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Learn about your moderate neck pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your moderate neck pain from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Moderate Neck Pain Checker

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Your Moderate Neck Pain May Also be Known as:
Moderate base of skull pain

Top 10 Moderate Neck Pain Causes

  1. 1.Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

    Impingement syndrome is a common shoulder condition seen in aging adults. The tendons of rotator cuff muscles, whose action is to rotate the arm such such as during a tennis swing, pass in a narrow space between two bones in the shoulder. When the space becomes too narrow, which can happen as a result of an overuse injury, pain may develop as the tendons rub against the bones.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a muscle and bone specialist (orthopedic surgeon). Treatments for impingement syndrome involve rest, over-the-counter pain medication, steroid injections, physical therapy, and surgery in rare, serious cases.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one shoulder, dull, achy shoulder pain, shoulder pain that gets worse at night, difficulty moving the shoulder, shoulder pain from overuse
    Symptoms that always occur with rotator cuff tendonitis:
    pain in one shoulder
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Temporomandibiular Joint (Tmj) Dysfunction Disorder

    The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located in front of the ear, and it connects the jaw to the side of the head. Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a painful condition which can be caused by excess tension in jaw mucles, faulty alignment between upper and lower teeth, arthritis in the joint, or injury of the jaw or face.

    You should visit your primary care physician. This is a complex condition to treat, because the causes are not always clear. Treatment may include resting the jaw with a soft diet, pain medications, and physical therapy.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, history of headaches, pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw, pain in the back of the neck, jaw pain
    Symptoms that always occur with temporomandibiular joint (tmj) dysfunction disorder:
    pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Non - Specific Neck Pain

    Neck pain is discomfort in any of the structures in the neck. These include the muscles, nerves, bones (vertebrae), and the disks between the bones. This may not have an identifiable cause.

    Your neck pain looks like it is variation of normal, which does not require any treatment. You can take an over the counter pain medication like Tylenol.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    neck pain, mild neck pain, pain in the back of the neck
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific neck pain:
    neck pain
    Symptoms that never occur with non-specific neck pain:
    severe neck pain, neck pain from an injury, fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder)

    Adhesive Capsulitis or "Frozen shoulder" is when the shoulder is painful and loses motion because of inflammation.

    You should go see your primary care doctor, who can diagnose your shoulder pain with a physical exam (x-rays aren't necessary). Treatment is pain management (NSAIDs), physical therapy, and injected corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in the shoulder.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, stiff shoulder, dull, achy shoulder pain, shoulder pain that gets worse at night, difficulty moving the shoulder
    Symptoms that always occur with frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder):
    stiff shoulder, spontaneous shoulder pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Mononucleosis Infection

    EBV Mononucleosis is a clinical syndrome characterized by fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.

    You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours. Diagnosis is confirmed by looking for antibodies against EBV. Treatment involves supportive care (hydration, antipyretics, and analgesics, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen). Aspirin should not be given to children because of the possibility of Reye syndrome. It is also recommended that you do not do any strenuous physical activity and contact sports in the initial 3 to 4 weeks of illness due to the potential for splenic rupture.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, abdominal pain (stomach ache), cough
    Symptoms that never occur with mononucleosis infection:
    rectal bleeding
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Moderate Neck Pain Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having moderate neck pain.

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  6. 6.Vertebral Osteomyelitis

    Infection of the spinal bones (Vertebral Osteomyelitis) is caused by the spread of bacteria through the blood from another body part that lands in the spine. It's typically caused by bugs named Staph. Aureus (40-50% of the time), streptococci (12%), e.coli (9%), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6%).

    You should go to the ER by car, where a doctor will perform blood tests to look for inflammation and signs of infection. Imaging with x-rays is a typical first step, but MRIs are the gold standard. If things are still not clear, a biopsy might be needed to look at what is going on in the spine. Treatment involves antibiotics either by mouth or by blood. Surgery is rarely needed unless there is an implant in the back.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    upper back pain, fever, chills, spontaneous neck or back pain, spontaneous mid back pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  7. 7.Influenza

    Influenza, or Flu, is an infection of the airway caused by the flu virus, which passes through the air and enters the body through the nose or mouth. The symptoms are similar to those of a cold, but the flu is usually more serious.

    If your flu-like symptoms are existing for less than 48 hours, it might be helpful to seek care by telephone or in a walk-in-clinic to get a course of oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Most people will get better on their own by drinking lots of fluids and taking an over-the-counter medication such as acetominophen (Tylenol) to help with aches or fever.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, cough, muscle aches
    Symptoms that never occur with influenza:
    headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  8. 8.Ankylosing Spondylitis

    Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis of the spine. It causes swelling between the vertebrae, which are the disks that make up the spine, and in the joints between the spine and pelvis.

    You should visit your primary care physician, where, based on clinical exam, blood tests, and x-ray, your doctor will likely recommend physical therapy and medications (Ibuprofen or an immune-system modifier).

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, trouble sleeping, back pain, joint pain, pain in the back of the neck
    Symptoms that always occur with ankylosing spondylitis:
    back pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Sarcoidosis

    Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that most often affects the lungs and skin, but can als affect the joints.

    You should visit your physician to discuss your symptoms when convenient.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, joint pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Myofascial Pain Syndrome

    Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic musculoskeletal syndrome caused by trigger points within muscle. Pressure on these points causes pain in the area around the point as well as in other body parts, a phenomenon known as referred pain.

    You should visit your primary care physician. This complex chronic condition is often treated with injections and physical therapy.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, spontaneous shoulder pain, pain in the back of the neck, shoulder blade pain, difficulty moving the shoulder
    Symptoms that always occur with myofascial pain syndrome:
    tender muscle knot
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Moderate Neck Pain

  • Q.How long has your neck pain been going on?
  • Q.Is the neck pain affecting:
  • Q.Do you have any idea what may have caused your neck pain?
  • Q.Turn your head toward the side of your body that is hurting. Lift your head up as someone else pushes down on your head. Does this cause greater pain in your upper body? (This is known as Spurling's test.)

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our moderate neck pain symptom checker.

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Moderate Neck Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced moderate neck pain have also experienced:

    • 8% Fatigue
    • 8% Back Pain
    • 4% Swollen Shoulder
  • People who have experienced moderate neck pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 28% Less Than a Week
    • 27% Over a Month
    • 26% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced moderate neck pain were most often matched with:

    • 16% Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
    • 16% Temporomandibiular Joint (Tmj) Dysfunction Disorder
    • 16% Non - Specific Neck Pain
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Moderate Neck Pain Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having moderate neck pain.

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