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A Long List of Causes of Neck Pain

Closeup back view tired female massaging her neck colored in red isolated on blue background

The first person to ever use the metaphor “a pain in the neck” truly captured the irritation caused by the common condition. Whether your neck pain has slowly built up and made itself known over time or arisen acutely as a result of an injury or sleeping in the wrong position, when you’re experiencing neck pain you are miserable. 

Neck pain can range in intensity from merely uncomfortable to excruciating, and it can be fleeting or chronic. The neck is uniquely vulnerable to injury. It is constructed in a way that makes it extremely flexible, and when you combine its ability to move with the burden of constantly supporting the 10-pound weight of your head, it is easy to see how easily things can go wrong. The structure of the cervical spine’s anatomy makes it highly susceptible to injury.

Though the most common source of neck pain is the type of traumatic injury that occurs in auto accidents, falls, sports incidents or diving, it can also arise from degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis or arthritis, and from more mild movements that result from over-flexion or over-extension of the spinal cord or damage to the muscles, tendons or ligaments that support the neck. Men are more likely to suffer neck pain than women are.

The various conditions that can cause neck pain include:

  • Herniated disk in the cervical spine
  • Fractures
  • Injuries to the supporting structures (ligaments, tendons, muscles)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cervical disk degeneration
  • Tumors
  • Congenital abnormalities

Diagnosis

Neck pain can only be effectively treated once its cause has been identified. Your physician will begin by asking you about the history of your discomfort.  They will conduct a physical examination to determine how much strength you have in your neck muscles and to examine various reflexes, your range of motion and the degree of tenderness that you are feeling.

Among the things that they will be looking for are whether there are signs of nerve compression and, if so, what impact it is having on your movement and sensation. They will want to know whether the pain you’re experiencing is sharp, burning, tingling or tender, whether you are feeling stiffness and if so when, and whether you are having spasms of pain or whether it is constant.

They will also ask about any other symptoms you might be having, with particular attention paid to whether you have noticed any associated weakness in your extremities or any headaches or back pain.

Once the physician has completed a medical history and physical exam, they will probably request that additional diagnostic studies be done. These will likely include:

  • Blood work to determine whether any inflammatory markers are present
  • X-Ray to view the bones
  • MRI to provide detail of other internal structures, including ligaments and muscle
  • CT to provide more detail of the bones and muscles
  • Electromyogram to determine whether there is a loss of nerve function

Treatment for neck pain can include rest, medication administered orally or by injection, physical therapy or massage, exercise, and surgery. To determine the best course of action for you, contact our office today to set up a time for a consultation.

Patient Reviews

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  • "Amazing healthcare. I cannot express enough how well I was cared for by Dr. Callewart, Joe and their team. The office staff are lovely and helpful and patient. Neck surgery feels a little frightening, but no fear here, not one detail of your care will be overlooked."

    Hope Banks

  • "I’m weighed over 220 lbs and had a train wreck of a back. Almost 1 year ago I had to have 2 surgeries 4 days apart. As you can see, what Dr. Callewart and Joe were able to do is simply amazing. I highly recommend Dr. Callewart and his team for any of your surgical needs!"

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  • "I have had 2 surgeries by Dr Callewart. The last one was 3 years ago. He gave me a good part of my life back. I will always have mobility and loss of motion issues but my quality of life is good. I cannot say enough good things about him and Joe Nagy. At some point (hopefully not soon)know i will have another and really hope i can go back to him."

    Tim Tria

  • "Dr.Callewart and Dr.Joe are the best Dr.s around.Very attentive,patient and kind.Always a professional and they take great care of their patients.I've had several surgeries and they have taken great care of me.Recommend HIGHLY.Thanks for all you do."

    Lasonya Alexander

  • "Dr. Calewart and Joe are the best team in DFW"

    Nick W

  • "Trust them completely!!"

    Dora Ward

  • "Amazing doctor and staff!!! He and Joe truly care about their patients and has awesome personalities! You go in pain and leave smiling confident that your pain will soon be gone!"

    Candace Williams

  • "Have seen Dr Callewart and Joe for about 20 years! They are ALWAYS helpful and listen to any concerns I have! Could not be happier with Dr. Callewart and Joe Nagy and all of the staff I see. They are a great staff and of course Dr and P.A. He took over after 4 surgeries by someone else and have done everything possible to help correct the problems in my neck! I would recommed this Doctor to anyone having spinal problems!"

    Dianna Montgomery

  • "Dr Callewart is such a great well rounded dr. Love his staff .. even dr joe... the new chairs are not my favorite to sit in with my back issues and its alwayyssss hot. But i wouldn't trade him for any other dr.."

    Kelly Sullivan
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    Rico Da Don
  • "Dr Calawart and Joe are the very best back doctors in the Dallas area. They are so kind and caring and the staff is awesome. When you have a problem they get you an appointment right away no waiting for days or weeks Love this group."

    Linda Jennings
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    Rick Sims
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  • "Wouldnt go any where else. The staff is so friendly and doctor callawart is great but doc Joe is my favorite. So nice and listen to all your problems and his sense of humor is the best."

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    Gloria Shepherd
  • "I couldn't ask for a better Doctor. He cares about his Patients..."

    Sheryl Miller

Are you in pain?

Most patients experiencing pain can be seen by Dr. Callewart or his physician assistant the same day in Dallas and Addison, Texas.

Schedule your visit now

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