Ways To Relieve Pain From A Neck Problem
Whether you have chronic pain in your shoulder, your neck or both, dont wait to see an expert. Having a neck or shoulder specialist evaluate your complaints will determine where the main problem is and will get you started on the correct treatment, says Dr. Ricchetti.
History And Physical Examination
Cervical angina often presents with anterior chest pain and has been described as sharp, achy, or crushing in quality. Some patients may even experience relief with nitroglycerin. Symptoms may be present at rest or exacerbated by physical activity. Associated neck pain, stiffness, headaches, shoulder, or arm pain may be present. Up to 50% to 60% of patients experience autonomic symptoms , but the mechanism is not well explained., The severity and chronicity of the discopathy often dictate the degree of deficits on physical examination. Except in cases of obvious nerve root compression, neurologic findings are often absent or nonfocal. Although cervical angina can present in varied ways, there are certain features in the patients history and physical examination that should increase suspicion for cervicogenic chest pain . The Spurling maneuver, performed by rotating the cervical spine toward the symptomatic side while providing a downward compression through the patients head, has been shown to reproduce symptoms of cervical angina in case reports., In a series of 257 patients with cervical nerve root pathology, a positive Spurling maneuver correlated with findings on computer tomography with a sensitivity of 95% and specificity of 94%.
Can Shoulder Pain Cause Chest Pain
Shoulder pain may be caused due to various reasons including arthritis, accidental trauma, infection, and overusing the shoulders. Tendonitis affects the movement of shoulders, and extending the arm beyond the limit may lead to shoulder pain and chest pain. When there is any muscle strain in the shoulder, it may also cause pain into the chest. Repetitive activities and long stretch work may also result in shoulder pain with chest pain.
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What Do I Need To Know About Neck Anatomy
You dont need to memorize the physiology and anatomy of your neck to improve its function and reduce pain, but its helpful to have a general understanding of your cervical spine.
Neck mobility is matchless. Although you wont get any Exorcist-style head spinning, it is capable of moving the head in many directions: 90° of flexion , 90° of extension , 180° of rotation , and almost 120° of tilt to either shoulder.
But all that mobility comes at the cost of complexity. First youve got your seven vertebrae , each cushioned by an intervertebral disc and connected by facet joints. There are also 32 muscles, plus the tendons that attach them to bones, that help move and stabilize the neck, as well as a number of ligaments attaching bones to each other. Thats a lot of action in a comparatively small area.;;
Pain Or Discomfort In The Chest
Most people experiencing a heart attack will feel pain in the center of the chest. This pain typically lasts for more than a few minutes. However, sometimes the pain may go away and come back later. If you experience a feeling of uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in your chest you should seek treatment immediately.
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Clinical Presentation Before And After Surgical Treatment
shows the preoperative and postoperative clinical demographic data of the 10 patients . The average age of these patients was 54.5 years . The average duration of symptoms prior to definitive diagnosis was 5.6 months . The background disease was cervical spondylotic myelopathy , cervical disc herniation , and OPLL . The affected levels were C45 level in three cases, C56 level in four cases, and C67 level in three cases. All patients improved after anterior decompressive surgeries.
Table 1 Perioperative clinical data of the 10 patients
How Can You Get A Neck Pain Diagnosis
Neck pain is most often diagnosed by a primary care provider. The most important aspect of treatment is to try to identify the underlying cause of the pain, as this will direct the treatment, explains Dr. Bonte.
For example, if the cause is due to a muscle imbalance or poor ergonomics , it is important to address these underlying issues when thinking through the overall treatment plan.
To assess your neck pain, your healthcare provider will:
- Ask for your medical history
- Ask questions to determine the source of your pain, including:
- When did the pain start?
- What activities preceded the pain?
- What have you tried to relieve the neck pain?
- Does the pain radiate or travel into other body parts?
- What makes the pain less or greater?
Your doctor visit may include a neurological examination that tests your reflexes, muscle strength, sensory and/or motor challenges, and pain distribution in order to help them make the correct diagnosis.
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What Are Neck Pain Symptoms
Other than neck pain itself, you may notice other symptoms that accompany the pain. Some of the more common symptoms of neck pain include:
- Neck muscle stiffness: Tight muscles in the back of the head or a muscle knot in the neck. This may spread to your shoulders, upper back and arms.
- Headache: Experiencing headaches in the occipital region is very common but can also extend to the top of the head, causing “tension” headaches from muscle tightness.
- Pain and/or weakness that shoots down the arm: This may be caused by muscle fatigue or nerve compression. Very often along specific nerve roots .
- Loss of neck mobility: Inability to turn your head and neck easily.
