The cervical spine comprises of the first 7 vertebrae. It supports the weight of the head and allows its smooth movement. Neck pain refers to pain or discomfort resulting from abnormalities or injuries to any of the structures in the neck including the muscles, ligaments, nerves, bones and vertebral joints. Neck pain is one of the most common health problems experienced by individuals, at some point of their lives. It can either be a dull constant pain or a sudden sharp pain and is usually aggravated by movement.
- Muscle strain : Overuse of the neck muscles, such as hunching over a computer or phone, often triggers muscle strains. Even minor things, like reading in bed, can strain neck muscles.
- Worn Joints Like other joints in the body, neck joints tend to wear down with age.
- Nerve Compression Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of the neck can press on the nerves from the spinal cord.
- Injuries Rear-end motor vehicle accidents often result in whiplash injuries which strainthe soft tissues of the neck and can cause pain.
- Limited ability to turn, flex or extend your head
- Muscle tightness and spasms
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A DOCTOR?
- If the pain is due to a traumatic injury such as a motor vehicle accident, sports injury or fall.
- If the pain is severe.
- If the pain is accompanied by new onset headache, numbness, or weakness.
- If you have radiating pain into the extremities.