Cervicalgia is the term which is used for neck pain that does not radiate outward. However, It is different from normal neck pain and radiculopathy. This pain is caused generally by other than nerve compression in the neck. The muscles in the neck are under continual pressure to maintain posture and hold up the considerable weight of the skull and brain which averages around 10lbs.

As we move our head forward, with every inch, force on the neck becomes double. The consistent   strain on the cervical spinal muscles can take its toll over time, leading to fatigue in the muscles, spasms, cramps, stiffness, and cervicalgia. The muscles of the neck may become tight and inflexible, which can lead to tearing upon sharp movement and acute neck pain. Cervicalgia can occur due to inflammatory joint disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis, persistent stress and tension causing muscles in the neck to become tight, and acute injuries from sports, or whiplash.

Another possible cause of Cervicalgia is fibromyalgia. In many patients, those with tender points between the shoulders and in the neck causing constant pain. A large number of such patients have it  temporarily as it is often caused by simply sleeping at an awkward angle, slouching over a desk, or standing or sitting in same position for longer. In some cases there may be a physical abnormality causing the neck pain, such as ligaments calcification, cervical arthritis, spinal curvature, or torticollis (wry neck) which causes the head to tilt to one side due to shortened muscles in the neck.

Cervicalgia ICD 9 Code

Below you can find the symptoms, treatment as well as the ICD 9 code for Cervicalgia. There may a number of different  causes, why a patient suffer from it, as discussed above. But if you are suffering from it than you must know its symptoms and available treatment.

Symptoms of Cervicalgia

Following are some symptoms that indicates that patient is suffering from Cervicalgia. These may include:
  • both sharp neck pain and chronic pain in the neck.
  • pain is always accompanied by aching, tenderness, tension, pain upon rotating the head, stiffness of the neck, and even headaches.

In some cases the neck pain associated with cervicalgia may be short-lived and improve with rest, however in some others,  cervicalgia may remain constant, or even progress leading to degeneration of the cervical spine and the development of other symptoms such as radiculopathy or myelopathy.

Treatment of Cervicalgia

Treatment for cervicalgia are usually conservative. It  include different methods of relieving inflammation where it is evident. Such as:
  • Applying ice to the area is a good way of relieving pain and swelling and is often advised where a muscle tear is suspected. Heat is contraindicated in such a situation as this is likely to make the problem worse by increasing blood flow to the area.
  •  If the cervicalgia is due to muscle tension rather than an injury then thermotherapy can be effective in aiding relaxation of the muscle and relieving neck pain.
  •  Adequate rest and the temporary use of a supportive neck collar is also helpful in some cases of cervicalgia.  Don’t use a collar for longer as this may itself lead to muscle weakness in the neck.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications, including prescribed drugs, over-the-counter remedies, and natural supplements to lower inflammation and pain are also used as cervicalgia treatment.
  •  Physical therapy, including neck stretches and strengthening exercises, is a good idea for anyone who suffers from chronic neck pain.

ICD 9 Code for Cervicalgia

ICD-9-CM 723.1 is a billable medical code that is used  for Cervicalgia. However, 723.1 should only be used for claims with a date of service on or before September 30, 2015. For claims with a date of service on or after October 1, 2015, use an equivalent ICD-10-CM code (or codes).

 ICD-10-CM Code

On converting ICD 9 to ICD-10-CM, 723.1 changes  directly to ICD-10-CM M54.2

Approximate Synonyms

It is a disorder characterized by marked discomfort sensation in the neck area. Following is a list of approximate synonyms which may also used this code. These include:

Acute neck pain < 3 months
Cervical spine pain
Cervical spine pain greater than 3 months, chronic
Cervical spine pain, less than 3 months, acute
Cervical spine problem, chronic, > 3 months
Chronic disorder of cervical spine greater than three months
Chronic neck pain
Chronic neck pain > 3 months
Chronic neck pain for greater than 3 months
Chronic neck pain greater than 3 months
Neck pain
Neck pain less than 3 months, acute
Neck pain, chronic
Pain in cervical spine for less than 3 months
Pain in cervical spine for more than 3 months
Pain, cervical (neck) spine, acute less than 3 months
Pain, cervical (neck), chronic, more than 3 months
problem cervical (neck), chronic, more than 3 months

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