- Paraesthesias: A sensation of numbness and/or tingling in the arms, most often caused by nerve compression at the level of the spine, or as the branching nerves pass through tight, inflamed muscles.
If your neck pain is caused by nerve compression, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Weakness in the shoulder, arm or hand
- A feeling of numbness or pins and needles in arm, fingers or hand
- ;Sharp, burning pain near the pinched nerve that radiates outward
Some conditions, such as coronary artery disease or even lung tumors may mimic these conditions, notes Stewart G. Eidelson, MD. It is best to have a skilled physician perform a thorough physical examination when the symptoms described are present, he says.
Ways To Relieve Pain From A Shoulder Problem
If these measures fail to bring relief, you may need an MRI of your shoulder. If that shows a torn rotator cuff, then shoulder surgery may be necessary, says Dr. Ricchetti. If the physical exam and imaging indicate arthritis or a nerve-related pain in your neck, he recommends referral to a spine specialist. Spine specialists will conduct a thorough neurological examination, and do imaging and other tests. They will also begin with conservative care.
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Posture And Sleeping Position
Holding your neck in an awkward position for a prolonged time can lead to strains in the muscles and tendons of your neck and shoulders.
Some of the postures and activities that commonly contribute to neck and shoulder pain are:
- sleeping on too high a pillow or a stack of pillows
- grinding or clenching your teeth at night
- sitting at a computer or over a phone with your neck strained forward or tilted up
- suddenly jerking your neck during exercise
What Is The Cervical Spine
The cervical spine is the neck region of your spinal column. It’s made up of seven;small, highly mobile bones, and their associated ligaments, muscles, and shock-absorbing discs.
Anything that aggravates or comes into contact with your spinal nerve roots can lead to radiculopathy, and that includes several common conditions in which growths or abnormalities cause something to invade the space of the nerve root.
- Herniated disc: The shock-absorbing discs between vertebrae can become damaged and may develop a bulge and/or leak fluid.
- Synovial cyst: These lumps are caused by a buildup of joint fluid that forms a sac.
- Bone spur: An extra bit of bone forms in response to damage or chronic inflammation.
- Cervical spondylosis : This condition involves the formation of bone spurs in the neck.
- Spinal stenosis: An advanced stage of spinal arthritis, stenosis occurs when the spaces in the spine become narrowed, usually due to excess bone growth.
- Degenerative disc disease : Discs between vertebrae erode and fray over time, which may cause a herniated disc. In cases of severe degeneration, bone-on-bone contact can cause bone spurs in the joint.
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The Universal Guide To Neck Pain: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know Straight From The Experts
A pain-free neck is a lot like the carefree days of our youth we dont appreciate it til its gone. Neck pain can make life feel pretty unbearable and affect your social life, family time, hobbies and even work productivity.
If youre reading this, chances are youre familiar with neck pain. Whether youve just woken up with a whopper of a crick in your neck, sustained an injury or have been dealing with chronic neck pain, this handy guide can help you understand the anatomy of your cervical spine, different causes and types of neck pain, and learn more about the common treatments for neck pain.
Although neck pain is commonly caused by strain, prolonged pain may be an indication of something more serious. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
How Is Neck Pain A Heart Attack Warning Sign
A heart attack is most often due to a that blocks blood flow into the heart muscle. Most commonly, this causes a pressure, cramping or squeezing pain in your chest, but the pain can also spread to your neck. Your pain may also extend to your jaw, shoulder, back or arm because you may sense pain more easily in these areas. During a heart attack, your diaphragm and nearby accessory nerve can become irritated causing pain to refer elsewhere including your neck and shoulders. You can also feel pain, aching or discomfort in the neck and upper body without chest pain. Heart attack neck pain is more likely in women than in men.
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Heart Attack Warning Signs You Should Not Ignore
February 8, 2017Heart
Heart attacks are the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every year, approximately 735,000 Americans experience a heart attack or myocardial infarction. Ventricular fibrillation is a leading cause of death of heart attack sufferers, and this typically occurs before victims can make it to an emergency room. For those who can get treatment in time, the prognosis is excellent, as most modern treatments yield a survival rate of more than 90 percent. The remaining percentage of those who do eventually die are those who have suffered significant damage to the heart muscle during the heart attack or those who experience damage later.
When The Neck Is The Likely Culprit
Inflammation of any of the 14 nerves or eight pairs of joints in the neck can cause neck pain. The joints or vertebrae serve as a hinge that lets us nod or shake our heads during conversation . In fact, up to 70% of 65-year-olds may have symptomatic arthritis in one or more neck joints.
