Neck pain

Pain in the neck may be caused by RA, ankylosing spondylitis, soft-tissue rheumatism or fibromyalgia. In addition, disc disease, both acute and chronic, the latter in association with OA, may occur in the neck as well as in the lumbar spine. The three lowest cervical discs are most often affected and there is pain and stiffness of the neck with or without root pain radiating to the arm. Chronic cervical disc disease is known as cervical spondylosis.
Painful stiff necks are common clinical problems, often attributed, without much evidence, to disc disease. The essence of treatment is to mobilize the neck with physiotherapy techniques such as traction or Maitland mobilization. Pain may be relieved with simple analgesics. While cervical collars may be required in the acute stage of cervical disc prolapse and occasionally in patients with cervical spondylosis, they can also perpetuate the problem of a painful stiff neck when the right treatment is mobilization.

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