In this Article

What is Neck Pain?

The part of your spine in your neck is also called the cervical spine. Pain or soreness in your cervical spine or neck may be a result of an injury or recent surgery.

When to See a Doctor

If you have any of the symptoms below — especially if they are getting worse — call the Trauma Service or go to the nearest emergency department:

  • Numbness, tingling, or burning.
  • Arms or fingers feeling cold to the touch.
  • Change in color — skin turning bluish or pale.
  • Fever of 101.5°F or higher.
  • Severe pain that is not relieved by pain medication.
  • Signs of infection after surgery. These include swelling, redness, extra warmth, or pus oozing from the surgery site.

Causes

The most common causes for neck pain are usually generated by nerves in your joints, ligaments and soft tissues, and the discs in your spine. Many neck injuries result from whiplash, which is a sudden jolt to the spine, often resulting from car accidents or contact sports. The majority of neck or cervical spine injuries are not serious.

Treatments

  • Wearing a neck brace or cervical collar. A collar or brace will protect your spine while it heals.
  • Surgery. Surgery may be required to correct any chronic or acute spine injuries in your neck.
  • Modifying lifestyle and activities.
  • Pain medications. Pain management may include over-the-counter medications or prescription opioid medications.