Neck pain (cervical spine pain) is a common medical condition. It can come from a variety of disorders and diseases and may involve any of the tissues in the neck.
Some examples of common conditions that cause neck pain are degenerative disc disease, neck injury such as whiplash, neck strain, a pinched nerve or herniated disc.
Referred pain is also common. Often shoulder pain and headaches can manifest as neck pain. Infections that cause swelling of the lymph gland can lead to neck pain. Some other more rare infections such as tuberculosis and meningitis can also cause neck pain.
The pain experienced may be a dull ache that is worsened with movement of the head or neck. You may feel tingling, tenderness, numbness or sharp pains. Sometimes patients with neck pain also have trouble swallowing or feelings of lightheadedness. The pain may be associated with face pain, shoulder pain or back pain.
The course of treatment for neck pain depends on the specific cause.
Some options for treatment include rest, physiotherapy, anti-inflammatories and soft tissue therapies such as acupuncture. In more severe cases, surgical procedures using minimally invasive techniques may be recommended.