Swollen Lymph Nodes in the Neck

Swollen lymph nodes in the neck are a common source of neck pain. Most often they are a sign of infection and, once treated or resolved, the lymph nodes will return to normal and the neck pain symptoms will also disappear. Usually, it is difficult to feel the lymph nodes in the neck unless they are enlarged (more than a centimeter across or so) but careful exploration with the fingers can locate the chain of lymph nodes down each side of the back of the neck, on either side of the anterior neck, and on both sides of the neck. Read more

Pain in the Front of the Neck – Causes and When to Call for Help

Pain in the Front of the Neck phone when to call for helpThe majority of neck pain is caused by muscle strain and is typically resolved without medical intervention within a few days. However, pain in the front of the neck that persists, or which is severe and acute, can be a sign of a serious health issue that warrants medical attention. Read more

Drug-Free Remission of Rheumatoid Arthritis is Possible, New Study Says

abatacept orencia drug free remission in rheumatoid arthritis

If taken early enough, abatacept (Orencia) could help RA patients go into remission drug-free.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition for which patients typically need to take medications long-term, if not indefinitely. This joint disease causes symptoms such as joint pain, fatigue, fever, and may be a cause of neck pain, back pain, and a loss of mobility and flexibility. A range of medications are available for managing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but there is currently no cure. Many of these treatments involve suppressing the immune system as it is this that is erroneously attacking the body and causing symptoms. Read more

Thunder God Vine with Methotrexate Better than Rheumatoid Arthritis Medication Alone

thunder god vine rheumatoid arthritis methotrexateA Chinese herb sometimes referred to as ‘take 7 steps and die’ has been found to be as good as methotrexate for treating active rheumatoid arthritis, a potential trigger for neck pain. Also known as thunder god vine and lei gong teng, Tripterygium wilfordii Hook f (or TwHF for short), has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to ease the symptoms of joint pain and inflammation. However, home-brewed concoctions of this herb can prove deadly, leading British medical authorities to issue a safety warning over its use in recent years. Read more

Pain in Throat and Neck

throat and neck pain laryngeal cancerEar, nose, and throat clinics are full of kids waiting to have their tonsils whipped out, but what about if you have a sore throat and neck pain as an adult? Does recurring throat and neck pain also necessitate surgery? If you’re suffering from chronic, severe, or recurring bouts of pain in the neck and throat then it’s time to see your physician and find out what’s going on. Read more

Neck Pain and Arm Tingling, Rheumatoid Arthritis and B12 Deficiency

rheumatoid arthritis B12 deficiency and neck pain

Is your neck pain really due to RA or are you vitamin B12 deficient?

Cervical spine degeneration is thought to occur in between 25% and 86% of patients with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and this can cause a variety of neurological problems including spinal cord compression and even death. Around 7-34% of patients end up requiring neck surgery to decompress the spine and relieve symptoms and one study even found that some 10% of patients dying from RA did so because of fatal cord compression.

Recognizing the symptoms of spinal cord compression can lead to prompt treatment and a more positive prognosis, but what if symptoms of cord compression in the cervical spine are really being caused by an underlying vitamin B12 deficiency? Read more

Bone Spur Treatments – Do Alternative Therapies Work?

Bone spur treatmentsIf you are exploring different bone spur treatments to try and relieve neck pain due to cervical osteophytes, there are a wide range of nonsurgical therapies out there that may be able to help. Once you have gotten a diagnosis of bone spurs in your upper spine from your doctor, he or she will likely suggest a course of conservative treatments. These may include prescription or over-the-counter pain medication, hot compresses, cold compresses, physical therapy, or behavior modification, among others.

Read more

FDA Approves Tofacitinib for Rheumatoid Arthritis

first oral rheumatoid arthritis medication approved neck pain causes

Xelijanz from Pfizer is the first approved oral medication for RA, but it has some serious side-effects.

A new drug, tofacitinib, is the first oral medication for Rheumatoid arthritis to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Tofacitinib will offer another option for those with moderate to severe active RA that has not responded to methotrexate treatment. Two new studies of the drug appear to show that the oral medication is helpful in quelling the immune system response that causes joint damage in the disease and which can cause neck pain, pinched nerves, cervical spine subluxation and spinal cord compression where severe. Read more

Contaminated Epidural Steroid Injections Lead to Deadly Fungal Meningitis

New England Compounding Center (NECC) - fungal meningitis outbreak and epidural steroid injections

Contaminated steroids used in epidural steroid injections for neck pain linked to fourteen fungal meningitis deaths so far.

The number of patients now thought exposed to the potentially contaminated methylprednisolone acetate causing an outbreak of deadly fungal meningitis has risen to some 14,000 according to the CDC. Around 12,000 individuals have so far been contacted to explain the risk after they received the potentially contaminated epidural steroid injections for neck pain or a steroid injection into a joint such as the knee, shoulder or ankle. Epidural steroid injections for cervical spinal stenosis are sometimes used to relieve inflammation in pain, although lumbar spinal stenosis injections are more common for back pain as such injections can be problematic at the best of times in the complex area of the cervical spine. Read more

Do Biologics for Rheumatoid Arthritis Increase Cancer Risk? New Analysis Says Not.

rheumatoid arthritis drugs and cancer

BRMs are used to treat autoimmune disease, like RA.

Patients taking biologic medications to relieve neck pain and other symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis may be relieved to hear that these powerful drugs do not appear to increase the short term risk of cancer, according to a new study.

The comprehensive meta-analysis carried out by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) this week and is expected to allay fears over the possible increased cancer risk in patients with RA who take any of the nine US FDA approved biologic response modifiers, such as abatacept and rituximab. Read more