Why Does Your Neck Hurt? 9 Common Neck Pain Causes
Old or young, it is common to hear people complain about their neck pain. In most cases, it is usually a result of bad posture. However, the neck pain could be a symptom of something more severe. Since neck pain tends to trickle throughout your body, you may also experience pain in your back and shoulders. This pain may go away after a few hours, or it could persist for days and cause you great distress.
Before you attempt any remedy, you should seek chiropractic help and understand what is causing the pain in your neck. If you have been experiencing neck pain, you may be suffering from a combination of these common neck pain causes:
1. Bad Sleeping Position
Sleeping poorly is one of the most common neck pain causes. A wrong sleeping position plays a major role in aggravating neck pain. Before you sleep, always make sure that your neck is comfortably supported. Otherwise, you might wake up with a stiff and painful neck.
If you are feeling uncomfortable in your sleep, try changing the number of pillows or the firmness of your mattress. Many people experience improvements in their sleep by using more pillows or changing to a more ergonomic mattress.
2. Muscle Strains
Muscle strains are usually caused by overuse or improper use of the muscles. These strains can occur in any tissue of your body, but they are more common in the neck, lower back, hamstring and shoulder. When someone is experiencing muscle strains, the movement of the affected muscles is limited.
Hunching over your smartphone or computer for many hours is a common cause of muscle strain in the neck. Gritting your teeth or reading in bed can strain the neck muscles as well. If the stain is mild to moderate, you can successfully treat it at home using heat, ice and anti-inflammatory medications. If you are experiencing severe strain, seek professional physiotherapy treatments for help.
3. Acute Torticollis
Torticollis is used to describe a medical condition that results in the head becoming twisted towards one side. If you are suffering from acute torticollis, trying to straighten your head becomes very difficult and painful. According to doctors, this condition is a result of minor muscle or ligament sprains in the neck. It may also be caused by exposure to extremely low temperatures over an extended period.
Torticollis usually develops overnight. You may go to bed without any symptoms, but you aren’t able to move your neck when you wake up. Typically, the pain will go away after a few days and the neck movement will go back to normal.
However, the neck pain might may last longer if there is a severe health issue underlying it. Some common underlying causes of this medical condition include infections, tumours, and side-effects of certain medicines.
4. Stress and Anxiety
You might assume that stress and anxiety are mainly psychological symptoms, but they can have a physical impact on your body as well. In some cases, stress and anxiety can cause your muscles to tighten, including the neck muscles. People suffering from stress and anxiety often talk about tension in the neck and back. The excess strain is what causes the pain.
5. Worn Joints
This is one of the more common neck pain causes found in the elderly. Like most joints in the body, the neck joints wear out as you get older. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage (which act as a cushion) between your vertebrate to deteriorate. This condition causes the body to form bone spurs that interfere with joint motion, causing neck pain.
The term whiplash is used to describe a type of neck injury where the head suddenly jolts forward and quickly snaps back into place. This movement is akin to the crack of a cane or whip, hence the name whiplash. Most people associate whiplash with car accidents, but it can also be caused by sports injuries or other forms of sudden, jerky movements.
7. Carrying Heavy Weight
Carrying a heavy purse or shoulder bag can strain various body muscles, such as those in the neck. If you are carrying this heavy weight for a long time, it may lead to all sorts of neck issues. To minimize the neck pain, make sure the luggage does not exert undue pressure on your body. If it is too heavy, avoid carrying unnecessary items in your purse or shoulder bag to lighten the weight.
8. Brachial Plexus Injury
The term brachial plexus is used to define the collection of nerves responsible for connecting the hands to the part of the spinal cord found in the neck. If you get a neck injury, and it affects your brachial plexus, you will feel some pain in your hand. Blunt force trauma is one of the major causes of brachial plexus injuries, which commonly happens during sporting or car accidents.
9. Cervical Radiculopathy
Cervical radiculopathy is often referred to as a pinched nerve. This condition occurs when the nerves in the neck part of the spinal cord are irritated, causing pain in the arm and neck. Although it often causes pain in the neck area, other primary symptoms include numbness and pain, or weakness in some parts of the arms. The common causes of this medical condition are neck arthritis, a prolapsed disc, or cervical spondylitis.