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  • Neck pain

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    Neck pain (or cervicalgia) is a common problem, with two-thirds of the population having neck pain at some point in their lives. Neck pain, although felt in the neck, can be caused by numerous other spinal problems. Neck pain may arise due to muscular tightness in both the neck and upper back, or pinching of the nerves emanating from the cervical vertebrae. Joint disruption in the neck creates pain, as does joint disruption in the upper back. The head is supported by the lower neck and upper back, and it is these areas that commonly cause neck pain. The top three joints in the neck allow for most movement of the neck and head. The lower joints in the neck and those of the upper back create a supportive structure for the head to sit on. If this support system is affected adversely, then the muscles in the area will tighten, leading to neck pain. Neck pain affects about 5% of the global population as of 2010.

  • Polymyalgia rheumatica

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    Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a syndrome with pain or stiffness, usually in the neck, shoulders, upper arms, and hips, but which may occur all over the body. The pain can be very sudden, or can occur gradually over a period. Most people with PMR wake up in the morning with pain in their muscles; however, cases have occurred in which the person has developed the pain during the evenings or has pain and stiffness all day long. People who have polymyalgia rheumatica may also have temporal arteritis, an inflammation of blood vessels in the face which can cause blindness if not treated quickly. The pain and stiffness can result in a lowered quality of life, and can lead to depression. Polymyalgia rheumatica is often seen in association with temporal arteritis. It is thought to be brought on by a viral or bacterial illness or trauma of some kind, but genetics does play a factor as well. Persons of Northern European descent are at greater risk. There is no definitive laboratory test, but C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) can be useful. PMR is usually treated with corticosteroids taken by mouth. Most people need to continue the corticosteroid treatment for two to three years. PMR sometimes goes away on its own in a year or two, but medications and self-care measures can improve the rate of recovery. PMR was first established as a distinct disease in 1966 by a case report on 11 patients at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, NY. It takes its name from the Greek word Πολυμυαλγία "polymyalgia" which means "pain in many muscles".

  • Neck stiffness

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    Neck stiffness, stiff neck and nuchal rigidity are terms often used interchangeably to describe the medical condition when one experiences discomfort or pain when trying to turn, move, or flex the neck. Possible causes include muscle strain or sprain, cervical spine disorders, meningitis, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Nuchal rigidity due to irritation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord is one of the main symptoms of meningitis.

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