What are the possible causes of neck pain?

By | August 29, 2022

There are various home remedies and products sold in the market for pain relief. Neck pain is one of the most common forms of pain felt by anyone and at least once in a lifetime. It is so common that about 1 out of 3 people will have it once a year. Many health devices and innovations such as massagers and pillows available in the market over thousands of reviews online help to support neck health and potentially help to reduce neck pain.

Neck pain usually is harmless and resolved on its own after a while. Unfortunately, it may keep coming back again especially after work or intensive sports. The pain may last for a few weeks, typically one or two weeks. Neck pain are considered chronic if the pain lasts for more than 3 months. Risk for neck pain to become chronic increases as a person ages. There are 2 types of neck pain which are mostly the neck area and sometimes affect the shoulders (axial pain) and pain that radiates or shoots down the arms or up to the back of the head (radicular pain). Radicular pain may also cause disturbance of the arm functions since it affects the arm reflexes and muscles, sometimes causing abnormal sensation such as “pins and needle” tingling sensation. Neck pain can be caused by a plethora of reasons. Most of the causes are recognizable since it involves the daily activities or a sudden event:

1-   Weak and overused neck muscles: As a result, this could lead to a muscle spasm. Sitting at a desk with uncomfortable positions for so long can make the neck stiffens and eventually pain. Tilting your head against the back such as in painting the ceiling or riding a fast bike may precipitate muscle problems in the neck area. This can be worsened due to the repeated movements and the head neck in an unusual position for quite a while. Sleeping with the wrong pillow sizes may cause the neck muscle and spine alignments to become problematic due to the bad positioning of the neck.

2-   Wear and tear on the cervical spine:  As a person gets older, so do their cells and parts of the body. Old people are prone to cervical spondylosis, a condition where osteoarthritis affected the neck, back bone and joints in between. This occurs when small bone spurs grow on the vertebrae due to degenerated spinal disc. These bone spurs can press on nerves and cause neck pain.

3-   Whiplash: Neck injury caused by a forceful and sudden movement of rapid back-and-forth jerking of the head. It is common in road accidents involving cars.

4-   Narrowing of the vertebral canal: This reflects a disease called cervical stenosis. Severe stenosis can pinch the nerve causing a nerve impingement which exhibits the neck pain symptoms.

Most of the time neck pain rarely indicates any dangerous health situations. However, if there is any of the below symptoms presented with the neck pain, the person needs to get medical advice as it could lead to a serious condition:

  • Neck pain symptoms exhibited rafter an accident
  • Inability to move the neck (stiff neck)
  • Sudden lost of controlling the bladder or bowel
  • Pain remained and does not alleviate no matter a person is at rest or moving
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Headaches accompanied with vomiting, nausea, dizziness or eye glare
  • High fever and chills
  • Abnormal nerve sensations such as tingling or “pin and needles”
  • Signs of paralysis of the limb and fingers such as difficulty to move the arm, limb weakness or losing balance when walking

References:

https://www.aans.org/en/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Neck-Pain

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK338120/

https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/neck-pain

 

 

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