Neck Pain

Most of us tend to ignore the nagging ache in our neck, thinking it would simply disappear the next day. However, it is important to know the extent of your neck pain before it worsens and becomes challenging to treat.

Understanding neck pain

The neck, or cervical spine, supports the head’s weight and enables a significant range of motion. It consists of seven small vertebrae, intervertebral disks that act as cushions, muscles that provide support and facilitate movement, ligaments that stabilise the structure, and nerves that run from the brain down the spinal column to the rest of the body. 

This intricate structure of bones, muscles, nerves, and other soft tissues makes the neck highly susceptible to injury and pain.

Symptoms of neck pain

The symptoms of neck pain can include:

  • Sharp or stabbing pain in one spot
  • General soreness or tenderness in more expansive areas
  • Pain that radiates down the arms to the fingers
  • Difficulty in moving the head
  • Headaches, often originating from the neck
  • Muscle tightness and spasms

Causes of neck pain

The causes of neck pain can be traced to various factors:

  • physical or emotional stress
  • sleeping with improper posture
  • minor accidents from rough or sudden actions
  • referred pain (caused by problems in another part of the body)
  • too much strain

How neck pain affects you

Neck pain can have profound effects on several aspects of your life. Its impact extends beyond physical discomfort, influencing emotional well-being, productivity, and overall quality of life.

Reduced mobility and flexibility

Neck pain can make it hard to do simple movements such as turning your head, bending, or tilting, necessary for everyday activities like driving, working at a computer, or exercising. 

Impaired daily functioning

The discomfort and stiffness that come with neck pain can hinder routine actions such as lifting objects, carrying groceries, or performing household chores.

Decreased work efficiency

Neck pain can impair your ability to focus and perform effectively at work, reducing concentration and limiting your ability to engage in sustained physical or mental tasks.

Emotional and psychological effects

Constant discomfort from neck pain can cause mood changes, irritability, and frustration. Over time, it can contribute to the development of anxiety and depression.

Sleep disturbances

Neck pain may wake you up at night and prevent you from falling back asleep, leading to insomnia and other sleep disorders. 

When to seek medical attention

You should consult a doctor if your neck pain:

  • Is severe
  • Persists for several days without relief
  • Spreads down arms or legs
  • Is accompanied by headache, numbness, weakness, or tingling

Diagnosing neck pain

Diagnosing neck pain involves:

  • Physical examination
  • Medical history review
  • Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs
  • Nerve tests to identify nerve damage, in some cases

Treatment for neck pain

Solutions to treating neck pain depend on the diagnosis and severity of the condition. 

Physical therapy and exercises

Physical therapists can teach you correct postures, alignment, and neck-strengthening exercises, which help ease the pain and prevent its recurrence.


Pain-relieving medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants are often used to manage pain and facilitate recovery.


Surgery may be required in cases where there is nerve root or spinal cord compression and conservative treatments have failed to relieve symptoms.

Pain specialist

If you have neck pain, especially one that has been going on for a long time or is accompanied by other symptoms like arm pain or numbness, it is advisable to see a pain specialist with specialised training in treating neck pain. 

Pain specialists such as orthopedists, neurologists, and chiropractors have an in-depth understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the neck and spine. This knowledge is crucial as the neck (cervical spine) is an intricate structure of bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and problems in any of these components can lead to pain. Specialists are equipped to pinpoint the specific source of the pain, whether it stems from nerve compression, muscle strain, joint issues, or other spinal problems.

They also provide various treatment options tailored to the patient’s needs, including medication management, therapy and surgery.

Pain specialist in Singapore

Proper diagnosis and treatment of neck pain are crucial steps in maintaining overall spinal health and preventing further complications, such as cervical pain. If you are struggling with persistent or severe neck pain, consider The Pain Specialist.

We are a clinic staffed by a multidisciplinary team that specialises in diagnosing and treating neck and spine pain in Singapore. We provide expert diagnosis, management, and tailored treatment plans to help you recover.

Consult our pain specialists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ensure your head and neck are aligned with your body. Use a small pillow under your neck. Try sleeping on your back or side instead of on your stomach.

Not necessarily. Instead, use a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck.

Poor posture, stress, and lack of movement during the day can cause muscles to tighten up by night.