While women and people between the ages of 18 and 64 are more likely to be affected, anyone can experience some type of neck pain at one time or another. The general cause of neck pain is eventual wear and tear on discs, muscles and joints within the neck area, although situations involving limited or repetitious neck movements can also be the contributing factors.
Activity-Related Neck Pain
Most neck pain is related to some type of activity, whether it be certain movements or muscle strain from overstretched or overused muscles, affecting the neck. Activity-related neck pain can often be treated with a non-surgical spinal procedure, and may include:
- Keeping your head in one position (watching TV, talking on the phone, etc.)
- Sleeping in positions where the neck doesn’t receive proper support
- Work involving repeated arm, shoulder and neck movements
- Overdoing arm and shoulder exercises (putting strain on neck muscles)
Injuries Causing Neck Pain
Certain injuries can cause neck pain, with whiplash (often from a car accident or sudden, forceful neck movement) being the most common. Direct impacts to the face and anywhere around the head or sports-related injuries can also contribute to neck pain.
Medical Conditions Resulting in Pain of the Neck
The spinal canal narrows with age, sometimes resulting in back and neck pain (cervical spinal stenosis) during later years of life. Arthritis can also develop in the neck with age. Additional medical conditions possibly causing neck pain may include:
- Meningitis (due to inflammation of tissues around the brain and spinal cord)
- Fibromyalgia (tenderness in joints, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Torticollis (severe muscle tightness)
- Referred pain (pain in one place affects another area, usually the back affecting the neck)
Treating Neck Pain
Treatments for neck pain vary, depending on the source and severity of the discomfort. Strength and stretching exercises or over-the-counter medications are often recommended to relieve the pain. Any persistent neck pain should be evaluated by a doctor where other recommendations could be made such as spinal surgery.
Interested in learning more about your treatment options for severe or chronic neck pain? Reach out to the Los Angeles spine surgeons at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Our board-certified and eligible doctors specialize in diagnostics and minimally invasive surgery and can help you determine how to best alleviate or minimize the pain you are experiencing. Call (310) 828-7757 and schedule a consultation today.