Neck pain is a common complaint today, with nearly two-thirds of the population suffering from neck pain at some time in their lives. It is an increasing problem within the healthcare field in frequency, severity and intensity. The most common reason for this increase is simple; as we work more sitting down at desk, live hectic and fast-paced lives, we put more stress as well as strain on our upper back and neck. Often times when someone complains of a sore neck, it is referred to as stiff neck pain.Causes and Symptoms of Neck Pain
Most neck pain causes are not serious and are sometimes just strained by poor posture. Wear-and-tear arthritis is also a very common cause. Sometimes severe neck pain signifies something that is more serious. Please do not overlook the importance of having these symptoms investigated for a diagnosis:
Woman at computer experiencing common causes of neck pain and researching neck pain treatments in NYC.
- Shooting pain down the arm or shoulder.
- Loss of strength or numbness in hands or arms.
- Change in bowel or bladder habits.
- The inability to touch the chin to the chest.
Severe neck pain can be caused by many diseases or disorders of the tissues in the neck, including whiplash, neck strain, degenerative disc disease, meningitis, rheumatoid arthritis, pinched nerve, or herniated disc. In my experience with patients coming to see for neck pain solutions, I see most common causes of neck pain stem from:
- Muscle Strains. Overuse of these muscles many times triggers a muscle strain. Neck muscles, especially those located in the back of the neck, become tired and eventually strain. When overuse is repeated, stiff neck pain can form.
- Worn Joints. The joints in the neck just like other body joints can suffer from wear and tear which can lead to osteoarthritis in the neck.
- Nerve Compression. Many problems in the vertebrae can reduce the space that is available for nerves to extend out from the spinal cord. Examples of nerve compression are stiffened discs, herniated discs and bone spurs.
- Injuries. Car accidents often times result in whiplash, which is the result of stretching the tissues of the neck as when the neck is thrown into a back and forth motion. The same condition can also be caused by sports injuries.
Neck pain is usually associated with a dull ache and will sometimes worsen with movement. Other symptoms include tingling, numbness, tenderness, shooting pain, pulsations, difficulty swallowing, fullness, dizziness and gland swelling. You can be experiencing more than one of these symptoms.
Neck pain should never be something that is ignored, left untreated, or undiagnosed. Issues experienced in the cervical spine within the neck need assessment as well as treated to be able to prevent further or even more permanent damage. To prevent any type of neck pain, you should take very good care of your entire body and practice good and healthy habits.
This should include reducing tension and stress, sitting and standing properly, exercising your neck and body regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, eating healthy, lifting items safely, using proper sports equipment and wearing a seat belt.