Because pain in one area can so often be confused with another, a thorough exam must be done, including range of motion, strength testing and provocative neck and shoulder maneuvers, says Dr. Ricchetti. You may have arthritis or nerve-related neck pain if pain:
- Radiates to your shoulder blade, or close to or on the side of your neck.
- Electric-like, stabbing, burning or tingling.
- Radiates down past your elbow or even into your hand.
- Persists at rest.
- Radiates down your arm when you extend or twist your neck.
- Is relieved when you support your neck.
Its important to see a specialist to get a thorough physical examination of your neck and shoulder. To help with diagnosis, they may inject lidocaine into the shoulder, or the joints or nerves of the neck. This diagnostic test helps guide treatment if it relieves pain, it demonstrates where the problems are, explains Dr. Ricchetti. Whether the problem lies in your neck or your shoulder, conservative measures are usually tried first.
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What Is The Outlook For Pain In The Right Side Of The Neck
Experiencing pain on the right side of your neck is not unusual and most likely not something to be concerned about. Neck pain often will go away on its own after a few days or weeks, particularly if you engage in self-care treatments and do not strain your neck further.
Severe neck pain that occurs after an accident or seemingly out of nowhere should be seen by a doctor, as well as neck pain linked to other serious symptoms.
Development Of Upper Back And Chest Pain
The chest and upper back are in close proximity to each other with both sharing many ribs that help protect the same vital internal organs. Some of the underlying biomechanics that can contribute to both upper back and chest pain include:
- Muscle dysfunction. Muscle inflammation or strain in the chest and/or upper back region can cause muscle tightness and/or spasms. When one muscle becomes painful or stiff, other nearby muscles may also become painful in response, such as if they need to work harder. Additionally, tendons, ligaments, or the muscleâs connective tissues may become overstretched or inflamed and refer pain to the chest and upper back.
- Problem with internal organs. Various problems or conditions can develop in the heart or lungs, which may send pain to both the chest and upper back.
Many other factors may be involved with developing chest and upper back pain. Sometimes upper back and chest pain may also have more than one cause or separate causes.
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How Is A Pinched Nerve Treated
Medical management is the first line of treatment for pinched nerves. This includes:
- Time and rest: For many people, time takes care of a pinched nerve and it doesnt need treatment. The pain should go away in a few days or weeks.
- Ice and heat: Apply ice and heat as you would with any swollen area for temporary relief.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: Acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may help your symptoms. NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen.
- Splints and cervical collars : Your provider may advise you to wear a soft hand splint or neck collar for a short time to limit motion as you heal.
- Corticosteroids: Your provider may prescribe strong anti-inflammatory medications like prednisone to relieve pain. These can be taken orally or injected directly into the affected area.
- Physical therapy: Stretches and light exercise can help ease pressure on your nerves and relieve minor pain. Talk to your provider or physical therapist about what types of exercises are best for the type of pinched nerve youre experiencing.
Surgery is the last resort in treating a pinched nerve when non-surgical treatment hasnt relieved pressure on nerves. Examples of surgeries that fix spinal nerve compression include:
What Causes Shoulder And Chest Pain
There are various causes for simultaneous shoulder pain and chest pain. Some require immediate medical intervention while others are not that much serious. However, you should not ignore such symptoms and book an appointment with your doctor as early as possible. Following are some of the causes of shoulder pain and chest pain;
Angina is the term used for chest pain when the heart muscles do not get enough oxygen due to poor blood flow. This may be due to narrowing or clogging of arteries. The main symptom of angina is chest pain. The patient may also experience sweating, weakness, lightheadedness, and fatigue.
Gallstones are the stones that are formed in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is the organ whose function is to store bile which is synthesized by the liver. Patients may experience pain above or the center of the stomach. The pain may spread to the shoulder blades.
Pancreatitis is the condition characterized by inflammation in the pancreas. The fluid secreted by the pancreas aids in digestion. Pancreatitis results in pain in the upper abdominal region that radiates to the back and shoulders.
Pericarditis is the inflammation of the layer surrounding the heart. The function of this layer is to keep the heart in place. Pericarditis may be caused due to infection. Patients suffering from this condition have chest pain that radiates to the shoulders. The pain is relieved when the patient leans forward.
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When Should I Call My Doctor Or 911
Contact your doctor if you have ongoing mild to moderate neck pain or stiffness. if your neck pain is severe or sudden, or occurs after any type of trauma, such as a car accident or fall.
During a heart attack, people are known to have feelings of fear, panic, uneasiness, or a sense that something terrible is going to happen. Call 911 if have with these feelings or any of these other symptoms:
Any type of , pressure, tightness or discomfort
Feeling sick to your stomach or . This can happen with or without stomach .
Pain expands from your neck to your shoulders, arms, back, teeth or jaw