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A to Z: Cervicalgia

May also be called: Neck Pain

Cervicalgia (sur-vih-KAL-gee-uh) is neck pain that doesn't radiate outward to the shoulders or upper extremities.

More to Know

Cervicalgia gets its name from the Latin word for "neck" (cervic) and the Greek word for "pain" (algos), and that's just what cervicalgia is: a pain in the neck. There are many different causes of neck pain, including muscle strain, repetitive stress, pinched nerves, whiplash, arthritis, an overloaded backpack, and poor posture.

illustration

Sometimes neck pain is idiopathic, meaning there's no known cause, and sometimes people just wake up with a stiff neck. Cervicalgia is a general term for any sort of pain that is localized in the neck and not radiating out to other parts of the body.

Cervicalgia is a very common condition. About two thirds of all people will have neck pain at some point in their lives. Cervicalgia can flare up and go away quickly, or it can last for months at a time. Certain activities or head movements might make the pain worse, and severe cases can make turning the head difficult.

Keep in Mind

Usually, cervicalgia goes away within a few days or weeks. Most types of neck pain can be effectively treated at home with basic measures. Neck pain that lasts for more than a few months or flares up after an injury may require medical attention.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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