ZocdocAnswersPersistent crick in neck, what do I do?

Question

Persistent crick in neck, what do I do?

I've had a persistent crick in my neck for well over a month now. I've had x-rays and the bones are perfect. I've even had a CT and nothing is wrong with the tissue. I haven't changed my daily activities, my pillows, or anything in my life for years. It either started after watching movies for a long time on my computer or one day after waking up but it never went away even when I went easy on my neck and didn't even mess with the computer. What can I do? If nothing is wrong with my bones or their alignment a Chiropractor can't help me, right? I'm just not sure what to do at this point. It's making everything in my life more difficult and it's incredibly inconvenient.

Answer

I assume that this crick in your neck is causing a significant pain. The pain can be caused by many different problems. Obviously one of the first steps is to obtain imaging of the cervical spine which it seems that you had, so it is important to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Sometimes muscular based pain in the neck can be due to muscle spasm from early degenerative changes such as early arthritis in the neck that might not be picked up on an x-ray. It doesn't really matter whether it's seen or not on the x-ray as there are only a few different things you can do about it. I would say that probably the most likely therapy that would be helpful to you would be physical therapy and exercise to increase the core muscle strength of your cervical paraspinal muscles. You could also consider using a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug intermittently to help this pain. For this type of thing, you could consider your primary care physician as your first go to doctor, or you could go to see a physiatrist who is a type of physician that deals only with this type of problem. In either case, you can get a second opinion on the imaging at your neck and a referral to physical therapy as well as a prescription for a good non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug if necessary.

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