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Your neck, also called the cervical spine, plays an important role in your overall body. Its purpose is providing stability, strength, and nerve communication. The cervical spine is a complex network of muscles, bones, nerves and joints that work together as directed by your brain and spinal cord. When one or more of these elements isn’t functioning correctly, it can result in pain or immobility.

What does neck pain feel like?
Cervical pain can show up in a variety of ways. Neck pain symptoms may include:

  • Stiff neck that is hard to turn
  • Soreness in a general area
  • Sharp pain in a single spot
  • Pain radiating down the shoulders, arms, or fingers
  • Pain radiating up toward the head
  • Tingling or weakness in the shoulder, arms, or fingers
  • Difficulty lifting or gripping objects
  • Difficulty walking or balancing


What does neck pain mean?
Neck pain is displayed in different levels, sometimes minor and easily ignored while other times severe to the point you can’t perform your daily activities or sleep. Pain may be intermittent or constant, short-lived or lingering. Most of the time, neck pain goes away within a couple of days or weeks, but pain persisting for a month or more should be evaluated by a physician. NYC Spine Surgeon Dr. Fischer at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City is available to diagnose the cause of your cervical pain and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

What does the neck do?
Your cervical spine supports your head and allows movement. The cervical spine starts at the bottom of your skull and extends through a series of seven vertebrae, called C1 through C7. The top level of the cervical spine allows your head to rotate, and the lower levels enable forward, backward, and twisting movements. There is a disc between each vertebra that provides cushioning and spacing, and nerves extend all the way down the cervical spine. A problem with your cervical spine can arise with a sudden injury or can develop over time. When a nerve is involved, the pain may become severe.

What should I do if my neck hurts?
Neck pain is a very common ailment, which can usually be treated initially with self-care at home. Rest, ice, and posture improvements may be enough to get you back on track after a day or two. Sometimes other conservative treatments are helpful like medication or physical therapy. Consult Dr. Fischer if your discomfort lingers or doesn’t respond to treatment so that your condition may be evaluated for more extensive treatment.

Is neck pain serious?
Just like most other types of pain in the body, neck pain ranges from minor to serious. If symptoms are making your daily activities impossible or keeping you awake at night, it may be time to consider surgical treatment. Dr. Fischer is experienced in diagnosing and treating the cervical spine and shares your goal of returning you to your normal activity and comfort level. Schedule an appointment today if neck pain is impacting your life.