Severity Of Current Neck Pain

What Causes Neck Pain?

Neck pain can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'critical'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose neck pain, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "neck pain" as a symptom.  Here are eight possibilities:
  • Torticollis
  • Dehydration
  • A Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
  • Cervical Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Possible Urgent Medical Need

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
dark urine color
rheumatoid arthritis
infrequent daytime urination
frequent 'chills'
frequent unexplained fevers
pitted nails
long term neck stiffness
severe tongue swelling
significant left hypochondriac pain
minor shoulder pain
severe right iliac pain
irritated eyes
... and more than 60 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of neck pain:
Cause Probability Status
Possible Urgent Medical Need 94% Confirm
Rheumatoid Arthritis 26% Unlikely
Dehydration 19% Unlikely
Cervical Arthritis 3% Ruled out
Encephalitis 2% Ruled out
Torticollis 0% Ruled out
Meningitis 0% Ruled out
A Subarachnoid Hemorrhage 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate neck pain/stiffness, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
If you have neck pain, how severe is it?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ My neck is not painful
→ It is a minor problem
→ It is significant, but I can function
→ I am in extreme pain, unable to function
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate not having neck pain, slight neck pain, significant neck pain or severe neck pain, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
A Potentially Urgent Medical Need

Severe neck pain can indicate a potentially life-threatening condition, such as meningitis, encephalitis or a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Torticollis (Loxia, "Wryneck")

Pain in the neck, back, or shoulder affects more than two-thirds of all people with torticollis.

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