Why does the neck hurt and how do I get rid of it?

The most common cause of neck pain

Neck pain can be related to many different abnormalities. The underlying cause can be due to both diseases of the musculoskeletal system and dysfunction of internal organs.

Pain relief does not solve the problem: the diagnosed conditions need to be adjusted according to an appropriate treatment.

Possible Causes of Neck Pain

There are many known reasons for the appearance of pain in the neck. The origin can be diseases of the musculoskeletal system, circulatory disorders in the neck, vascular disease.

Spine pathology is one of the most common causes of pain syndrome. The neck can also be painful due to pathologies of internal organs, infectious and viral processes.


With cervical spondylolisthesis, neck pain is caused by thinning and deformation of the vertebral disc. These disorders lead to the formation of small cracks in the vertebra, provoking the growth of bone cells and the appearance of a hernia. Pathogenesis has a traumatic effect on the surrounding tissues and nerve endings, causing an inflammatory process.

With necrosis of the spine of the cervix, pain syndrome is localized at the back of the neck. When the neck was turned, the pain became more uncomfortable and irritating.

Pain that gets worse when you turn your head or sudden movements, cough or sneeze. As bone necrosis develops, the pain spreads more and reaches areas of the shoulder and forearms.

The pain becomes especially severe in the morning. There is also stiffness in movements, and the patient cannot turn his head to one side.

Gradually the pain becomes less pronounced, moving from acute to dull.

The intense pains in osteonecrosis of the cervical spine are compared by the patient to an electric shock - they look like being shot and stabbed.

In addition, with the indicated disease, the following symptoms are observed:

  • weak hands;
  • headache;
  • fainted;
  • dizziness;
  • noise and tinnitus;
  • feels disoriented;
  • insomnia;
  • Emotionally unstable
  • .

Neck myositis

Cervicitis is an inflammation of the muscles of the neck. The main symptom of this deviation is intense pain, which can be reduced or increased. The patient cannot turn his head, tilt forward, or lean back.

Usually, the pain from myositis extends to only one side of the neck, but sometimes it can affect both at the same time. Pain is characterized by irradiation to the upper body.

In addition, with inflammatory processes of the neck muscles, the neck gets worse, the vertebrae form swollen. Pain may occur in the head area, spreading to the back of the head or temples. Difficulty chewing and swallowing food was also observed.

As the pathological progression, temperature increases, coughing, attacks of suffocation.

Ancient spinal hernia

This pathology is the result of the progression of bone necrosis. It is very dangerous: there are a large number of nerve endings in the spinal cord in the region of the cervix. In addition, there are centers responsible for supplying oxygen to the lungs. That is why, with a hernia, there are headaches, dizziness and suffocation.

Symptoms of diseases can occur with neck pain

Severe protruding hernia can cause suffocation.

If the herniation has attacked the disc between the first and fourth vertebrae, the pain is short-lived and is of a sudden nature. With the defeat of the fourth posterior spinal disc, pain is localized in the shoulder region, after the sixth vertebra - from the shoulder joint to the fingers of the upper limb.

In addition to neck pain, the patient also:

  • feeling weak in the hand, numbness;
  • reduced head mobility;
  • migraine headaches;
  • dizziness;
  • vision impairment.

With the progression of the disease, coordination of movements is impaired, the person becomes less stable.

Degenerative cervical vertebrae

In degenerative cervical degenerative diseases, inflammation of the facial joints is observed due to their broken structure. In this case, the joints are under increased stress and damage, resulting in the formation of osteoporosis - bone-growing substances that put pressure on nerve vessels and roots.

With degenerative cervical vertebrae, there are short-term pains in this area, spreading to the arms, behind the head, and the shoulder blades. In addition, the sensitivity in the neck area is reduced, and the ability to move after sleep is limited. In addition, the patient noted dizziness and a flying fly in front of his eyes.

The nature of pain depends on the stage of degenerative spondylosis:

  1. It is practically not present at first: only when prolonged exertion does a feeling of discomfort arise.
  2. In the second stage, acute pain occurs in the morning.
  3. On the third day, the patient felt a constant burning and pain.
  4. At the fourth stage, the mobility of the affected joints is impaired and over time, if not treated properly, they are completely motionless.

As the pathological progression, other symptoms appear: tinnitus, numbness in the neck and shoulders, changes in blood pressure, impaired ability to coordinate movements.

Bechterew's Disease (ankylosing spondylitis)

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory process of the spine, spreading to the joints and ligaments. In this disease, the inflammatory process initially affects the junction of the sacrum and pelvis, then slowly spreads to the upper parts, causing the entire spine to degenerate.

