Neck pain can be an excruciating type of pain to live with, and it is not a condition that you should ignore. You might have difficulty moving your neck, turning your head, bending, or any activity that involves neck movement. You don’t always realize how much you need and use your neck until you suddenly lose your neck’s range of motion and live with neck pain and stiffness.
Pain can be either acute, meaning it comes on suddenly as you might experience in an accident. If it’s immediate, as, from an injury, you may experience sudden, sharp pain in your neck. Or the pain can be chronic pain. Chronic neck pain usually lasts six months or longer.
It may be a gradual increase in symptoms such as stiffness, soreness, and pain. Neck pain can radiate into other areas. You may experience pain radiating into your shoulders, back, or arms. When pain radiates, it can confuse you as to where it is originating from. You may not know exactly where the original injury occurred.
Signs and Symptoms There are signs and symptoms you should watch for to let you know if you should seek medical attention. For instance, if you develop a fever with your neck pain, or nausea and vomiting, seek medical attention right away. If you have any paralysis in your neck, back, or extremities, this is another indication for you to seek immediate medical attention.
Did you have a whiplash-type injury in the past, or do you have pain and/or stiffness every day in your neck, hands, knees, hips, or other joints? You should seek the advice of a medical professional to determine if it is permanent damage or it will heal. A doctor can determine, by exam or by tests, the extent of your damages and what can heal or is reversible, and what will be present ongoing issues. Testing May be Necessary Your doctor may order you to get physical therapy for your injuries and pain.
Some of the most common forms of treatment and options ordered for neck pain are ultrasound, traction, deep tissue massage, hot and cold treatment or therapy, and TRANS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation). Sometimes a doctor will need to order specific tests to check for certain damage to the muscles and nerves, including MRI, CAT scan, or EEG. Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) Test This is an electrical diagnostic test that informs the doctor about how your nerves are operating.
The NCV test will stimulate your nerves using small electrical impulses by means of electrodes. Your doctor will read the results of your nerve impulses. Slower speed impulses would indicate nerve damage; due to trauma, diabetes, or peripheral neuropathy. The NCV test is often done in accordance with an EMG.
Electromyogram an EMG detects abnormal muscle electrical activity for many diseases and conditions; such as pinched nerves in the arms and legs, disc herniation, or degenerative diseases like muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Myasthenia gravis.
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