Neck Pain – What Causes of Neck Pain
Neck pain, at times, can become pain in the neck quite literally. People who have experienced neck pain alone know how painful the neck pain can turnout to be.
Neck is one of the most flexible regions of the spine, which consists of vertebrae, seven shock-absorbing discs, muscles, and vertebral ligaments to hold them in place. The uppermost cervical disc connects the top of the spinal column to the base of the skull. The spinal cord, which sends nerve impulses to every part of the body, runs through a canal in the cervical vertebrae and continues all the way down the spine. What causes neck pain?
Most people experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Neck pain can be acute, lasting for few hours or a few weeks, or it can be chronic. Neck pain that lasts several weeks or longer is considered chronic neck pain. Neck pain can be caused by an activity or injury or by a medical condition.
Your head and neck region is vulnerable to many different stresses. Bad posture can cause misalignment of your neck, head, and spine. Car accident can cause whiplash. Age and wear and tear can cause arthritis. Even activities such as chewing gum and reading in bed can cause pain. How do we avoid these potential problems? And if we cant avoid them, how can we recover as quickly as possible?
Non-specific neck pain
Many people develop a stiff and painful neck for no obvious reason. It may happen after a minor twisting injury, for example while gardening. Since the underlying cause for this type of neck pain is not fully understood hence it is called ‘non-specific neck pain’. Having non-specific neck pain does not mean that your neck is damaged. Often it happens in people whose necks would appear completely normal under an x-ray. It is the most common type of neck pain and disappears after a few days.
Activities that cause neck pain.
Neck pain mostly is caused by activities that result in repeated or prolonged movements of the neck’s muscles, ligaments, bones, or joints This can result in a strain (an overstretched or overused muscle), a sprain (injury to a ligament), a spasm of the neck muscles, or inflammation of the neck joints. Holding your head in a forward or odd position for long periods of time while working, reading, watching TV, or talking on the telephone.
Sleeping on a pillow that is too high or too flat or doesn’t adequately support your head, or sleeping on your stomach with your neck twisted or bent.
Spending long periods of time resting your forehead on your upright fist or arm.
Work that uses the upper body and arms, such as painting a ceiling or other overhead work.
Neck Pain – Medical conditions that cause neck pain
Neck pain may be caused by or related to medical conditions such as:
- Cervical Spinal Stenosis
- Cervical Spondylosis
- Illnesses, such as meningitis, which cause inflammation around the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.
- Chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis
- Torticollis (wryneck): Torticollis is caused by severe muscle tightness or a shortened muscle on one side o the neck, causing the head to be tilted to one side.
- Referred pain Referred pain occurs when a problem in one place in the body causes pain in another place. For example, a problem with your jaw or your heart can cause neck pain
- Infection or a tumor in the neck area.