In this post on neck pain, it provides general information about what can cause neck pain and should only be used as a guide. In cases where you have severe neck pain or weakness in your arms/hands, contact your medical doctor as soon as possible.
Generally, neck pain is often caused by a strain or spasm of the neck muscles or of the neck joints. Some common activities that may cause this type of minor injury include sitting in front of the PC during a long day at the office or working at home, keeping your head in a forward posture or odd position while working for long periods of time, watching TV, reading or sleeping in an incorrect posture.
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Where the neck pain is caused by “wear and tear” that occurs to the bones and joints in your neck, this can occur as you age. This is a type of arthritis known as cervical spondylosis, fancy medical name. Cervical spondylosis occurs naturally with age. It doesn’t always cause symptoms, in some people the bone changes can cause neck stiffness, soreness or pain.
3 Common Causes of neck pain
Neck pain resulting from Spondylosis occurs due to everyday use over many years. This is where discs become thinner, the facet joints become worn and the spaces between the bones become narrower over time.
In worse cases, spurs of bone, known as osteophytes, format the edges of the vertebrae and the facet joints. These changes are very similar in nature to those seen in cases of osteoarthritis. If you suffer from this type of neck pain then seek medical advice, you can take painkillers to ease the pain, and exercise will help you to stretch and strengthen your muscles.
Tension around the shoulder and neck can be caused by activities like driving for long periods, leaning over a laptop or PC while working or simply by watching TV. Muscles at the back of the neck are always tensed in order to keep the body upright. This is made worse when we’re stressed we often tense these muscles even more, which can increase neck pain and lead to tension headaches. To avoid this type of neck tension practice regular relaxation and neck exercises which over time can help ease neck pain and tension.
Neck injury due to Whiplash
Whiplash injuries are often seen as a result of car accidents and can lead to long term neck pain and tension. This type of neck injury is caused by the body being pushed forward, causing the head to flip back. Then, as the body stops from the forward motion, the head is thrown further forwards, leading to what is termed Whiplash.
There’s often a delay between having an accident of this nature and you feeling any pain or stiffness. It’s thought that the pain is caused by the stretching of the ligaments and the capsule around the facet joints in the neck, along with muscle spasm as the body tries to support the injury.
Although a whiplash injury can seriously strain your neck, most cases of this type improve within a few weeks or months. Gentle simple exercises to keep the neck mobile will help avoid longer-term pain and get you back to normal.
If you are suffering from neck pain and have spoken to your doctor, to rule out any serious complications. In that case, you should slowly do neck exercises to reduce pain, apply heat compress to the affected area. Always take regular breaks from your desk, if working and stay active doing regular stretching exercises.
- Neck pain resulting from Spondylosis occurs due to everyday use over many years.
- Neck pain sometimes caused by “wear and tear” to the bones and joints in your neck, this can get worse as you age.
- Tension around the shoulder and neck can be caused by activities like driving, leaning over a while working – generally made worse by not taking regular breaks.
- Whiplash injuries are often a result of car accidents leading to long term neck pain and tension in some cases.