Neck pain is a frequent medical problem. Neck pain may be caused by common diseases, such as a viral infection of the throat, which results in enlargement of the lymph nodes (glands) and neck discomfort. Neck discomfort may also be caused by uncommon illnesses, including neck tuberculosis, spine bones in the neck (osteomyelitis and septic discitis), and meningitis (often accompanied by neck stiffness).
Nevertheless, the following are well-detailed ailments that usually accompany neck pain.
There are various possible explanations for why you could have neck discomfort when suffering from a migraine. One possibility is that the migraine may impact the trigeminocervical complex, a region of the brain containing pain neurons that connect to the face and upper neck. Some experts say musculoskeletal disorders (such as poor posture and common illness) may provoke migraine by stimulating nerves in the upper neck.
The precise connection between migraine and neck discomfort is uncertain. It complicates determining how to manage neck discomfort caused by migraine. Indeed, the best way to address related neck discomfort may be to treat the migraine itself.
2. Heart Attack
During a heart attack, the diaphragm (the muscular layer behind the lungs and heart) and a neighboring auxiliary nerve might become inflamed, causing pain to radiate to other areas, including the neck and shoulders. You may also have neck and upper body pain, hurting, or discomfort in the absence of chest symptoms.
Neck discomfort is also a possible sign of a heart attack. It often occurs in conjunction with other heart attack symptoms, such as shortness of breath, sweat, nausea, vomiting, and arm or jaw discomfort. If your neck aches and you are experiencing any signs of a heart attack, immediately dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency facility.
Meningitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the thin tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis is most often associated with infection and inflammation of the cerebrospinal fluid and its surrounding meninges—the arachnoid mater and pia mater. While the dura mater may be relatively uninflamed, nerve fibers may get stimulated, resulting in neck discomfort and nuchal stiffness.
Meningitis patients may have these symptoms: stiff neck, headache, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and fever. Meningitis is a potentially dangerous infection and is a medical emergency. If you have meningitis symptoms, get medical attention immediately.
4. Stenosis of the Cervical Spine
As the spinal canal becomes small with time and the spinal cord is compressed, cervical stenosis occurs.
The discs that divide and cushion the vertebrae in the spine may dehydrate. Consequently, the gap between the vertebrae will reduce, and the discs will not absorb shock. Simultaneously, the spine’s bones and ligaments grow less elastic and thicken. These modifications result in the spinal canal being narrower.
The degenerative changes associated with cervical stenosis might impact the vertebrae by promoting bone spur formation that compresses the nerve roots. Mild stenosis may be conservatively managed for a more extended period if the symptoms are limited to neck discomfort. Severe stenosis may obstruct the spinal cord, resulting in damage, necessitating referral to a back and spine specialist.
Neck discomfort is the most common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the neck, and its intensity varies by individual. You may have a dull or throbbing aching at the base of your skull near the back of your neck. Swelling and stiffness in the joints might make it challenging to move from side to side.
Osteoarthritis results from regular wear and strain on your neck joints as you age, resulting in stiffness and restricted neck mobility. At the same time, RA is an autoimmune illness that may affect the joints in the upper region of the neck, causing significant neck discomfort and stiffness. Occasionally, arthritis causes the spinal canal to shrink, resulting in a pinched nerve that radiates agony down your arms, legs, and neck.
The Bottom Line
Neck pain is a common nuisance to many people. However, neck pain can either signal or be accompanied by other illnesses and ailments. If you suspect that your neck pain is associated with something more serious, you need to seek medical care as soon as you can.
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