Neck pain is a common and particularly uncomfortable ailment. Since the neck is responsible for connecting the skull to the body’s spine, it is vulnerable to certain strains, stresses and injuries.
If you are experiencing neck pain, how do you know if it is a minor ache that will disappear quickly, or something more serious that needs attention and care?
Learn about the 5 most common causes of neck pain to help you avoid future pain, injury and discomfort.
Is there a chance you might have injured your neck during an activity, sport or accident? Sometimes a blow to the body from a fall or an unexpected impact can cause minor injury to the nerves between the neck and shoulder, which results in neck pain. An even more serious spinal cord injury can manifest itself as discomfort in the neck. If you are experiencing pain or muscle spasms after a suspected injury to your neck, or if your neck has experienced whiplash (the violent movement of the neck backwards and forwards), it is always wise to visit your doctor to be examined.
2. Spinal connection
Your neck pain could be the result of a disturbed spinal connection.
If there is excessive or repetitive stress placed on your spine or neck area, e.g., through contact sports or poor posture, your nerve may become compressed. This leads to a condition called ‘Radiculopathy’ which results in pain, tingling or numbness along the course of the nerve.
Spinal stenosis, an abnormal narrowing of the spinal cord, is another problem that can cause symptoms similar to that of a pinched nerve. This pain may also radiate into the arms.
Consult your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
Sufferers of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience inflammation of the joints and increased wear and tear of the bones. This can result in pain and stiffness in neck areas where arthritis is present.
Poor posture is probably one of the most common causes of neck pain. When a person does not pay attention to good posture practices like lifting heavy weights with bent knees or sitting correctly in a chair, it places unnecessary stresses and strain on the spine and neck which result in pain. Learn healthy habits to take care of your posture and invest in a good back supports for your office or home chair. These little aids could completely eliminate any minor discomforts you’ve been feeling in your neck.
Some neck-pain sufferers have a TMJ disorder (a temporomandibular joint disorder), which happens when the joint connecting the jaw and skull becomes strained because of genetics, teeth grinding or jaw clenching. On rare occasions, neck pain may be caused by a viral infection or a serious infection around the brain such as meningitis.
If you are experiencing neck pain of any kind, it is always wise to have it checked by your doctor.
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