Sometimes the development of a pathological process begins in the neck, namely, due to inflammation of the cervical gland. In this case, the patient feels a sharp low back pain from neck to arm.

When you have ankylosing spondylitis, the spine is stiff, your chest has limited movement and your spine loses flexibility. The spine is curved in the thoracic spine and lumbar. In this case, a "pleading pose" is observed.

The disease progresses slowly and goes away for a long time so I don't notice.

Spinal tuberculosis

Tuberculosis of the spine can affect any part of it, while the neck spine is least prone to it. However, such a pathology still occurs (in 5% of cases).

Symptoms in this case are:

  • severe, constant pain in the muscles of your neck;
  • swelling of the affected area, constantly increasing in size;
  • sore throat;
  • Cough
  • ;
  • Difficult to swallow.

Very strong spinal tuberculosis pain syndrome. The patient tries not to move his head, as this causes him great pain. In this case, all the muscles, including the deep layers, are damaged.

Tumors of the cervical spine

Tumors in the cervical spine are quite rare, but metastasis from tumors located in the kidneys and mammary glands often enter this area.

When there is a tumor in the neck, the patient will experience severe pain, which is more intense as the pathology progresses.

neck pain with tumor formation

Also, symptoms like:

  • muscle weakness;
  • muscle cramps;
  • numbness;
  • headache;
  • dizziness;
  • difficult to swallow;
  • insomnia;
  • stunned, turned into fainting;
  • cold sweat profusely.

Taller tumors in the neck affect the brain. This leads to the appearance of neurological symptoms that have been mentioned in the list.


The neck muscles often hurt in the case of meningitis. It is an inflammatory process that affects the lining of the brain or spinal cord. In this case, spasm of the muscle fibers of the occipital part of the head occurs.

When meningitis, the patient feels dull pain in the neck, unable to lie on his back in a normal position.

Meningitis also has the following characteristics:

  • persistent headache, in which there is a feeling of enlargement of the skull from the inside;
  • cramps on the upper and lower extremities;
  • illusion
  • ;
  • aggression helplessly;
  • increased body temperature;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • does not have the ability to perceive bright colors;
  • impaired consciousness.

Thyroid disease

The functions of the thyroid gland affect the patient's general health and cause a characteristic range of symptoms.

This part of the endocrine system is located in the throat, hence, inflammation or other damage causes pain in the neck. A similar symptom occurs with hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, the development of a goiter of the thyroid gland. The pain that begins to appear is due to an increase in the size of the gland, as well as hormonal disturbances in the body.

With these ailments the pain is painful, frequent and localized in the front of the neck. The pain may be brought to the occipital region, the parotid region. The tingling sensation can also occur cyclically.

Other Symptoms:

  • feeling hot;
  • increased sweating;
  • tachycardia;
  • is ​​sleepy.

Nerve pain

Cervical spinal cord pain is a squeezing of nerve roots involved in a structural violation of the disc.

neck pain with neuralgia

Cervical nerve pain accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Neck pain occurs suddenly when the head is turned, touching the area near the occipital nerve. In the early stages of the development of the pathology, pain is localized in the lower part of the neck, in the back of the head, and then spreads to the eye area. The essence of pain is an acute sensation of pain like an electric shock.
  • Increases sensitivity.
  • Scalp pain.
  • Persistent unilateral headache.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Fever, chills.
  • Shake hands.

Neck pain can be caused by a feeling of stress and exertion.

Which doctor should I contact?

Frequent, pronounced and diffuse pain in the neck in certain areas of the body is a reason to see a doctor.

First of all, you should see a therapist, after analyzing the main symptoms, which will determine which specialist needs help in a particular case.

The following specialists are involved in determining the cause of pain in the neck, as well as in treating the underlying conditions:

  • Neurologist.This specialist treats conditions in which the nerve of the cervix or spinal cord is pinched. Neurologist deals with neck pain accompanied by migraine, dizziness, and convulsions.
  • Injury doctor.Doctor handles all cases of pain caused by trauma.
  • Dermatologist.Specialist treatment of the patient's condition in case of dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system, herniated disc, degenerative cervical vertebrae.
  • Orthopedists.You should consult your doctor about conditions such as cartilage thinning, scoliosis, osteoporosis.
  • Skeletal line.This specialty treats patients with osteoarthritis and vertebrae. Osteopath to treat osteonecrosis, correct posture for the patient.
  • Rheumatologist.Doctor treating cases of damage to muscle tissue and bone - rheumatism, arthritis.

In addition to the specialists listed, the help of a chiropractor, physical therapist, or masseur may be needed.

