The neck is made up of many different muscles that work to support the weight of the head. However, since these muscles are flexible, the neck then becomes vulnerable to injuries, painful neck conditions, and restricted movements. Neck pain is a fairly common complaint and could be caused by a range of different problems from osteoarthritis to poor posture. So what are some common causes of neck pain?
One common condition is a muscle strain. Muscle strains are often caused by overuse of the neck. Hunching over a computer or even reading in bed can cause a muscle strain. The symptoms of muscle strains include sudden onset pain, soreness, limited range of movement, bruising, discoloration, muscle spasms, stiffness, weakness, and swelling.
Another cause of neck pain is worn joints. Like other joints in the body, the neck has joints that tend to wear with age. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage between the vertebrae to deteriorate. This causes the formation of bone spurs that affect joint movement and cause pain.
Nerve compression is caused by direct pressure on a nerve. This compression causes pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness. It can be caused by repeated external or prolonged force as well as something internal. Tumors, cysts, hematomas, and the patient’s own body can cause this compression, which is termed entrapment neuropathy.
Sudden injuries can also cause neck pain. A sudden jolt like a rear-end auto collisions can result in whiplash, an injury that occurs when the head is jerked backward then forward, straining the soft tissues.
There are also some diseases that can result in neck pain. These diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, and even certain cancers.
When to Visit Pain and Spine Specialists?
Although most neck pain subsides with over-the-counter medication, there are some causes that should be treated by a medical doctor. Please contact us if your neck pain is severe, persists for several days without relief, spreads down to your arms and legs, or is accompanied by a headache, numbness, weakness, or tingling.
Let us help you determine what type of treatment would be best for your neck pain. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Pain and Spine Specialists today!