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Head / Neck

Got a pain in the neck? Any part of your neck - muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments or nerves - can cause it. Pain may also come from your shoulder, jaw, head or upper arms.

Muscle strain or tension often causes neck pain. The problem is usually overuse, such as from sitting at a computer for too long. Sometimes you can strain your neck muscles from sleeping in an awkward position or overdoing it during exercise. Falls or accidents, including car accidents, are another common cause of neck pain. Whiplash, a soft tissue injury to the neck, is also called neck sprain or strain.

Treatment depends on the cause, but may include applying ice, taking pain relievers, getting physical therapy or wearing a cervical collar. You rarely need surgery.

Start Here
Neck Pain(American Academy of Family Physicians) - http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/tools/symptom/513.printerview.html


Neck Swelling(American Academy of Family Physicians) - http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/tools/symptom/514.printerview.html


Overviews
Neck Pain(Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) - http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/neck-pain/DS00542/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print


What You Need to Know about Neck Pain(American Physical Therapy Association) - Links to PDF -

http://www.apta.org/AM/Images/APTAIMAGES/ContentImages/ptandbody/neck/neckpain.pdf


Latest News


Health Tip: What's Causing My Neck Pain?(07/01/2009, HealthDay) - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_86312.html


Diagnosis/Symptoms
Electrodiagnostic Testing(American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) - http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00270


Neck Pain(American Academy of Family Physicians) - http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/tools/symptom/513.printerview.html


Neck Swelling(American Academy of Family Physicians) - http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/tools/symptom/514.printerview.html


Needle Biopsy(Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) - http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/needle-biopsy/MY00088/METHOD=print&DSECTION=all


X-rays, CT Scans and MRIs(American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) - http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00188

Treatment


Causes of Back and Neck Pain(National Pain Foundation) - http://www.nationalpainfoundation.org/articles/406/causes


Metastatic Squamous Neck Cancer with Occult Primary (PDQ): TreatmentFrom the National Institutes of Health(National Cancer Institute) - http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/metastatic-squamous-neck/patient/


Also available in Spanish http://www.cancer.gov/espanol/pdq/tratamiento/escamoso-metastasico-del-cuello/patient


Spinal Fusion(American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) - http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00348


Prevention/Screening


What a Pain in the Neck! Good Habits to Remember to Prevent Neck Pain(American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) - http://www.aapmr.org/condtreat/pain/necktips.htm


Alternative Therapy
MedlinePlus: ChiropracticFrom the National Institutes of Health(National Library of Medicine) - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/chiropractic.html


Rehabilitation/Recovery
Overview of Neck Pain(American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) - http://www.aapmr.org/condtreat/pain/neckpain.htm


Specific Conditions
Burners(American Academy of Family Physicians) - http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/brain/head/478.printerview.html


Also available in Spanish http://familydoctor.org/online/famdoces/home/common/brain/head/478.printerview.html


Burners and Stingers(American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) - http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00027


Cervical Dystonia(Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) - http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/spasmodic-torticollis/DS00836/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print

Cervical Fracture(American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) - http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00414


Cervical Radiculopathy(American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) - http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00332


Cervical Spine(American Association of Neurological Surgeons) - http://www.neurosurgerytoday.org/what/patient_e/cervical.asp


Cervical Spondylosis(Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) - http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/cervical-spondylosis/DS00697/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print


Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy (CSM)(American Academy of Family Physicians) - http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/brain/disorders/622.printerview.html


Also available in Spanish http://familydoctor.org/online/famdoces/home/common/brain/disorders/622.printerview.html


Herniated Cervical Disc(North American Spine Society) - http://www.spine.org/Pages/ConsumerHealth/SpineConditionsAndTreatments/CommonProblems

Corrective Actions/Degenerative Conditions/Herniated Cervical Disc.aspx
Neck Masses(Merck & Co., Inc.) - http://www.merck.com/mmhe/print/sec23/ch276/ch276h.html


