Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Pain in the neck can be more than just a hassle. Neck pain can come from disorders and diseases of any structure in the neck. There are seven vertebrae that are the bony building blocks of the spine in the neck (the cervical vertebrae) that surround the spinal cord and canal. Between these vertebrae are discs and nearby pass the nerves of the neck. Within the neck, structures include the neck muscles, arteries, veins, lymph glands, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, esophagus, larynx, and trachea. Disease of any of these structures can lead to neck pain, including cervical spinal stenosis, myofascial pain, ankylosing spondylitis, spinal tumor (rare), cervical foraminal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis.
Neck pain is medically referred to as cervicalgia.
Neck pain can be associated with
- neck soreness,
- sharp pain,
- radiating pain,
- numbness and tingling in the arms,
- muscle pain,
- stiff neck,
- throat pain,
- loss of bowel or bladder control,
- difficulty lifting or gripping, and
- weakness of the arms.
A review of our Patient Comments indicated that people with neck pain may also have coexisting symptoms. Some patients reported suffering headaches, neck stiffness and tenderness, and shoulder aches, while others felt as if their neck muscles were bruised or having muscle spasms. Others mentioned feeling groggy and tired. Read on to learn more about neck pain symptoms in our Patient Comments.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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Examples of Medications for Neck Pain
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, Bayer, Ecotrin, and others)
- celecoxib, Celebrex
- hydrocodone/acetaminophen, Vicodin, Vicodin ES, Vicodin HP, Anexsia, Lortab, Lorcet, Lorcet Plus, No
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- OTC Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers
- rofecoxib, Vioxx
- Tramadol: for Pain (Ultram, Ultram ER, Conzip)
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