Cervicalgia Symptoms

Cervicalgia symptoms cover non-specific neck pain which can be either acute or chronic and may vary according to particular activities engaged in by the sufferer, such as sleeping awkwardly, maintaining poor posture whilst working at a desk, recreational and exercise activities such as jogging, and even therapies like massage when applied inappropriately. Specific movements may also exacerbate cervicalgia symptoms, such as raising the arm, turning the head to one side, or extending the neck. Conversely, patients may notice that certain movements and activities can reduce their neck pain, with exercise of benefit to a number of patients with cervicalgia (particularly those with fibromyalgia), and that rest may also be helpful to some sufferers.

Coexisting Symptoms

Neck pain is the main symptom of cervicalgia but this pain may coexist with visual disturbances, dizziness, headaches, stiffness of the neck, and spasm of the neck muscles. Radiating pain is not a symptom of cervicalgia as this indicates a specific neurological problem creating pain outside of the neck area, despite it originating in many cases in the cervical spine. The loss of sensation and development of muscle weakness is, again, not a sign of cervicalgia with other cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy the usual diagnosis in such cases. On rare occasions the patient may also experience dysphagia, syncope, chest pain, and/or migraine along with cervicalgia.

Signs of cervicalgia that may be observed during physical examination include wry neck (torticollis) as a result of asymmetry in the neck muscles. Patients may also develop restricted movement in the neck and asymmetric range of motion, which is quite common in those who are elderly or have incurred significant wear and tear due to their professional or recreational activities. Tender points in the neck or between the shoulders can also be symptoms of cervicalgia, although these may indicate fibromyalgia or an acute muscular injury in some cases.

Herniated Disc and Cervicalgia

Where patients also complain of a sore throat or problems swallowing, along with tiredness and a slight fever, this may indicate the presence of tonsillitis or a retropharyngeal abscess. Jaw and neck pain can be a sign of a tooth infection or crowding of the teeth which would require dental work in some cases rather than suggesting a problem with the neck itself. Cervicalgia can also present itself in cases where the true pathology at work is a herniated disc in the neck, cervical lymphadenopathy, osteomyelitis, spinal fracture, or even a stroke. Encephalitis, adverse drug reactions, and tumor growth can also present as cervicalgia symptoms with a physician then applying an alternative diagnosis after examination and tests.

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Last Updated: 04/25/2011