Symptoms of Neck Pain

Neck pain symptoms often make accurately diagnosing neck pain difficult and it can produce a myriad of possible causes, with every individual’s experience slightly different. Commonly reported effects include a dull aching sensation with the pain often worsened by movement of the neck. Certain neck pain symptoms vary according to the cause of the neck pain.

Stiff Neck, Shooting Pains, Tingling and more

Neck pain is commonly associated with a dull aching sensation. Sometimes pain in the neck is worsened with

movement of the neck. Other symptoms can include sharp shooting pains, light-headedness/vertigo, tenderness, tingling, a feeling of fullness and difficulty swallowing, strong pulsing sensations and swishing noises, and swelling of the glands in the neck. Stiffness of the neck and burning pains are also experienced by some with neck pain, and in some cases the pain extends down into the shoulders and across the upper back.

Symptoms of Extreme Neck Pain

If the pain and discomfort is particularly strongly felt then there may be symptoms of neck pain may include nausea, and blurred vision. Fever can also be experienced, as can tiredness and unintentional weight loss. If these symptoms become extreme or persist for a long period of time then it is important to seek further medical advice. Other emergency signs include high fever, sensitivity to light, severe tenderness with movement, numbness and paraesthesia, or a recently sustained head or neck injury. In these circumstances the patient should contact a medical professional immediately.

It is important to describe all of the symptoms experienced so as to allow the doctor a clear view of the condition and make an educated diagnosis of the cause of the pain. For example, if weakness is experienced then this could be due to muscular strain or injury; it could also be due to damage sustained to the nerves that supply the muscles. Detailing other symptoms allows the doctor to identify the pain’s possible aetiology.

Neck Pain Sensations

If there are changes in sensation, such as numbness or burning then it may be that the nerves supplying the affected area have been pinched, bruised, or even cut. The duration of the sensation and the severity can give clues as to the cause. Coolness or changes in color to white or blue indicate a problem with the circulation to the area, possibly from damage or blockages to the arteries or veins. A reddening of the area likely indicates an infection or inflammatory reaction to an irritant.

Dislocation or deformity can indicate fractures and structural issues and should be evaluated professionally. Chronic conditions can suddenly worsen and cause acute inflammation, high fever, chest pains and other neck pain symptoms. These symptoms definitely warrant immediate attention from an emergency physician.

Last Updated: 04/20/2011