What is Neck and Back Pain?
Pain located in the cervical region of the body and further down the spine (encompassing the upper and lower back) is extremely common. The discomfort may be either mild, moderate or severe, with underlying causes ranging from simply sleeping incorrectly to life-threatening illnesses such as bacterial meningitis.
Neck & back pain can either occur suddenly and be acute or recur—sometimes on and off—for long periods of time (chronic pain). The nature of the pain can also range from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing sensation depending upon its cause.
The back and neck are complex structures comprised of bones, ligaments, muscles, disks and tendons. Pain can occur as a result of problems with any of these components, often due to repetitive movements or sudden injury. Strained muscles and ligaments, for example, can result from improper lifting of heavy objects, or even by awkward movements.
Muscle spasms, on the other hand are commonly associated with back pain. They may result from many different causation factors, including the following:
- Disk problems (ruptured or bulging)
Though the conditions listed above are most commonly associated with chronic back pain, most cases of acute neck or back pain result from identifiable injuries such as muscle strain and disc injuries.
What are the Symptoms of Neck and Back Pain?
Many people experience neck/back pain and the associated symptoms for long periods of time before going to the doctor. Common symptoms include:
- Painful rotation/extension of the neck or back muscles
- Stiffness in the neck or back
- Sharp or dull ache (often localized)
- Generalized soreness
- Radiating pains
- Numbness or tingling sensations
If you or a family member experiences neck pain associated with headache and/or fever, an immediate visit to a medical center is recommended. These may be signs of bacterial meningitis—a life-threatening condition
Diagnosing & Treating Neck & Back Pain
Treatment of neck & back pain depends largely on determining its underlying cause. If pain is the result of injury, it may be treated with medications such as muscle relaxants as well as anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. Pain caused by underlying issues such as arthritis and sciatica is treated by addressing those problems specifically—treatment protocols can vary widely from one individual to another.
If meningitis—a serious condition that can cause pronounced neck pain—is suspected, you or a family member may be referred to your local emergency room for treatment with IV antibiotics.
Medical attention should always be sought for children experiencing acute neck or back pain—especially in the case of trauma. A visit to ConvenientMD can help rule out more serious causes for this type of pain, such as meningitis, Lyme disease or rheumatoid arthritis.
Aspirin should never be used to treat neck & back pain in children under the age of 18, as a rare, but serious disease known as Reye’s syndrome can occur as a result.
Tired of Neck & Back Pain? Visit a ConvenientMD Location in NH, ME or MA Today!
Neck & back pain can cause serious discomfort and make simply getting through the day a difficult task. At ConvenientMD, we treat neck & back pain, helping to put a stop to aches and soreness whether they be acute or chronic. No matter what’s causing your pain, we’ll put together a treatment plan to get you back on your feet.
Don’t let neck & back pain ruin your day. We’re open seven days a week, so just stop into one of our clinics in Maine, New Hampshire or Massachusetts without ever needing an appointment.