Neck pain: what diseases are characterized by such a symptom and how are they treated?

Everyone is confronted with neck pain more than once in their life. If the neck hurts, the cause in most cases is in the cervical spine. Let's take a closer look at each disease.


With hypothermia and a cold, myositis of the throat develops - acute inflammation of the muscles. A person begins to experience severe pain in the neck and shoulder, a slight temperature rises. On palpation of the painful area, the skin over the muscle is edematous, swollen, and hot to the touch. If you try to turn your head to the affected side, you experience severe pain and tightness in the muscles of your neck.

pain in the neck

Myositis can manifest itself against the background of a respiratory or viral disease. Then there is pain in the throat, neck, swollen lymph nodes.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs quickly and effectively help stop inflammation. Various ointments and gels can be used locally. Here it is necessary to add an important fact about the Finalgone - you need to lubricate it with a thin layer and under no circumstances should it be washed off with water.

You can use semi-alcoholic and warming compresses - with vodka, diluted alcohol or dimexide. Folk remedies also help well: boiled potatoes, rub with honey, apply mashed cabbage leaves.

In addition to treating myositis, colds are treated - antiviral or antibacterial drugs, vitamins, sprays in the nose and throat. For quick relief from a sore throat, a spray will be of great help - a powerful antibacterial and antifungal drug, the effect of which can be felt 20-30 minutes after the start of treatment.

Cervical osteochondrosis

Everyone has heard about the disease, but the reasons for its development are still a mystery.

Predisposing factors are injuries, prolonged forced position, microtrauma of muscles and tendons during heavy physical work, dystrophic processes in the spine, old age, menopause.

neck pain

With protrusion, instability, hernia in the cervical spine, there is compression of the nerve roots, blood flow in the vertebral artery is disturbed, which leads to cerebral ischemia.

All symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are divided into:

  • Reflex;
  • radicular and vascular compression;
  • spine.


  1. Reflex symptoms appear with prolonged irritation of the tissue receptors of the pathological spine. Nerve impulses from the affected vertebra enter the spinal cord and cause changes in the surrounding muscles and tissues. The muscles on the healthy side take over all functions and form a pathological movement stereotype. And the muscles on the affected side fix the displaced vertebra in a certain position, preventing its further curvature. But they also do not give the opportunity to take a physiological position. If at this moment a person does not go to the doctor and chiropractor, then muscle atrophy, degenerative changes in the tissues of the vertebrae, cervical osteochondrosis occur. In the future, the progression of the disease causes inflammation and fibrosis of the muscles of the shoulder girdle, inflammation of the periarticular bag is formed. Reflex symptoms:
    • pain along the spinous processes - palpation of the neck causes discomfort, pain and shooting in the vertebrae;
    • Tightness and pain in the muscles of the neck, aggravated by trying to turn or poke your head;
    • Cervicalgia - aching or stabbing pain in the neck, may periodically subside, giving the person pause. But with loads, sitting for a long time (e. g. on flights, long bus or car journeys), the pain is not long in coming. With cervicalgia, a person may periodically hear a crunch in the neck, feel discomfort and numbness of the skin;
    • Cervicocranialgia - Heaviness and aching pain in the neck that spreads to the head. Most often, the back of the head suffers - there is a feeling of heaviness, a feeling of "throbbing", numbness, a person wants to support his head with his hand or lean against a hard surface. Periodically there are "hot flashes" - it seems that the back of the head and neck are burning or freezing. Sleep also suffers - it is intermittent, superficial, the patient wakes up in the morning sluggish, apathetic, tired. The pain can spread over the whole head - photophobia appears, aching pains in the temples, neck, eyes, an increase in blood pressure, nausea and vomiting often occur;
    • Cervicobrachialgia - pain in the neck spreading to the shoulder and arm. There is pain and spasms of the shoulder muscles, stiffness, pain in the shoulder joint, crunch, difficulty trying to raise or take away the arm.
  2. Compression of the roots and vessels of the spinal cord is manifested in vertebral artery syndrome. This is a large complex of various manifestations of compression of the vessels of the vertebrae. There are 3 groups of symptoms that directly indicate the disease:
  3. pain in the neck
    • throbbing and aching headache of a persistent or paroxysmal nature, burning, unbearable. Increases with prolonged uncomfortable position, spreads from the back of the head to the forehead;
    • cochleovestibular changes - dizziness, unsteadiness when walking, various sounds in the ears (clicking, ringing, buzzing). Dizziness in a patient is constant or paroxysmal, worsening a person's quality of life;
    • Visual pathology - darkening and "flies" in front of the eyes, discomfort and a feeling of "sand", burning, decreased vision.

There are several types of manifestations of vertebral artery syndrome:

Barre-Lieu syndrome - there is pain in the back of the neck and back of the head, passing to the front sections of the head - "remove the helmet". It worsens at night and after sleep, especially if the person has slept on an uncomfortable pillow. When turning the head, dizziness and tinnitus appear, darkening in the eyes.

Basil migraine - before a migraine attack, darkness appears in the eyes, flashing black dots, photophobia. The attack begins with severe dizziness, tinnitus, impaired articulation of the tongue (a person has difficulty pronouncing words). Severe pain in the neck, in the back of the head, makes a person immobile to reduce the attack. At the peak of the headache, in severe cases, there is vomiting - fainting.

Cochleovestibular symptom - aching pain in the neck, grinding when tilting and turning the head, dizziness, hearing loss and impaired speech intelligibility. Patients are often unable to distinguish whispered speech.

Eye syndrome - against the background of cervical osteochondrosis, vision is impaired. When reading, a person develops rapid eye fatigue, onset of loss of visual field, reddening of the conjunctiva, and lacrimation.


