Is Your Neck Pain just a Strain? Or Something More Serious?


How serious is that pain in your neck?

We've all been there. That day you wake up and feel the kink in your neck. Up to 80% of Americans will experience some form of neck pain at some point in their life. Dr. Trabulsi and his team of experts at Manhattan Wellness Group, Neck and Back Pain specialists in NYC have devised these questions to determine if your neck pain is just a strain, or something more serios.

Is it Just a Strain?

A neck strain occurs when the muscles or tendons in the neck are stretched or torn. Neck strains often come from repetitive or over use actions, such as poor posture or sleeping in a poor position. Some patients experience something called "text neck" which comes from the hunched over position we assume when looking at our smart phones. The pain associated with a neck strain can be minimal to severe. The best way to treat strains is through massage therapy, ice therapy, and heat therapy. Over the counter anti-inflammatories like Advil or Ibuprofen can be used as well.

Most of the pain associated with these neck strains should reside within a few days. In the case of pain lasting more than a month straight, its probably best to consult a neck pain therapist. Extended pain is a good sign that your neck pain is a result of something more severe than just a strain.

Is it Local or Radiating Pain?

One can tell the difference between a neck strain and a cervical spine disorder by assessing where the pain is located. Occasionally the pain will be felt further up the neck or down to the top of the shoulders as neighboring soft tissues are also affected. But for the most part, neck strain pain stays local.

Pain from a cervical spine problem, however, can radiate into the shoulder, down the arm, and even into the hand. That’s because spinal problems often affect the nerve root, causing symptoms that can be experienced anywhere down the span of the nerve. This is called radiculopathy.

The nerve pain can feel burning or searing, like an electric shock. Other symptoms that could be felt anywhere down the arm or hand include tingling, numbness, and/or weakness. Radiculopathy is typically only felt on one side of the body.

If you have neck pain that has persisted for several weeks or is accompanied by radiating pain down the shoulders and arms, see your doctor so you can be properly diagnosed and treated.

At Manhattan Wellness Group, your local Manhattan Chiropractor, Acupuncture and Massage Therapy Specialists, we deal with all kinds of neck pain. Come in and visit Dr. Trabulsi and his team of experts and get pain free tomorrow!