Neck pain is the most common symptom in patient coming to orthopedic OPD. Sometimes this pain is so severe that can affect the physical and mental health.
Causes of neck pain
Neck pain can occur due to the following reasons:
Muscle strains – Neck pain often occurs due to muscle strains and poor posture. For example, slouching builds pressure in the neck muscles and head. The head-and-
shoulders-forward posture is the most common example of poor posture that contributes to neck pain. Other activities that can result in neck muscle strains are
jerking your neck during exercise and sleeping with your neck in a poor position.
Traumatic Injuries – Trauma to cervical spine can damage the bones and nerves in neck which may cause paralysis in the patient. The trauma to the neck may be direct
injury or whiplash type injuries.
Degenerative Changes – Degenerative changes refer to the damage in discs or joints in neck due to age-related wear and tear.
Nerve compression – Nerve compression is caused when a nerve is squeezed or pinched due to herniated discs or bone spurs in the cervical spine.
Symptom which may be associated with Neck pain
Some of the symptoms associated with neck pain that signals a severe injury or a serious underlying cause:
 Lump or swelling in neck
 Muscle tightness and spasms
 Decreased ability to move the head
 Imbalance while walking
 Fever or giddiness
 Headache, numbness, weakness, or tingling
 Bladder or bowel dysfunction

Diagnosis

A thorough clinical examination with detailed medical history helps in diagnosing the neck pain. A physical examination includes the range of motion test, reflexes, muscle strength, sensations, and palpation. The imaging tests which may be done are MRI or Xray or CT scan of the cervical spine.

Prevention
Most neck pain is associated with poor posture combined with age-related wear and tear. To help prevent neck pain, keep your head centered over your spine. Some
simple changes in your daily routine may help. Consider trying to:
Use good posture. When standing and sitting, be sure your shoulders are in a straight line over your hips and your ears are directly over your shoulders.
Take frequent breaks. If you travel long distances or work long hours at your computer, get up, move around and stretch your neck and shoulders.
Adjust your desk, chair and computer so that the monitor is at eye level. Knees should be slightly lower than hips. Use your chair’s armrests.
Avoid tucking the phone between your ear and shoulder when you talk. Use a headset or speakerphone instead.
If you smoke, quit. Smoking can put you at higher risk of developing neck pain.
Avoid carrying heavy bags with straps over your shoulder. The weight can strain your neck.
Sleep in a good position. Your head and neck should be aligned with your body. Use a small pillow under your neck. Try sleeping on your back with your thighs elevated on pillows, which will flatten your spinal muscles.

Neck Pain Treatment
The most common treatment for neck pain is conservative management which includes Physiotherapy with Chiropractic practice along with some medications
Surgery is typically formed for one or more of the following reasons

 To decompress a nerve root
 To decompress the spinal cord
 To stabilize the cervical spine.
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Given below are the two most common surgeries performed for neck pain treatment:
Anterior Cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
The most prevalent surgery for neck pain involves a discectomy. ACDF removes a herniated or degenerative disc in the neck. It involves making an incision in the throat
area to reach and remove the disc. Then a graft is inserted to fuse the bones above and below the disc.
Artificial disc replacement (ADR):
Cervical artificial disc replacement is a newer type of spinal disc procedure. It involves removing the damaged disc and replacing it with an artificial disc rather than a
fusion. Compared to ACDF, a potential benefit of cervical ADR is that it retains more natural neck mobility.