Neck pain can be divided into 2 categories:
- Mechanical low back pain
- Compressive or Neurogenic neck pain
Inflammation of the facet joints, discs, ligaments or muscles of the neck cause mechanical neck pain. This is a result of strain, overuse or trauma. Mechanical neck pain is usually felt in the neck and may spread down to the shoulder.
Compressive or neurogenic neck pain is caused by irritation or "pinching" of the nerve root. The nerve root can be compressed by a disc or bony spur. Since the nerve root carries information between the brain and upper extremity, there can be an interference in muscle strength and reflexes. Pain and\or numbness can extend below the elbow and into the hand.
Should you experience any of these signs or symptoms, please seek prompt medical attention:
- Drop attacks
- Difficulty with speech
- Difficulty swallowing
- Double vision