My neck hurts – what should I do? Causes of neck pain in adults and children, treatment and exercises


Neck pain or cervicalgia does not bypass either young or old people. The ailment can occur due to completely different reasons: excessive mobility or limited movement during sedentary work. Sometimes this symptom is a consequence of serious illnesses and requires medical attention..

Why does the neck hurt?

The neck, as one of the vertebral sections, is the shortest, therefore more susceptible to damage. Do not immediately consult a doctor with cervicalgia. First you need to determine the nature of the pain and its frequency. If pain symptoms in the cervical region both at rest and during exercise make themselves felt, then it is better to be examined for possible neck diseases in a medical institution.

There is a classification depending on localization:

  • Somatic superficial evidence of damage to muscle and bone systems.
  • Somatic deep – that important internal organs are injured.

Depending on the place of deterioration of the nervous system:

  • Peripheral nerve cells are affected – neuropathic.
  • If the pain is associated with the central nervous system – central.

The reason often lies in childhood diseases, which were asymptomatic, without medical supervision. It is especially important to pay attention to this symptom in a child in order to avoid problems in the future. The causes of neck disease in children can be:

  1. The development of improper posture. When sitting at a table or on a sofa with a sedentary lifestyle, the spine bends. It is easy to identify a defect, for this you need to put the child near the wall and evaluate: the spinal column has sufficient deflection or not.
  2. Small neck injuries received during games, running, falling from a height, require a medical examination.
  3. Muscle spasm when trying to turn your head leads to acute pain. Such minor nuisance arising after a long uncomfortable sitting or lying posture leads to complications and inflammations..
  4. Weight lifting. A satchel, bag or briefcase, having a lot of weight, strain the cervical muscles of the child. After in this area there is a pulling pain.
  5. Inflammation of the lymph nodes. A sudden sharp pain, with a return to the ear, characterizes the disease. In severe cases, an increase in temperature is added..
  6. Meningitis. Especially dangerous for babies. Symptoms – temperature above 38 degrees, vomiting, loss of consciousness, cramps.
  7. Torticollis. A pathological condition in which the cervical vertebrae cannot take the correct position. It is necessary to treat a defect before 9-10 years, otherwise the face will be asymmetric.

Back pain in the neck

To answer the question: why does the neck hurt from behind, you need to observe the sensations. Periodic pain in the back of the head, at the base of the skull, numbness with a sharp turn indicate the likelihood of spondylosis. With this disease, osteophytes (processes) are formed in the bone tissue. Nerve roots are compressed, and soreness occurs. The same symptoms are observed with spondylolisthesis.

Neck aches in front

The front part hurts when there is local inflammation of the lymph nodes under the jaw. This occurs with tonsillitis and otitis media. Often the pain in the neck in the front is continuous, pulling and intense. In addition, inflammatory thyroid diseases – acute thyroiditis – also manifest themselves. The pain ahead, which does not go away after taking painkillers, is evidence of heart problems, so angina is manifested.

Side muscles of the neck ache

Soreness of the lateral muscles of the neck occurs if hypothermia, inflammation of the lymph nodes on the side, has occurred. When the neck hurts on the side, often still unpleasant sensations are given, giving back to the arm or chest. Such pain leads to dizziness, high blood pressure, and fainting. Symptom characteristic of displacement of the vertebral discs.

It hurts to turn the neck to the left

Head turns can be painful in the cervical region. This indicates muscle strain. The use of warming ointments with an anesthetic component or a pepper patch blocks severe pain in the neck, but if it is painful to turn the neck to the left side for more than two days, this should serve as a reason for contacting a specialist for further consultation.

Neck pain when head is tilted back

The consequences of malaise when throwing the head back are whiplash injuries of the cervical spine with cracks and fractures. In addition, pain is evidence of pathological changes in the structure of the spine that appear in patients with excess weight. If it is constantly painful to tilt your head back, among the possible causes, doctors call the presence of diseases:

  • hypertensive crisis;
  • brain tumors;
  • strokes (circulatory disorders of the brain);
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Sore neck on the left side behind

Doctors call fibromyalgia the reason the neck hurts on the left side behind. With this disease, tendons, muscles, tissues become more sensitive and respond with unpleasant sensations when bending and turning the head. Colds, injuries and an improper position during sleep, a sharp physical activity during sports can cause illness. Spinal stenosis and arthritis make themselves felt with the same symptoms..

Neck hurts right behind

In cases where the neck hurts from the back to the right, you need to pay attention to the occupation performed the day before. Sometimes this symptom speaks of a simple muscle strain caused by an uncomfortable sleep or long sitting with the head tilted to the right. Even this reason can lead to pathological conditions. However, constant severe pain in the neck on the right side for no reason is a symptom of an intervertebral hernia or osteochondrosis.

Neck hurts front left

Any pain in the front of the cervical region is associated with inflammation of the organs located in this area. This is the thyroid gland, larynx, trachea. A neck pain from the front to the left in cases where there are diseases with left-sided localization:

  • angina;
  • pharyngitis;
  • tonsillitis;
  • myositis;
  • lymphadenitis;
  • lymphangitis;
  • neck cyst.

Neck and shoulder pain

The occurrence of simultaneous unpleasant sensations in the cervical and shoulder sections below not only limits activity, but also serves as an occasion for urgent medical attention. In addition to the obvious reasons that cause pain in the neck and shoulders, such as excessive physical exertion, doctors call dangerous ailments. Among them: arthritis, arthrosis of the shoulder joint, myalgia, plexitis, shoulder-shoulder periarthritis.

Neck pain

Sometimes the patient cannot determine exactly where the pain is most concerned about, but they are concentrated in the cervical region or near it. Such pain in the neck is even more dangerous, immediate examination with the help of modern devices is required: MRI, radiography, ultrasound. In most cases, the diseases are not confirmed, but sometimes serious diseases are detected: osteoarthritis, radiculopathy, osteochondrosis.

