NECK PAIN

Pain-in-neckkNeck pain is a common complaint, but a unique condition where even the smallest amount of pain can cause the greatest amount of restriction.  Neck pain, although felt in the neck, can be caused by numerous other spinal problems. The following are some common causes of neck pain.

MUSCLE STRAINS:

Overuse or working in abnormal positions, such as too much time spent hunched over a steering wheel, often triggers muscle strains. Neck muscles, particularly those in the back of your neck, become fatigued and eventually strained to the point that a minor movement causes severe or stabbing pain. This pain can be located in the muscles of the neck or can be the muscles binding the joints of the neck causing pain. When the muscles become strained, the neck no longer moves properly and will cause discomfort.

Worn joints:

Like the other joints in your body, your neck joints experience wear and tear with age, which can cause osteoarthritis in your neck. It is not rare to see an x-ray of a neck and see an abnormal ‚Äď worn out joint in the middle of normal joints. How did that happen? Usually it is an injury that was never corrected, effected blood flow to the joint, and the joint began to wear more heavily than the ones above and beneath. Neck (cervical) osteoarthritis not only can cause pain, but also stiffness with reduced range of motion in your neck.

migrane2Disc disorders:

As you age, the cushioning discs between your vertebrae become dry and stiff, narrowing the spaces in your spinal column where the nerves come out. The discs in your neck also can herniate. This means the inner gelatinous cartilage material of a disc protrudes through the disc’s tougher cartilage covering. Neck pain may occur or nearby nerves can be irritated. Other tissues and bony growths (spurs) also can press on your nerves as they exit your spinal cord, causing pain.

 

Injuries:

The neck is an integrate mechanism that coordinates muscle and joint movement in very complex ways. When a joint is injured, the neck must adapt around that abnormality, which can cause increased pain and problems. Neck pain must be treated properly to restore not only the joint to a normal healthy state, but to also get the muscles functioning normal again and prevent further damage to the neck. Rear-end collisions often result in whiplash injuries, which occur when the head is jerked forward and back, stretching the soft tissues of the neck beyond their limits. These whiplash injuries are a major cause for chronic pain and require treatment for ligaments as well as the muscles of the neck.