Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Neck Pain Overview

What is neck pain?
A person with neck pain has discomfort in one of the structures of the neck. Neck pain may be caused by injury, inflammation, or infection.

What are the symptoms of neck pain?
Symptoms that may occur with neck pain include skin redness, neck tenderness, neck swelling, neck muscle spasm, and neck stiffness. Additional symptoms may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands in the neck, arm weakness, leg weakness, arm numbness, leg numbness, loss of bladder control, loss of bowel control, and an inability to walk.

How does the doctor treat neck pain?
Treatment for neck pain depends on the underlying cause. Treatment may include cold compresses, warm compresses, rest, oral fluids, antibiotics, a cervical collar, narcotic pain medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, and surgery.

Continue to Neck Pain Symptoms

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Neck Pain References
  1. Friedman MH, Nelson AJ Jr. Head and neck pain review: traditional and new perspectives. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1996 Oct;24(4):268-78. [8892141]
  2. Hoving JL, Gross AR, Gasner D, Kay T, Kennedy C, Hondras MA, Haines T, Bouter LM. A critical appraisal of review articles on the effectiveness of conservative treatment for neck pain. Spine. 2001 Jan 15;26(2):196-205. [11154541]
  3. Linton SJ. A review of psychological risk factors in back and neck pain. Spine. 2000 May 1;25(9):1148-56. [10788861]
  4. Melis M, Zawawi K, al-Badawi E, Lobo Lobo S, Mehta N. Complex regional pain syndrome in the head and neck: a review of the literature. J Orofac Pain. 2002 Spring;16(2):93-104. [12043524]
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