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Examining the Symptoms and Causes of Neck Pain

Millions of people suffer from neck pain at some point in time. Identifying the cause of the pain dictates the treatment recommended. The causes of neck pain vary considerably and are not always easily recognizable without a thorough medical examination.

Causes of Neck Pain

One of the ongoing causes of neck pain that can strike anyone at any age is muscle strain. Overuse of the neck muscle can easily create a strain on the muscles resulting in a painful aftermath. People forced to sit at a computer for too many hours in a row are known to suffer from neck pain. Most people report that they have suffered from neck pain associated with sleeping in an awkward position. Reading in bed is another common culprit blamed for many neck aches.

Injuries are also a big factor contributing to neck pain. Car accidents can cause whiplash when a driver is hit from behind. The neck is jerked in this type of accident and can cause a great deal of pain. For younger people, one of the main reasons they suffer from neck discomfort is related to sports injuries. Football is particularly hard on the neck. Work injuries also comprise a large segment of accidents known to harm hurt the neck. A large number of contractors fall each year from ladders, injuring their neck.

Diseases or medical conditions can also create painful symptoms that contribute to neck pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is a common malady that millions of people suffer from, particularly as they age. Cervical spinal stenosis is another painful disease that afflicts people, where the spinal canal becomes more narrow. Tumors, infection and degenerative diseases are also cited as major reasons for neck pain. In more mature adults it is common for them to experience neck pain resulting from pinched nerves, which is often a sign of aging and basic physical deterioration.


One of the reasons the cause of neck pain is not always obvious is because symptoms of neck problems can occur in other parts of the body. Stiffness, tingling, burning, aching and numbness are all associated with neck pain. A pinched nerve in the neck may cause a tingling sensation in the arm. A knot in the neck is also reported frequently. In some cases, severe pain accompanies a neck injury or rheumatoid arthritis.


Physicians can diagnose the causes of neck pain and effectively treat it in most cases, greatly reducing painful symptoms. For minor neck aches, taking an anti-inflammatory medication like acetaminophen or aspirin is helpful. If the pain persists for more than a couple of days, seeing a physician is recommended.


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