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Neck Pain

Eastside Family Health Center -  - Internal Medicine

Eastside Family Health Center

Internal Medicine & Sports Medicine located in Kirkland, WA

Neck pain, besides being a source of discomfort, can significantly impact your everyday life. It ranks high among the most commonly reported physical pains globally. At Eastside Family Health Center, Kirkland, WA, led by Frank Marinkovich, MD, and their dedicated team specialize in providing holistic pain management services, offering natural solutions to help you effectively cope with your neck pain.

Neck Pain Q&A

man stretching

Neck pain is a common condition characterized by discomfort or soreness in the neck region. It can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by stiffness, limited range of motion, and muscle tightness.

Neck pain can affect people of all ages and can be caused by various factors. Understanding the risk factors, causes, and symptoms of neck pain is essential for effective management and treatment.


What are the Risk Factors of Neck Pain?

Several factors can increase the risk of developing neck pain, including:

  • Poor posture: Sitting or standing in an improper position for extended periods can strain the muscles and ligaments in the neck, leading to pain.  
  • Age-related changes: Degenerative changes in the spine, such as osteoarthritis and herniated discs, are more common as people age and can contribute to neck pain.  
  • Occupation: Jobs that involve repetitive neck movements, prolonged sitting, or heavy lifting can put excessive strain on the neck, increasing the likelihood of developing pain.  
  • Injury or trauma: Whiplash from a car accident, sports-related injuries, or falls can damage the structures in the neck and cause pain.  
  • Stress and emotional factors: Emotional stress and tension can cause muscle tightness and contribute to neck pain.  
  • Lack of exercise: Insufficient physical activity weakens the muscles supporting the neck, making it more susceptible to pain.  
  • Smoking: Smoking reduces blood flow to the structures in the spine, impairs healing, and increases the risk of developing neck pain.  

What are the Causes of Neck Pain?

Neck pain can have various underlying causes, including:

  • Muscle strain: Overuse, poor posture, or sudden movements can strain the muscles and ligaments in the neck, leading to pain and discomfort.  
  • Cervical disc degeneration: Wear and tear of the discs between the vertebrae in the neck can cause them to degenerate, resulting in neck pain.  
  • Herniated disc: A herniated or slipped disc occurs when the soft inner material of a spinal disc protrudes through its outer layer, compressing nearby nerves and causing pain.  
  • Cervical osteoarthritis: Also known as neck arthritis, this condition involves the degeneration of the cartilage and bones in the neck, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.  
  • Cervical spinal stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, causing neck pain and other symptoms.  
  • Poor posture: Prolonged periods of slouching or holding the neck in an unnatural position can strain the neck muscles and contribute to pain.  
  • Trauma or injury:Accidents, falls, or sports-related impacts can cause whiplash or other injuries to the neck, resulting in pain and discomfort.  

What are the Symptoms of Neck Pain?

The symptoms of neck pain can vary depending on the underlying cause, but common signs and symptoms include:

  • Neck stiffness and soreness.  
  • Sharp or dull pain in the neck.  
  • Difficulty in moving the neck or turning the heads.  
  • Headaches, especially originating from the base of the skull.  
  • Muscle spasms in the neck and upper back.  
  • Radiating pain to the shoulders, arms, or hands.  
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or hands.  
  • Fatigue or muscle weakness in the neck region.  
  • Tenderness or swelling in the neck muscles.  

How can neck pain be diagnosed?

The cause of exact neck pain can be challenging to identify as symptoms of all problems cause similar signs. For further examination, several imaging tests are available including:

  • Reviewing medical history and symptoms.  
  • Physical examination to assess swelling, and pain level.  
  • Kinetisense, an Artificial Intelligence tool to assess range of motion.  
  • Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, or ultrasounds to visualize joint damage or inflammation.  
  • Blood tests to identify markers of inflammation or specific antibodies in the case of autoimmune arthritis.


What are the services provided by EFHC?

  • Joint injections, trigger point injections, prolotherapy, etc to the affected area.  
  • OMT (osteopathic manipulative treatment) to help with tendonitis; involves soft-tissue stretching (fascial release), localized isometric contraction-relaxation (muscle energy), positional or facilitative relaxation (counter strain and balanced ligamentous tension), and gentle techniques to balance motion in the skull (cranial osteopathy).  
  • Physical therapy focusing on improving the flexibility to help recover and improve the range of motion.