The disease is characterized by "wearing out" of the cartilage with bone growths on the edge of the articular surface. The disease occurs at any age, but most often occurs in the elderly. Trauma, inflammation, congenital changes in the joints can lead to the development of spondylarthrosis.


The patient is disturbed by aching pains in the cervical spine, which are aggravated by turning and tilting the head. Often a person cannot fully turn his head to the side, an attempt to increase the range of motion causes back pain. In the supine position, the pain subsides. In addition to the neck, the spinal column region, knee and hip joints are also involved.

As the disease progresses, there is a narrowing of the intervertebral disc canal in the neck and lumbar region. Spondylogenous myelopathy develops - a chronic disease of the spine with a weakening of muscle tone and dysfunction of internal organs. Myelopathy provokes an increase in pain in a person, reduces the speed of blood flow in the vessels of the neck and head.


Prolonged pain in the neck, the inability to bring the head fully to the chest - symptoms can also speak of rheumatoid arthritis of the spine. The disease develops against the background of polyarthritis - multiple lesions of the joints.


The pain occurs in the neck, spreads to the back of the head, and increases when the head is tilted back and forth and rotated left and right. A person cannot fully move his head, the muscles of the neck are tight and painful. In severe cases, a life-threatening complication develops - bulbar syndrome. Its manifestations are diverse and depend on the degree of pinching of the medulla oblongata during atlas subluxation. The patient's speech is disturbed - it is slurred, slow, and the person quickly gets tired of speaking. Swallowing is also disturbed, especially liquid food. A person chokes, liquid flows through the nose or corners of the mouth. Heart activity is disturbed - arrhythmia, tachycardia appear.

Got to the doctor for neck pain

In children, cervical spondyloarthritis develops as a complication of acute sinusitis - inflammation of the sinuses. The disease is called Grisel torticollis after a French doctor. The disease is formed by a defect in the articulation of the atlas and tooth of the axial vertebra.

The symptom of the disease is specific and allows for quick diagnosis: the child's head tilts towards the source of inflammation and is slightly turned to the healthy side.

The treatment of cervical osteochondrosis and spondyloarthritis is the same. The patient needs advice and treatment from a manual therapist. The specialist positions the vertebrae quickly and painlessly, eliminating the need for expensive treatment in the clinic. If necessary, a neurologist in the clinic will prescribe a number of drugs every six months or a year: these are injections that are administered intramuscularly or intravenously, and tablets.

Well helps in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis massage of the collar zone, acupuncture. You can use self-massage - rub the neck muscles from the back of the head to the shoulders with gentle circular movements. You can not forcefully massage the muscles of the neck - you can provoke an increase in arterial and intracranial pressure.

Patients often use the applicator - the point action of the needles reduces muscle tension, stimulates blood circulation. It is necessary to use applicators only after consulting a doctor and an accurate diagnosis - needles are contraindicated in the oncological process, since they stimulate tumor growth.

With vertebral artery syndrome and cerebral ischemia, nootropic therapy is mandatory: intravenous injections of drugs that stimulate vascular circulation, increase oxygenation of the brain, reduce attacks of dizziness and tinnitus.

tuberculosis of the spine

When tuberculosis spreads to the bones and joints, the spine is most commonly affected. The danger of the disease lies in a long period of silence. Tuberculosis does not manifest itself in any way for 2-4 years. With the progression of the disease and destruction of the vertebral bodies, there is a feeling of heaviness in the neck and shoulders, indistinct pain in the spine without a clear localization.

A person cannot hold his head alone for a long time, he constantly tries to support it with his hand. Due to severe neck pain, the patient avoids turning and tilting the head. When the vertebra is destroyed, the process spreads to the surrounding tissues, an abscess is formed - an abscess in the capsule. A swelling of dense elastic consistency appears in the nape of the neck, slowly increasing in size. An abscess can spread to the throat, causing coughing, difficulty swallowing, and a sore throat.

Treatment of the tuberculosis process is carried out in a specialized tuberculosis dispensary. Treatment is difficult and lengthy, with many side effects. Strong synthetic bactericidal preparations are used. Course doses are prescribed with 2-3 drugs. Monthly blood and urine tests and an examination for Mycobacterium tuberculosis are done during treatment. Every two months, the patient undergoes an X-ray examination.

Cancer of the cervical spine

The tumor can appear at any age. A neoplasm can grow from cartilage, bone, and nerve tissue. The tumor can be an independent disease or a metastatic focus of another organ. Most often, metastases in the cervical region lead to breast, prostate, lung and stomach cancer.

Symptoms increase as the tumor spreads: a person has constant pain in the neck, there is difficulty in tilting and turning the head. There is weakness, sweating, fatigue. The growth of the tumor and the compression of the roots and blood vessels lead to tremors and weakness of the arms and shoulder girdle, constant headaches and dizziness.



  • surgical intervention - complete radical removal of the tumor in healthy tissue;
  • chemotherapy - cytotoxic drugs that slow down the division of tumor cells and prevent their further development;
  • Radiation therapy - the effect on tumor cells with ionizing radiation;
  • symptomatic treatment - painkillers in the last stages of cancer, narcotic analgesics are most often used.

Cancer of the spine is an extremely dangerous disease, the manifestations of which are often attributed to osteochondrosis, and the treatment of which is late. Therefore, when pain occurs in the cervical spine, X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging is required. This allows you to quickly diagnose and initiate appropriate treatment.

In the polyclinic, an MRI is extremely rarely prescribed for cost reasons - however, this examination is carried out in many private centers for a fee. It is better to pay several thousand rubles and protect yourself than to treat the disease for a long time without knowing what is the cause of the problems.