Your neck comprises bones, ligaments, and muscles that support your head and allow movement. Any injury or inflammation of these parts can lead to neck pain. Neck pain can result from poor posture, overuse, medical conditions, or injuries. In most cases, neck pain is not a severe condition and resolves within a few days. If your pain lasts more than a week, is severe, or is accompanied by other symptoms, consult your Alliance Spine Associates, LLC doctor for evaluation. Neck pain can present as a sharp pain, cause stiffness or numbness, or radiate to your head or arms.
Symptoms of neck pain
Neck pain can feel like your neck is stiff or stuck. It can sometimes lead to decreased range of motion. Neck pain can also feel like a sharp or stabbing pain. During a physical exam, your neck pain can exacerbate when your doctor palpates your cervical spine. In most patients, neck pain worsens upon moving, twisting, or extending the cervical spine from side to side or up and down.
Radiating pain or numbness
Your neck pain can radiate to your head, trunk, shoulder, or arms. If your neck pain results from a compressed nerve, you may experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or hands. Neck pain caused by a pinched nerve can feel like a burning or sharp pain that starts at your neck and down to your arm. If you experience such symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.
Neck pain can also lead to a headache known as cervicogenic headache. Neck pain with a headache may indicate a symptom of a migraine headache.
Causes of neck pain
Falls, car accidents, or sports injuries can force your neck muscles and ligaments to move outside their normal range, causing pain. If your neck bones are fractured, your spinal cord may also be damaged. Neck damage from sudden jerking of your head is referred to as whiplash.
Meningitis is the inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds your brain and spinal cord. If you have meningitis, you can experience a stiff neck, headache, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and fever. Meningitis can be fatal, so it requires immediate medical care.
A herniated disc
A herniated disc occurs when a cervical disc protrudes or slips due to trauma or injury. It can also add pressure on your spinal cord or nerve roots, causing neck pain.
An osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis where your cervical discs degenerate due to age. This condition can narrow the spaces between your cervical bones leading to neck pain. It can also add stress to your joints leading to pain.
Muscle tension and strain
Muscle tension and strain resulting from repetitive activities can cause neck pain. These habits include poor neck posture, sleeping with your neck in the wrong position, and suddenly jerking your neck during exercise. Working on your phone, laptop, or computer for a prolonged period in the same position can also lead to muscle strain.
Neck pain is any discomfort involving neck muscles, bones, or ligaments. It can be caused by injuries, specific medical conditions, muscle strain, or a herniated disc. Schedule an appointment at Alliance Spine Associates, LLC for neck pain treatment to restore your normal movement.