Diagnostic method

For pain in the neck muscles, such diagnostic measures are prescribed like:

  • collected prehistoric;
  • visual inspection;
  • checks the sensitivity of the affected area, as well as its mobility;
  • tests for blood and urine;
  • X-ray of the spine of the neck;
  • MRI;
  • CT;
  • Electromechanical
  • .

Based on the diagnosis, the specialist will determine the cause of neck pain and prescribe adequate treatment.

What to do if your neck hurts: treatments

A particular disease is treated according to a particular scheme. It all depends on the root cause of the pain syndrome, but you can highlight key approaches to eliminating discomfort.

Drug treatment

Neck pain is usually very severe. To prevent its severity, the patient is prescribed a drug. In this case, the following drugs are suitable:

  • anti-inflammatory drug in the form of tablets;
  • Muscle relaxants
  • - a pain reliever that relieves spasm;
  • Pain reliever
  • is ​​used during exacerbations of the disease.

For diseases that cause neck pain and are caused by degenerative processes of cartilage and bone tissue, it is necessary to use chondroprotectors - drugs that have a positive effect on the recovery process and also have analgesic effects.

In addition, patients with neck pain are given medications that help to normalize metabolism in the affected tissues.


Treatment of neck pain with physiotherapeutic procedures

If the neck muscles hurt due to degenerative processes of the spine, the following physical therapy procedures are prescribed:

  • diadynamic therapy- impact on affected areas by double current waves;
  • sauna therapy- activities related to water procedures;
  • electrotherapy- the effect of electric current on the affected areas;
  • magnetotherapy- the effect of a magnetic field on diseased areas of the cervical spine;
  • laser therapy- exposure to a laser.

Physiotherapy is not performed in the case of a patient with a serious general condition, during an exacerbation of osteonecrosis, in case of psychosis, in violation of integrityof the skin at the expected impact site.

The listed adjuvant treatments not only help to reduce the intensity of pain but also strengthen the immune system, restore adequate blood circulation in the affected areas, and reduce the severityof disorders of the musculoskeletal system.


For localized pain in the neck, massage therapy can also be integrated into complex therapy. These are taken by a therapist, as the wrong approach could cause additional damage to bone and muscle structures.

Neck massage, which helps relax muscles, is done while sitting or lying down. The impact is performed on the ladder muscles that support the cervical spine.

First, the expert performs light swipes from top to bottom. After warming, rub the area of ​​the mastoid process. Next, rub the nape of the neck, the vibrations.

One massage takes 3 to 10 minutes.


Neck pain relief surgery may be required in the presence of such conditions:

  • disc herniation;
  • compression of spinal roots, or radial patient;
  • spinal cord compression or myelopathy.

Neck spine surgery is aimed at removing areas of the vertebra that have a traumatic effect on the spinal cord.

Currently, classical manipulations that require a long recovery time are being replaced with less invasive techniques:

  • , in which intervention is performed through a puncture;
  • The
  • microsurgical action allows to remove the hernia without damaging the surrounding tissues of the spinal cord.

Folk remedies

For neck pain, you can try to relieve the pain yourself with folk remedies. The most effective is:

  • Apply the horseradish.Rinse the leaves of the horseradish with boiling water, let it cool to a comfortable temperature, then apply on the neck. Wrap a towel over it. Apply a gauze pad before going to bed and leave it on overnight. If there is a burning sensation, remove the gauze pad and rinse the area with warm water.
  • compresses laurel oil.It is recommended to dilute 10 drops of oil in 1 liter of warm water. Dip a tissue in the liquid and place it on your neck for 20-30 minutes.
  • Lubricate the affected area with honey.After applying, you need to press firmly on the treated area with the palm of your hand and then tear it up. Repeat until the honey is completely absorbed.

General recommendations

For diseases that cause severe pain in the spine of the neck, you should pay attention to the following recommendations:

  • Correct posture should be maintained both while sitting and walking.
  • If you have cervical spine pain during exertion, you should stop doing it, and give your muscles some rest. In the future, you should reconsider the amount of stress that the neck is subjected to.
  • You need to regularly spend time physically active, at least not too stretched. Swimming and yoga are beneficial for spinal health.
  • You should wear a backpack over a handbag: it gives a uniform load to the left and right parts of the body.
  • A contrast bath will be very helpful. The alternation of temperature has a positive effect on the blood circulation, not allowing blood and lymph to accumulate.

Similar recommendations can be used as a precaution.

Neck muscles can be painful due to various diseases of the spine, less often pain syndrome is caused by diseases of the internal organs. The treatment regimen depends on the cause diagnosed by the doctor after a thorough examination.