Severity and Characteristics of the Pain

Somatic pain is generally described as a dull, aching pain. Pain that is shooting or lancinating is usually indicative of a neurogenic origin. The level of pain reported by the patient is useful information. Severe acute neck pain requires urgent evaluation. In patients with chronic neck pain, assessment of the level of pain may be useful in guiding effectiveness of various treatment modalities. Factors that relieve or exacerbate pain may include specific patient or activities, although none are specific for any source of pain.

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