem that often strikes fear into the heart of sufferers. Both necks and spines appear to be vulnerable, and many people worry that any pain in that area could be as a result of a severe medical problem. However, sufferers should be reassured that in fact the majority of spinal pain episodes have no serious cause at all. Of course, occasionally, there are serious causes of pain in the back or neck, and here, we look at some of the red flag symptoms to watch out for that could indicate a need to see a medical professional to have the problem assessed.
Signs Of Serious Neck Problems
Very rarely, a pain in the neck may be caused by cancer, an infection, an injury to the spinal cord or an autoimmune disease, however these conditions have very clear symptoms as well as pain which allow the condition to be promptly and correctly diagnosed.
If you meet all three of these conditions, you should seek medical investigation.
- You have experienced pain for over 6 weeks
- The pain is not getting any better or is actually worsening
- You have another red flag symptom i.e. one of the following:
- Tapping your spine lightly causes pain
- You have lost weight without being on a diet
- You are experiencing chills or a fever
- You have a bad headache or cannot bend your head forwards
- You have poor coordination, a feeling of heaviness or weakness, numbness, awkward gait or shooting pain in your limbs
- You feel sick, vomit or feel dizzy
One of the key signs that the pain in your neck may be as a result of an autoimmune condition is that you have a family history of suffering from autoimmune conditions. Other symptoms of an autoimmune problem include a slow progressive increase in your symptoms below the age of 40, extra stiffness in the morning, pain in the other joints, a rash, trouble with digestion, sore eyes and urethral discharge.
Stabbing, Sharp and Shooting Pains In The Neck
If you experience a sharp pain in your neck this is usually nothing to worry about. Usually, an isolated sharp pain is generally a sign of minor irritation to the cervical spine. More serious causes of pain in the neck such as a tumor, inspection or spinal cord problem will cause a throbbing pain as opposed to a stabbing one.
Can A Stiff Neck Be A Serious Problem?
Although a stiff neck may be worrying, in fact usually it is a minor problem caused by irritation. If you have difficulty and pain in tilting your head forward this could be a more serious condition – meningitis – however there are more signs that accompany this condition.
Some Of The Causes Of Neck Pain
While many of these causes may be unpleasant, they are not dangerous to your health:
This disease feels like the lungs and chest are being gripped. It causes intense pain which is sometimes in the neck. If you are struggling to breathe, this could be the condition you are suffering from.
This parasitic condition is caused by consuming undercooked game or pork. Digestive disturbances comes along with this condition.
This condition is a inflammation of the arteries in the temples. It causes several symptoms including scalp tenderness, fever, a severe headache, vision problems, jaw pain and ringing sounds in the ears together with pain in the neck. It is very rare in people under 50.
This causes the lymph nodes in the neck to swell and bulge as a response to an infection or disease.
This is an inflammation of the brachial plexus (the nerves which exit the cervical spine). This causes pain in the arm, shoulder and neck together with weakness in the limbs.
This condition causes an inflammation in the throat’s thyroid glands and comes with other symptoms like weight gain, fatigue, depression, fuzzy headedness and constipation.
This condition causes an abnormal elongation of a small piece of bone at the rear of the throat which then stabs into the neck causing the sensation of a lump inside the throat as well as moderate pain.
Although many people worry when they experience pain in their neck, there is usually no cause at all for concern. Far from suffering from a serious medical problem, sometimes, there is no explicable reason for pain in the neck, it just occurs and then eventually goes away in time.
Neck pain, as strange as it may seem, is sometimes actually caused by overprotectiveness of the brain. If this is the case then worrying about the pain is not a good idea as it has been shown that the more you focus on the pain that you are experiencing, the worse it will feel.
Shoulder And Neck Massage
If you are experiencing pain in your neck, back and shoulders and you can be certain that there is no serious cause, there are several things that you could try to relieve the pain. As well as taking anti-inflammatories and NSAID painkillers you could try having a neck and shoulder massage.
There are many different massage techniques which can be very helpful in loosening tight muscles and alleviating pain in this area of the body including Swedish and Shiatsu. You can either use the services of a professional masseuse or use an electric massage device to enable you to save money while getting the same experience in the comfort of your own home.
There are numerous different kinds of massagers available on the market including massage cushions, massage chairs and neck massagers, all of which can prove useful in treating pain and other problems in the back, shoulders and neck. Check out this page and you can learn more information about the various types of massager available for purchase and make an informed decision about which is the right one for you.