History

The relevant history includes age of the patient, location of any pain, acute or gradual onset, radiation and duration of pain, and any related associated symptoms that indicate whether the pain is of cervical origin or referred from another condition. An older patient is more often affected by arthritis and a younger person by musculoskeletal pain. Rest or nighttime pain may be a symptom of a tumor or infection. Other symptoms include neck stiffness, headache, and symptoms of radiculopathy such as tingling, numbness, and loss of strength in the upper extremities. Where the pain is caused by nerve entrapment, the pain may radiate along the distribution of the involved nerve. Events leading up to the presentation may also give clues to the problem.

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