Never ignore a pain in the neck - and we're not talking about that fellow employ with annoying habits. The bones, muscle and tissue found in our cervical spine supports a lot of stress, and can prove vulnerable to injury and disorders.
Most neck pain results from soft tissue injuries or wear and tear, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Diseases, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and cervical disk degeneration, also can produce pain.
But these conditions are not the only causes of neck pain. More serious cases can result from whiplash in a motor vehicle accident, a diving mishap or awkward falls during a contact sport such as football. If severe neck pain occurs after a car accident or fall, medical care should be sought immediately.
For non-injury related neck pain, you should seek medical attention:
¢ If neck pain is continuous and persistent or severe.
¢ If the pain radiates down the arms or legs.
¢ If headaches, numbness, tingling, or weakness accompany the pain.
With most minor injuries, neck pain can be treated with rest, medication, immobilization, physical therapy, exercise and changes in normal activity. Sometimes, an orthopaedist may prescribe rest and a neck collar for a specified period of time, as well as medication to reduce inflammation. If pain-reducing medication is prescribed, it should be used only as directed by a qualified medical specialist.