The Brief Guide to Neck Pain

What causes neck pain, and the first step to stopping it


Neck pain can have many causes, ranging strained muscles from working out too hard, arthritis, bulging discs, or even from diseases like meningitis. Some causes are much more common and more likely.  When determining how to help neck pain, the most important step is to find out what is causing it.  If you do the wrong treatment, you could prolong the pain, or even make it worse.

Mild neck pain often goes away on its own.  If you know what caused the pain, it is mild and recent, and it is improving it should go away quickly on its own.

When should you seek treatment?

  • When the pain is severe
  • If neck pain persists for several days without relief
  • If pain also spreads down arms or legs
  • If neck pain is also accompanied by headache, numbness, weakness, or tingling (Mayo Clinic).

If you have lingering neck pain and aren’t sure what to do about it, the first step is finding out what is wrong.  The first visit to any physician, therapist, or practitioner should focus on finding out what is causing your neck pain.  This is done by:

  • Getting a thorough history of the condition. Knowing what caused the pain, what if feels like, what increases the pain, what activities it interferes with, and other clues gathered during a consultation help diagnose the cause.
  • A thorough exam including testing range of motion, muscle tests, orthopedic tests, nerve tests, and palpation is performed after the consultation to confirm a diagnosis.

At Opdahl Chiropractic we love finding out the cause of neck pain.  If you have neck pain caused by something we can treat, we will let you know.  If your neck pain is caused by something we don’t treat, we will send you to the right place to get further help.