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Why does the back of my neck hurt?

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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 1210 Questions
Question
I am 70+. I experience an 'upper' neck pain clearly related to posture, and developing fastest when for example hunching over a book for several minutes. It develops gradually, the most severe pain spreads to the top of the neck and the bottom of the head also affecting other areas. It becomes very painful to turn the head, and gets unbearable when trying to sneeze, caught, or when trying to sip the tea, or chew on something. It is painful to to open the mouth. Swallowing is very painful. Effort to overcome the pain reduces slightly the initial pain severity, and allows to swallow or sneeze, and after several minutes becomes bearable. The pain gets severe toward the evening. Lying position relieves the pain. Sleeping is not adversely affected in any way, and in the morning the pain is minimal, negligible, felt only in the neck when moving the head, and no jaw and throat pain is present at all. Activities like walking and standing, even running appear not to cause the condition. Unfortunately hunched position cannot be entirely avoided, and it takes only few minutes of such position to develop the pain.
I want to know what are the causes, and what is the prognosis.
Thu, 7 Jun 2018 in Back Pain
 
 
Answered by Dr. Mahaveer Patil 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
cervical spondylosis / cervical disc prolapse

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for posting the question.
I have gone through your medical history in detail.

The symptoms that you described indicate that you most probably have cervical spondylosis or an underlying disc prolapse.In either case,the spinal nerves in the neck get compressed causing radiating pain in the surrounding areas.

This can be confirmed by getting a Xray/MRI of the cervical spine done.

The prognosis is usually good in such cases and treatment in the form of physiotherapy helps. (Physiotherapy includes cervical traction,heat therapy,LASER therapy,neck exercises)

Rarely,this may need a surgery for nerve decompression.

I hope the answer was useful.

Feel free to ask me any follow up queries that you may have.

Do let me know the reports once you get the investigations done.

Thank you.
Kind regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Why does the back of my neck hurt? 6 hours later
Thank you for the diagnosis. I would like to know how the cervical nerve compression causes the jaw/throat/swallowing problem.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Mahaveer Patil 16 hours later
Brief Answer:
REFERRED PAIN / THROAT RELATED ISSUES

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,

The swallowing/jaw,throat pain may occur either due to referred pain from cervical nerve root compression or other local throat related issues.

If throat problem is more bothering,you should consult an ENT specialist and get a throat check up done.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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