Pulls the neck

The department is responsible for part of the spine, muscles, lymph nodes and nerve endings. Often the muscles of the neck hurt and pull due to damage to one or more organs. The drawing feeling is caused by:

  1. Stretched or cold muscles, physical strain, minor injuries.
  2. Cervical osteochondrosis. He is diagnosed with such pain that radiates to the back of the head and back..
  3. Thyroiditis. To all these symptoms are added a still high fever, lethargy, swelling of the neck in the thyroid gland. Often pain still extends to the ear.

Heaviness in the neck

Hypertension, neurosis, angina pectoris, and other ailments associated with the vegetative and cardiovascular systems lead to heaviness in the neck. The ubiquitous osteochondrosis, which affects most of the population, is often to blame. When this symptom is combined with nausea, dizziness, fainting, high / low blood pressure, it is better to take tests and make an appointment with a therapist or osteopath.

The neck burns behind – the reasons

Pain in which there is a burning sensation in the back is very dangerous. If the neck is burning from behind, giving back to the head, this is the complication of spinal stenosis. It leads to compression of the spinal cord and the occurrence of cervical myelopathy. This is caused by thickening of the spinal ligaments, bulging discs, bone spikes. In some cases, pain is completely absent, only an unpleasant burning sensation remains..

Acute neck pain

This type of cervicalgia suggests that the disease has not yet passed into a chronic form. She can appear for a short time and let go, but even this should alert the person. Causes: injuries, pinched nerves, spondylosis of the neck, ankylosing spondylitis, herniated discs, meningitis. If acute neck pain is repeated daily after a working day, you should think about how to organize the work so that the cervical spine does not feel tension.

Neck aches constantly

Persistent pain in the neck for 3 months or more is classified as an independent disease. They can last a long period, and if the patient is not examined and continues to extinguish attacks with antispasmodic tablets and creams, then sooner or later they will become chronic. Any disease goes into this form and is not amenable to treatment, but there are drugs that alleviate the condition for a long period.

Sharp pain in the neck

A sharp pain in the neck or shooting occurs suddenly, it is short-lived, it is quickly forgotten, but this is a harbinger of many diseases. Here you need to pay attention to where the return occurs. Unpleasant sensations that give into the hand indicate that you need to be examined for cervical radiculitis and osteochondrosis. Diseases are similar in symptoms because the second often follows after the first. When irradiation to the arm or chest occurs, it is an acute spasm of the muscles or cervicago (cervical lumbar).

Breaks his neck

Aching and numbness in the cervical part is characteristic of all forms of osteochondrosis. If symptoms occur, you can try to do self-massage, it helps a lot. However, in the event of a recurrence, the appearance of headaches, and a return to the heart area when the neck breaks, you need to urgently call a doctor. This is one of the signs of a heart attack, and you should not joke with this disease..

Severe neck pain

The degree of pain is determined by each patient individually, in any case, it is impossible to endure severe pain in the neck. These symptoms indicate the likelihood of diseases: ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid polymyalgia (focuses on the shoulders). If at the same time the neck is still swollen, then it is necessary to conduct an examination and identify if there are any tumors in the cervical spine. They are confirmed extremely rarely, but you need to know about them. The easiest way is to take a detailed blood test.

sore neck

Aching sensations, which often do not want to be paid attention to, are not so safe. They are cause for concern. The cause may be the onset of an exacerbation of a chronic disease, as well as a nervous strain. The second factor begins after any experience. When the neck is aching from behind, in most cases it is better to relax, do a light massage, take a sedative.

How to get rid of neck pain

A large number of ailments, due to which such sensations arise, gave rise to many ways to deal with it. To understand how to relieve pain in the neck, first you need to undergo an examination, or at least go to the doctor. Specialists involved in cervical diseases:

  • therapist;
  • neuropathologist;
  • rheumatologist;
  • traumatologist;
  • orthopedist;
  • osteopath.

It is not necessary to go through all the doctors at once, it is much more important to correctly describe the feelings that disturb. Often it turns out to remove pain after following some medical recommendations at home:

  1. Do gymnastics with an instructor or according to a specially designed program without overloading the neck.
  2. In cold weather, put on a scarf and avoid drafts so as not to get cold and get sick.
  3. Stop smoking, it harms blood vessels and blood supply.
  4. Choose a comfortable pillow and hard mattress for sleeping.
  5. Do not make sudden movements.
  6. Do not be nervous.
  7. Take antispasmodics during an attack.
  8. To study folk remedies, such as compresses and decoctions, but apply only after consulting a doctor.

In some cases, a surgical method is required, although more often neck pain is treated with physiotherapy, acupuncture and massage. For each type there is a different diagnosis on the equipment or without its use. So, CT, MRI, digital x-ray of the cervical spine determine complex inflammatory diseases, their concentration. Thanks to this, treatment begins at an early stage..

Cure for neck pain

First aid should come immediately. The patient can take the drug on his own. All medicines for neck pain are divided into internal and external. The first are different ointments, gels and creams with an anesthetic component. They need to be smeared on the painful area. Applicable:

  • Ketorol;
  • Nurofen;
  • Ketanova;
  • Voltaren;
  • Long.

The internal ones include tablets and capsules:

  • Paracetamol;
  • Analgin;
  • Spasmalgon;
  • Iburofen;
  • Imeta.

Cooling, warming compresses, soothing herbal teas can not completely cure, but they also help. It is of great importance what components are included in these substances. The herbs of valerian, motherwort, hops, lemon balm will not relieve the progressive disease, but they will calm. For some people, these methods work like a placebo, leading to incredible results..