Neck Pain

An Alternative Approach to Neck Pain Relief
Neck pain—discomfort in any of your neck structures—can be a major nuisance. Neck pain can affect almost every aspect of your life and keep you from enjoying the activities you most cherish. Your neck muscles, ligaments, nerves, spinal discs, and cervical vertebrae can all be pain generators that limit your range of motion and cause you serious discomfort. This page discusses the most common causes of neck pain and makes helpful suggestions about how you can permanently eliminate your neck problem.

Condition Information

Your neck muscles, along with your other neck structures, support the weight of your head and allow for a significant amount of neck motion. This high degree of motion makes your neck susceptible to injury, however. Certain risk factors may increase your likelihood of experiencing neck pain, including:

  • Poor posture (holding your neck in a forward position)
  • Working in the same position for prolonged periods
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Poor sleeping setup (e.g., inappropriate pillow)
  • Stress and emotional exhaustion
  • Age (people over 30 are more likely to experience neck pain)
  • A traumatic event (e.g., car accident)

In rare instances, neck pain may be a symptom of a more serious health problem. Seek assistance as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:

  • Neck pain accompanied by upper extremity numbness
  • Decreased arm or hand strength
  • Shooting or stabbing pain in your shoulder or down your arm

Causes Symptoms

Muscle strains and tension are one of the most common causes of neck pain. Certain everyday activities may lead to muscle strains and neck pain, including:

  • Placing your computer monitor too high or too low
  • Twisting your neck while exercising
  • Keeping a poor posture while watching television or reading

Specific causes of neck pain (besides muscle strains) include:

Neck pain may be accompanied by other symptoms, including:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Decreased cervical spine range of motion
  • Tingling or burning sensations in your arm
  • Headache

Neck Pain Treatment

Neck pain is health problem that usually responds well to conservative care measures.

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