Have a real pain in the neck?

Neck pain can be a particularly difficult thing to live with. It interferes with all of your daily activities and life.

Neck pain can come from many different conditions.


Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It is the type that most of us will develop as we age. Osteoarthritis affects the small joints of the neck where the cervical vertebral bones meet – the facet joints. If this is the case, you may feel some popping or cracking in the neck when you turn your head. You may also have stiffness or soreness in the neck when you wake that eases off as the morning progresses. There are a wide variety of treatments for arthritis that a provider at our practice will be happy to discuss with you.


This is pain coming from the cervical discs, which are the shock absorbers and spacers for the bones. Sometimes these discs can become irritated and/or herniate to cause pain. The discs are like a jelly donut. They have cake on the outside (which is called the annulus) and jelly in the center (the nucleus pulposus). Unfortunately, the jelly in the disc is filled with all kinds of inflammatory chemicals that serve a function while in the disc, but are like a very hot pepper when they get out. Due to an accident, a fall, sleeping the wrong way one night, or for a reason that we never understand, the disc can get a tear in the outer cake part, or become squished and change shape. The hot pepper from the center (the nucleus pulposus) gets out and irritates the surrounding ligaments, soft tissue and nerves and causes pain. This pain can remain in the neck, cause neck pain and arm pain, or sometimes only cause arm pain. If this is the case, the pain will often be severe, sudden, and associated with tingling, numbness, or even weakness in the arm. We at Comprehensive Rehabilitation will listen to your history, perform a thorough examination, diagnose your pain and treat you.

Spinal Stenosis

A term to describe narrowing of the spinal canal, where the spinal cord lives. This condition can cause pain in the neck and/or arms as well as significant weakness in the arms and hands. Spinal stenosis requires a thorough history and examination for treatment. Our team at Comprehensive Rehabilitation will provide accurate diagnosis, education, and treatment options for your specific care.

Muscular (Cervical Myofascial Pain Syndrome)

This is characterized by muscle tightness and pain in the muscles that surround the neck and upper shoulder area. This pain can start upon awakening – the so called crick in the neck. The muscles become tight and sore as well as feel sharp or throb. The pain can be referred up to the ear or even along the back of your head up to the crown of the head. This is because the same muscles that come down the back of the neck and shoulder area also go to the top of the head. If the muscles have a tight enough spasm, they can actually trigger a headache. As board certified physiatric physicians, we specialize in diseases of the muscles, bones, and nerves and are able to treat muscular pain with a unique perspective.


These require an accurate diagnosis for a tailored treatment to experience the best recovery.


Rarely diseases such as meningitis or cancer can cause neck pain. This is the reason why it is important to see a physician for a thorough evaluation. Please let us know if we can help.