Similar to low back pain, everybody has a different extent of neck pain, it’s because the area of the initial curvatures of the cervical and lumbar spine (lordosis) have, so-to-speak, weak points in the mechanical stress on the spine in the upright walking and standing of the human body. Furthermore, wear and tear can manifest early. It is not uncommon for intervertebral disc damage or small vertebral joints to occur, which then lead to changes in the soft tissues and muscles in the affected zones. Headaches around the skull are often associated with it. Acute complaints mostly improve within a short time by themselves.
A warning sign is a very sudden severe neck pain, which may be a reflection of acute cerebral haemorrhage (subarachnoid haemorrhage) or neck pain, respectively neck stiffness with a fever and severe feeling of illness or worsening of the general condition, which may be symptoms of meningitis.
Another warning sign is a pain with a striped radiance in the arm, especially if they are accompanied by sensory disturbances or even paralysis of the arm. Neck pain and a gangrene or bladder disorder are also acute warning signs. In that case, as with chronic complaints, a more extensive medical examination over several weeks is required.
Compared with the number of patients affected by the pain, very few operations on the cervical spine are required. By the short-term use of pain and anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxants, as well as physiotherapy, physical measures (heat, cold, electricity) there can often be a pain relief. Regular physical activity and avoiding overweight can be preventively effective.