What to Know About Cervicalgia (Neck Pain)

Dr. Constantine Toumbis

12 March 2021

Cervicalgia, also known as neck pain, can be mild for some and debilitating for others. Most of the time, neck pain can be remedied with conservative treatments. In rare cases, cervicalgia is a symptom of a more serious issue. 

Continue reading to learn more about neck pain and when you should contact a doctor.

Causes of Cervicalgia

Neck pain can be caused by a variety of factors. Poor posture tends to be the main cause of cervicalgia. Slouching over your computer at work or craning your neck over your phone with a forward head posture puts strain on your neck, commonly referred to as “tech neck.” Repetitive motion, carrying heavy bags and even gritting your teeth could cause or worsen cervicalgia. Neck pain could be caused by different conditions including osteoarthritis, pinched or compressed nerves, muscle strain or an injury. 

Neck pain can also be a symptom of a more serious condition such as meningitis, osteoporosis, spondylosis, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal stenosis, heart attack, fibromyalgia, a herniated disc or an infection.

Symptoms of Cervicalgia

While pain is the most typical symptom of cervicalgia, the type of neck pain and additional symptoms you endure may vary. Some patients experience headaches, sore muscles, muscle spasms, stiffness or pain when they shift into a specific position.The pain may feel sore, sharp or create a tingling sensation. You may have chronic neck pain or feel pain intermittently.

Treatments for Cervicalgia

Taking your symptoms and lifestyle choices into account can help you and your doctor pinpoint the cause and create a proper treatment plan. While treatment plans vary person to person, there are a wide range of options.

At-Home Treatments 

Most of the time, you can find relief from mild cervicalgia with conservative remedies. 

  • Practice good posture by keeping your shoulders in line with your hips and your ears directly over your shoulders. Use ergonomic strategies while you stand, sit or sleep to improve posture and prevent or alleviate pain.
  • Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen, naproxen sodium or ibuprofen may temporarily alleviate pain. With any medication, read the dosage instructions and safety information thoroughly before taking, and consult your doctor with any questions or concerns. 
  • Use hot and cold therapy. Alternate hot and cold packs for 15-20 minute intervals periodically throughout the day to soothe your pain. 
  • Medical massage therapy or physical therapy provide guided stretches, exercises and other methods that can provide relief.

Medical Treatments 

For advanced cervicalgia, medical treatments may be necessary. 

  • With transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), your doctor places electrodes on the skin around any painful areas and uses small electric impulses to aid in pain relief.
  • Traction therapy uses pulleys, weights and other devices to stretch your neck and alleviate pain.
  • Short-term immobilization with a soft collar may be recommended to take pressure off your vertebrae and muscles and offer neck support. 
  • Depending on the severity and seriousness of your cervicalgia, your doctor may recommend steroid injections or surgery to correct it.

When To See a Doctor for Cervicalgia

In most cases, cervicalgia will dissipate with at-home treatment. If your neck pain is severe, persists for over a week or if you have specific questions you’d like answered in a personalized consultation, contact a medical professional. Seek immediate medical attention for your neck pain if you’ve sustained an injury from a fall or car accident. 


Neck pain accompanied by any of these additional symptoms could indicate a serious condition that requires proper, prompt medical attention.

  • Weakness, tingling or numbness in your hands or arms
  • Pain that radiates to your extremities
  • Fever, headache or stiffness 
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control 
  • Swollen glands in the neck 
  • Chest pain or pressure 


Our specialists at Citrus Spine Institute will work with you to choose the right treatment plan. Schedule a consultation to get the conversation started.

If you are experiencing cervicalgia symptoms, you should never ignore or try to suffer through the pain. Always consult your doctor. If you are not satisfied with your doctor or require specialized care, it is recommended to get a second opinion from a cervicalgia specialist.

Dr. Constantine Toumbis

Dr. Toumbis is a board certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in cervical, thoracic and lumbar surgery. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology from New York University in 1987, then continued on to receive his Masters in Natural Sciences as well as a PhD in Experimental Pathology from State University of New York at Buffalo. He completed his medical degree at Wayne State University School of Medicine with a distinction in Biomedical Research. After moving to Florida to complete his internship and residency in orthopedics at the University of Florida Shands Hospital, he went on to pursue a fellowship at Cleveland Clinic's Florida Spine Institute. He moved to Citrus County and has been in private practice since 2005.

Subscribe to our Blog