Neck pain is extremely common.
If you haven't had neck pain of some sort yet in life, consider yourself lucky. But, also realize the day will soon come when you suffer like the rest of us.
Neck pain can be caused by simple things like poor posture, that's why it's so common.
Leaning over your computer desk or hunching over a workbench is enough to induce neck pain.
Osteoarthritis is a very common cause of neck pain as well.
Neck pain is rarely a symptom of something more serious or an underlying issue.
However, you should seek medical care if your neck pain is accompanied by numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands, or if you have shooting pain into your shoulder or down your arm.
Here you can learn more about our neck pain doctor.
If you don't have any of those symptoms, know that your neck pain is likely to go away with time.
Medical intervention is rarely needed to treat neck pain.
They say the best treatment is prevention, so how can we prevent neck pain from happening?
The first step is to know what causes it.
In the article below, we'll take a look at some of the most common causes of neck pain.
Table Of Contents
- Strains And Sprains
- Chronic Neck Pain
- Other Causes Of Neck Pain
- Neck Pain Is Common
Strains And Sprains
Strains and sprains are the most common forms of neck pain.
They usually heal with a few days or weeks, and don't require a lot of intervention, if any.
A strain is when a muscle or tendon has been irritated by overuse or overextension.
A sprain is when a ligament has been irritated by overuse or overextension.
Common causes of strains and sprains include:
Sleeping in the wrong position. This is often referred to as a crick in the neck, and you will wake up in the morning with pain in your neck due to an awkward sleeping position.
Sports injury. These can occur in any sport. Simply moving your neck in a sudden or unusual way, falling, or colliding with an object or another player can cause a neck strain or sprain/
A common sports collision injury is a stinger, which happens when nerves in the neck/shoulder are impacted and pain, numbness, and weakness can radiate down the shoulder, arm, and hand.
Poor posture. Whether it's at home, work, or commuting to or from, poor posture can easily lead to neck problems.
If a person's head is often tilted forward for extended periods, then the necks muscles, tendons, and ligaments need to work harder.
Poor posture can be problematic during a number of activities, including working on a computer, watching TV, riding o an airplane, reading a book, and much, much more.
Text neck is a great example. It's becoming an increasingly common problem that develops in anyone who spends hours looking down at their phone while texting.
Repetitive motions. Turning the head in a repetitive manner, such as side to side while dancing or swimming, may lead to the overuse of your necks muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Holding your head in an unusual position. Anything that requires holding your head in an unusual way for long periods of time could cause neck strains and sprains.
Common examples are having a long phone conversation with your phone held between your neck and shoulder, or sitting too close to the TV.
Chronic Neck Pain
Neck pain is only considered chronic when it lasts for more than three months.
Chronic neck pain usually comes from problems in the cervical spine, either with a facet joint or disc.
Common causes of chronic neck pain are:
Cervical degenerative disc disease. Everyone experiences wear and tear on the cervical spine over time.
It's natural for the discs to gradually lose hydration and the ability to cushion the spines vertebrae.
If the disc degenerates enough, though, it can lead to painful irritation of a cervical nerve in various ways, such as a herniated disc, pinched nerve, or changes in the facet joints that can cause arthritis.
Cervical herniated disc. A cervical disc is herniated when its jelly-like inner layer, the nucleus pulposus, leaks out through a tear in the disc's protective outer layer. This typically results from injury or aging.
A herniated disc may press against or pinch a cervical nerve, or the inflammatory proteins of the nucleus pulposus may close enough to cause irritation.
Cervical osteoarthritis. When the cartilage in a cervical facet joint wears down enough, it can lead to cervical osteoarthritis, also known as cervical spondylosis.
Rather than having facet joints move smoothly along cartilage as intended, they might grind bone on bone.
The joint could become enlarged from inflammation and bone spur growth, causing a nearby nerve to become pinched or pressed.
Other Causes Of Neck Pain
While these causes aren't as common as the causes listed above, other causes of neck pain are:
Emotional stress. Sometimes muscles in the neck can tighten up and ache in response to stress, anxiety, or depression.
Infection. If part of the cervical spine becomes infected, then inflammation could cause neck pain. One example of this is meningitis.
Myofascial pain. This chronic condition has trigger points, which result from achy muscles and surrounding connective tissues, typically in the upper back or neck.
Trigger points can be chronically painful or only painful to the touch. The pain might stay in one spot, or it can be referred pain that spreads to/from another area in the body.
Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose, but it typically involves pain in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in several areas of the body, including the neck.
Neck Pain Is Common
Many people experience because of poor posture and muscle strain. In these cases, your neck pain should go away if you fix your posture and rest your neck muscles when they're sore.
Chronic neck pain is a different story, although less common, and you should work with a doctor to treat the underlying issues.
If you experience neck pain, seeing your chiropractor could prove to be extremely beneficial to you.
Although your neck pain is likely to go away on your own, your chiropractor can make sure it goes away, and that it won't come back.
Your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan made especially for you to knock out your neck pain and keep it away.
If you don't have a chiropractor, contact Advanced Injury Care Clinic so they can get you started on the road to recovery.
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