Radiating Neck Pain

Radiating Neck Pain

Pain in the neck which radiates to other areas is usually a result of nerves being trapped. The cause of the trapped nerve can be tight muscles, disc damage, or formation of bony deposits.

Symptoms of Radiating Neck Pain

  • Deep pain in the neck which radiates into the shoulder, arms or fingers.
  • Pain on moving the neck.
  • Reduced range of neck movement.
  • Pain radiating up the neck into the head.
  • Pain in the neck causing dizziness or headaches.

Causes

Neck pain which causes radiating symptoms into the shoulder, arm or hand can be caused by a number of things, but the common factor is nerve compression.

The nerve may be compressed at the nerve root by a sliped disc (herniated or prolapsed are other common terms for the same injury.

Osteophytes (bony growths) may develop on the vertebrae which compress the emerging nerve. This is most common in older athletes or those with previous neck injuries.

Finally, muscular tightness in the neck or upper shoulder area can cause compression of any of the nerves which pass from the neck to the arm. Commonly tight muscles include the Trapezius, Scalenes and Levator Scapulae.

Treatment

What can you do to combat the pain in the neck?

  • Rest.
  • Wear a neck collar to allow muscles to recover.
  • See a sports injury professional who can advise on rehabilitation, mobility and strengthening.

What can a sports injury specialist or doctor do?

  • Determine the cause of pain.
  • Prescribe anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Use sports massage techniques to relax muscles.
  • Apply traction.
  • Prescribe and monitor a rehabilitation programme.
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Cervicalgia is a pain in the neck which does not radiate outwards (or down the arms). Cervicalgia is slightly different to a neck strain, which is usually more short-lived.

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