Even though it might not sound like it, the term “neck pain” is very broad in nature. It refers to pain and discomfort in any structure of the neck, including muscles, nerves and vertebrae. In the following article we will be discussing the most common neck pain causes.
One of the main characteristic of pain is that it is, most of the time, temporary, lasting 1 or 2 weeks. That doesn’t mean you should do nothing and endure the pain but it also means that it cannot be a quick fix.
But before we dive into the causes of neck pain, I would like to talk a little about it`s prevention.
I am a big fan of prevention myself, and I always say there is no better treatment than prevention. Just think about it, is it better to spend 5 minutes reading a few lines and finding out how to prevent pain or ignore it and spend the rest of your life fighting it?
So what can you do? The most important thing I always point out is stretching and exercise, you just can`t go around it. You have to do neck pain exercises in order to strengthen it and make it more resistant to injuries. And no matter if you are a serious athlete or just exercising because you are bored, you must stretch before any physical activity.
By stretching your muscles you are warming them up, making them more flexible and enabling a better blood flow.
– First type of exercises you can try is circular stretches, rotating your head slowly, first in a clockwise direction then counter clockwise. Depending on your comfort level, you can do this up to 10 minutes.
– Next, you can flex your head forward and extend it backward. This is also, a pretty basic exercise but do it slowly in order to eliminate making things worse.
– The third exercises you can try is lateral flexion. It sounds more complicated than it actually is, you just need to flex your head sideways and try to bring your ear as close to your shoulder as possible.
After you are warmed up you can try a few strengthening exercises. They are basically the second and third exercise we mentioned above, but now you use your hand to give your neck a little resistance.
Most common underlying cause of neck pain is strain (it even rhymes). A strain or tension can be caused by a lot of things, it can be something as simple as sleeping in the wrong position, poor posture while watching TV, poor posture at your work desk/fun desk, or something serious like a car accident, bad falls, blood circulation problems and vertebral fractures (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003025.htm). It is so common and widespread that , according to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, about two thirds of population have this type of pain at some point in their life.
I don’t know about you but that piece of information worries me, which is why I decided to write this article. So I can bring more awareness to the matter and present you with most common causes pain, so you can identify them and correct before it`s too late.
Like I`ve said before, the most common causes are various strains. Bad posture while sitting, watching TV, working at your desk, sleeping in awkward positions and overuse are some of the known strains that can lead to neck pain.
You need to identify them and correct as often as you can, because the worst thing that could happen is for you to adopt a bad posture and make it your default posture.
Nothing lasts forever, same thing can be said for your joints. As the years go by the joints and bones undergo wear and tear and can cause problems such as osteoarthritis.
Nerve compression can be caused by various things, but the end result is the same, they put pressure on the nerves branching out thus causing problems.
Strong backward jerking movement will often damage your neck and lead to injury. It usually occurs in rear-end car collisions, so remember to always pay attention to people behind you, especially when there is a high traffic volume.
More Severe Causes
– Carotid artery dissection – this is a very serious condition, where the layers of the artery walls become separated and oxygen-bearing blood gets to the head and brain. It is one of the most common causes of stroke in young adults.
– Head and neck cancer – no need for explanation here
– Obstruction of coronary arteries – where patients can feel referred pain
– Spondylosis – degenerative oseteoarthritis of the joins
– Disc herniation – where herniated spinal discs put pressure on the nerves