Neck pain, like headaches, is a common symptom that affects almost everyone at some point in their lifetime. The cause of neck pain can be simple or complex, acute or chronic. The good news is that in most cases, treatment and prevention is simple and effective.
What causes neck pain?
Neck pain can be anything from a sharp, gripping pain or a dull ache to a being unable to move your neck at all. The most common types of neck pain are aching or stiffness. This happens when the cervical spine becomes locked so that the movement of the spine stiffens like an old door hinge. The lack of movement within the spine causes the muscles around the neck and shoulders to tighten or in some cases weaken and it is this change that causes so much pain.
It isn’t just a tightening or locking of the muscles or spine that causes neck pain. There are a number of conditions or injuries that can cause either acute or chronic pain. The most common causes of neck pain include:
Spondylitis or inflammation of the spine
Tension headache where tension caused by a tightening of the muscles refers pain to the neck
Muscle cramps in the neck, face or shoulders
Muscle strain of the neck or shoulders
Sprained ligaments in the neck
Pinched nerve in the neck or shoulders
RSI (repetitive strain injury)
Spondylosis or spinal arthritis
Text neck caused by constantly looking down and forward at devices
Wry neck causing pain and stiffness from muscle spasms