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Symptoms and causes of neck pain

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There may be different causes of neck pain. The major causes of neck pain include-injury and accidents, growing older, other disease processes, everyday life.

Whiplash is a common injury sustained in an auto accident. Your head may move backward and forward rapidly. It goes beyond the next normal range of motion. So, it affects the muscles and ligaments in the neck. As a reaction to this, the muscle will tighten and contract which will result in muscle fatigue and pain and stiffness.

Growing older can result in degenerative disorders like osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. They will affect the spine and the neck. Osteoporosis will impact your joint motion. Spinal stenosis will cause neck, shoulder and arm pain and numbness. Degenerative disc disease may cause extreme pain, numbness and tingling.

Everyday life can affect your neck. Poor posture, weak abdominal muscles and obesity can disrupt the balance of the spine. Then your neck may bend forward to compensate that. Stress and emotional tension present daily life can also result in neck muscles tightening and contracting causing pain and stiffness.

Other disease processes like spinal infection, spinal cord compression, tumor, fracture and some other disorders can cause neck pain.

The causes can be listed as-

  • Some of the causes of back pain include
  • Carrying a heavy backpack on one shoulder
  • Cervical dystonia
  • Cradling your phone between your neck and shoulder
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Emotional stress
  • Trauma from accidents or falls
  • Meralgia paresthetica
  • Meningitis
  • Poor posture
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Osis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tension headache
  • Sleeping on your abdomen or with too many or too few pillows
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disk
  • Whiplash
  • TMJ disorders

Symptoms of neck pain

You may feel a knot, stiffness or severe pain in your neck. The pain may gradually spread to the shoulders, arms and upper back. Some people may suffer from a headache. If you have neck pain, you may not be able to move for turn your head and neck easily. Sometimes neck pain can shoot down your arm and make it unbearable for you. It may also result in numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms.

When you should see a doctor

If your neck pain is caused by muscle tension or strained, it will go away on its own within a few days. If the neck pain is present for several weeks, you should go see a doctor. Such a pain will be better with exercise, physical therapy, stretching, massage etc.

Some self-care tips

Ice or heat – you can apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas on the neck for 15 minutes. Do that three or more times every day. If you take a hot shower or bath, that may also help you by relaxing the strained muscles.

Stretching- if you stretch your neck muscles that may also help you to get rid of the neck pain. Stretching can be done by turning your neck gently from side to side and up and down.

Good posture-you need to practice a good posture. It is more important for you if you sit at a computer all day. Ensure that your back is supported all the time and the monitor of your computer is at eye level.

Massage-if you massage the sole places, it will help you to get relief from muscle spasms and will eliminate the neck pain.


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