I occasionally get a sharp shooting pain in my left side of my neck when turning my head (during normal motion - nothing unusual). It only lasts for a couple of seconds and the pain used to last only a short while. It has increased in frequency (3 times in the past 3 months) and the pain level has now reached a 10 (it litterally brought me to tears and I needed to sit down while the pain subsided).
I have tried researching what could be causing this but have not been able to find anything out on it. I am willing to go to the doctor, however since it is so irregular I'm not sure it would be worth the time. Can you give me any guidance on what could be causing this?
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of your symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
Pain in the neck can arise from the muscles, bone or nerves.
Sometimes if the muscles are in spasm, because of stress, poor posture etc, there can be a sharp pain in the muscles, even with normal turning of the head. However usually the muscles feel tender and tense when you press down on them.
Sharp pain can result if a nerve is being compressed. Nerve compression can just present with pain, with numbness anywhere in the arm or hands, or weakness.
More commonly, neck pain can be secondary to joint or bone involvement, age related joint changes, arthritis etc.
You should see your physician and get your neck looked at. Physiotherapy helps greatly with all kinds of neck pain, but of course one needs to determine the underlying cause.
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