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.

Diagnose your symptoms now!
  • have a doctor review your case (optional)
  • learn what you should be doing right now
  • identify any nutritional deficiencies

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 (more below):
  • Torticollis
  • Dehydration
  • Encephalitis
  • Possible Urgent Medical Need
  • Meningitis
  • A Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Cervical Arthritis

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:
pain in cold/cool/damp weather
significant right hypochondriac pain
dizziness when standing up
poor balance
significant red blood in stools
severe vision disturbances
frequent 'chills'
severe periumbilical pain
long term neck pain
history of rheumatoid arthritis
moderate alcohol consumption
major joint pain/swelling/stiffness
... 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
Torticollis 95% Confirm
Rheumatoid Arthritis 25% Unlikely
Dehydration 24% Unlikely
Meningitis 2% Ruled out
A Subarachnoid Hemorrhage 1% Ruled out
Encephalitis 1% Ruled out
Possible Urgent Medical Need 1% Ruled out
Cervical Arthritis 1% 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.


If the body is dehydrated, the intervertebral disks in the cervical spine will also be dehydrated, possibly causing neck pain.

Torticollis (Loxia, "Wryneck")

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

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
Symptom Entry
Full Explanations
Optional Doctor Review
Review (optional)
We use cookies for traffic analysis, advertising, and to provide the best user experience