Neck Sprain(American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) - http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00410


Repetitive Motion DisordersFrom the National Institutes of Health(National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary - http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/repetitive_motion/repetitive_motion.htm


WhiplashFrom the National Institutes of Health(National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary - http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/whiplash/whiplash.htm


Videos


Anterior Cervical Fusion(OR-Live) - One hour program - http://www.or-live.com/distributors/NLM/rnh.cfm?id=287


Cervical Laminoplasty(OR-Live) - One hour program - 9/11/2007 - http://www.or-live.com/distributors/nlm-flash/uho_1933/rnh.cfm?id=639


Clinical Trials


ClinicalTrials.gov: Cervical Vertebrae Injuries From the National Institutes of Health(National Institutes of Health) - http://clinicaltrials.gov/search/open/condition=%22Cervical+Vertebrae%22


ClinicalTrials.gov: Neck Injuries From the National Institutes of Health(National Institutes of Health) - http://clinicaltrials.gov/search/open/condition=%22Neck+Injuries%22


ClinicalTrials.gov: Neck Pain From the National Institutes of Health(National Institutes of Health) - http://clinicaltrials.gov/search/open/condition=%22Neck+Pain%22

ClinicalTrials.gov: Spinal Injuries From the National Institutes of Health(National Institutes of Health) - http://clinicaltrials.gov/search/open/condition=%22Spinal+Injuries%22


ClinicalTrials.gov: Whiplash Injuries From the National Institutes of Health(National Institutes of Health) - http://clinicaltrials.gov/search/open/condition=%22Whiplash+Injuries%22


Research
Study Finds Benefits of Therapeutic Massage for Chronic Neck PainFrom the National Institutes of Health(National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) -http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/051809.htm


Journal Articles
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Article: Efficacy of neck stabilization exercises for neck pain: a randomized... - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=19565156&tool=MedlinePlus


Article: CT should replace three-view radiographs as the initial screening test... - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=19509621&tool=MedlinePlus


Article: Cervical spine injuries in children: attention to radiographic differences and... - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=19410157&tool=MedlinePlus


Neck Injuries and Disorders -- see more articles - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=search&db=pubmed&term=(neck+pain[majr]+OR+neck+injuries[majr]+OR+cervical+vertebrae/in[majr]+OR+cervical+vertebrae/ab[majr])+AND+english[la]+AND+humans[mh]+AND+(review[pt]+OR+guideline[pt]+OR+clinical+trial[pt]+OR+patient+education+handout[pt]+OR+jsubsetk[text])+NOT+(letter[pt]+OR+editorial[pt])&doptcmdl=summary&cmd_current=Limits&pmfilter_EDatLimit=last+1+Year&tool=MedlinePlus

Dictionaries/Glossaries
Glossary of Orthopaedic Words(American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) - http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/glossary.cfm


Directories
Find an Orthopaedist(American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) - http://www6.aaos.org/about/public/members.cfm


Organizations
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons - http://www.aaos.org/


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke From the National Institutes of Health - http://www.ninds.nih.gov/


Also available in Spanish http://espanol.ninds.nih.gov/


Children
Branchial Cleft Remnant(Children's Hospital Boston) - http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site663/mainpageS663P0.html


Congenital Muscular Torticollis (Wryneck)(American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) - http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00054


Cysts and Sinuses of the Head and Neck(Children's Hospital Boston) - http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site2194/mainpageS2194P0.html


Klippel-Feil SyndromeFrom the National Institutes of Health(National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary - http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/klippel_feil/klippel_feil.htm


You may also be interested in these MedlinePlus related pages:
Head and Neck Cancer - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/headandneckcancer.html


Bones, Joints and Muscles - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/bonesjointsandmuscles.html


Injuries and Wounds - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/injuriesandwounds.html


Date last updated: July 12 2009
Topic last reviewed: June 19 2009


From MedlinePlus (http://medlineplus.gov), 24 Hour Health Information.

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