I have chronic neck and back pain with severe neck stiffness. Why?

Q. What is the cause for constant neck and back pain associated with neck stiffness?

Answered by
Dr. Vaibhav Ramesh Gandhi
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 16, 2019 and last reviewed on: Aug 10, 2023

Hello doctor,

I have chronic neck and back pain that can cause either severe neck stiffness or sharp pain. Most of the pain seems to originate in the front of the neck (SCM muscle) or the cervical spine area. Pain radiates to mid-back and causes spasms of my shoulder blades. Lots of popping when turning my head. This also flares up every couple or few months to the point of being unbearable and requiring a visit to urgent care. Lots of other symptoms some of which include, profuse night sweats, sweating during the day for no reason (profuse), weakness in shoulders and arms (very hard to play tennis anymore), occasional stiffness in ribs, tightness in chest, jaw pain and weakness, forehead numbness, random movement of limbs during day but usually at night (kind of like little seizures but has not been diagnosed) and general neck swelling (neck looks big). I know it is a lot of symptoms, but it is so frustrating. I have a copy of a cervical MRI with me. Curious to know if these symptoms stand out as anything in particular. Working with doctor's now, but I am mentally and emotionally drained as I have been dealing with this for years with no answer, and it is difficult for the family to understand. Being an athlete could not compete in college anymore due to this. My body could not perform anymore.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have studied your case. Due to compression of this nerve root, there can be a sharp pain in your arm and back with a shoulder. I will advise you to send your MRI cervical spine for better diagnosis. For these symptoms, analgesic and neurotropic medication can be started. Till the time, avoid lifting weights, Sit with support to the back. You can consult a physiotherapist for help. Physiotherapy like ultrasound and interferential therapy will give quick relief. I will advise checking your vitamin B12 and vitamin D3 level. Shoulder symptoms can be due to rotator cuff injury or arthropathy. If required MRI shoulder may help in diagnosis. I hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow-up queries, then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
What is the reason for neck pain on turning to side?

.. read your concern. I feel that there could be some facet irritation that can lead to this restriction and pain on your left side of the neck. Do not worry. I suggest you to kindly use a neck pillow or support your neck properly while sleeping.   Read full

Understanding Low Back Pain

.. commonly found in young and school going individuals these days unlike it was believed as a disease of old age. So this is a small article giving a basic understanding of low back pain in the young hard working generation .   Read full

What is the cause for constant neck and back pain associated with neck stiffness?

Hello doctor, I do not have any dental issues. I have been getting regular dental checks. How do I keep my breath fresh all day?   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

PCOS and Liver Problems
The hormonal imbalances in polycystic ovary syndrome could cause liver diseases. Read the article to know the relationship between these medical conditions.  Read more»
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization Technique
The inferior alveolar nerve lateralization technique is a surgical lateralization technique to reposition the nerve. Read the article to know more about this.  Read more»
COVID-19 and Ebola: Similarities and Differences
This article gives a comparison and broader overview of the outbreak of the two deadliest diseases that showed a greater incidence over the last two decades.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an Orthopaedician & Traumatologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.