CAUSES OF NECK PAIN
Very rare causes of neck pain must be excluded, for example:
- Meningitis (in combination with fever and extreme neck stiffness).
- Brain hemorrhage/stroke (! sudden headache with change of consciousness or paralysis).
- Whiplash after a car accident or sport should be clarified immediately in the hospital.
Usually the main cause of neck pain is wear and tear caused by incorrect posture at work, e.g. at a desk or overhead work. Because the neck and back muscles are too weak, the intervertebral discs and small vertebral joints are overloaded.
Therefore, over 90% of patients with neck pain improve with more exercise and anti-inflammatory medications. Physiotherapy, massage and infiltrations are supportive measures.
If there is no improvement or if there are tingling paresthesias or even paralysis, then an imaging procedure such as MRI (magnetic resonance tomography) of the cervical spine is necessary.
In short, in older people it is important not to ignore chronic neck pain that is associated with symptoms (tingling paresthesia, loss of dexterity in the hands, unsteady gait).