7 Common Causes of Neck Pain (and What to Do About It)

According to research, 20-70% of adults experience neck pain that interferes with their daily activities. The causes of neck pain are often dependent on an individual’s circumstances and lifestyle, but there are 7 main causes of neck pain that we’ve found to be the most common.

If you want to know about the 7 Common Causes of Neck Pain and What to Do About It, keep reading for information about how you can treat your neck pain today.

Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain can occur suddenly or progress over time for a variety of reasons. The overall causes of neck pain and severity can vary from person to person and may include several factors such as stress, injury, or disease. Here are the 7 common causes of neck pain:

1. Car Accident

Any sudden jolt or movement in the neck can cause damage to the neck, especially whiplash, which tears the neck’s muscles and tendons. This could develop into more serious issues later on if not taken care of immediately after the accident. If you have been in a car crash, you may have an injury to the tissues in your neck and the surrounding cervical region of the spine. 

2. Poor Posture

Poor posture, whether sitting in a curved forward position for an extended period of time or sleeping on unsupportive pillows with your neck twisted all night, can cause severe and chronic pain in the neck. Always holding your head forward instead of straight up can cause undue strain and pressure which can lead to pain as your neck struggles to adjust to the increased weight that the forward motion brings. Being hunched forward looking at a computer screen or your cellphone all day is a prime culprit of neck pain.

3. Nerve or Joint Damage

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal cord, putting more pressure on the spine and nerves and causing severe pain. Spinal stenosis results from the erosion of the cushions around the spine by Osteoarthritis creating bone spurs. Compression of the spine can cause pain in the neck and radiate out to other areas of the body like the arms, shoulders, and fingers.

Arthritis can also cause a pinched nerve as well as the progression of age or a herniated disc.

4. Bulging/Herniated Discs

Bulging or herniated discs are the product of wear and tear on your spine over the years as you age. They can also be brought on by doing repetitive or strenuous activities such as playing sports, dancing, or swimming. Twisting and incorrect lifting can also cause herniation in the neck.

5. Slip and Fall

Any kind of slip or fall that ends in the body being thrown forward or backward and landing on the ground can trigger neck pain on impact. Thrusting the head back or forward at a sudden high rate of speed will cause trauma to the area. Slips and falls are one of the most common causes of injury to the neck. 

6. Degenerative Conditions

Degenerative conditions such as Arthritis and Osteoarthritis are caused by the body’s own immune system attacking the healthy parts of the spine. It causes inflammation of the spinal tissues, nerves, discs, and ligaments which can weaken the structure of the bone and cushioning around the spinal discs. This can lead to deterioration of the discs over time, creating a great deal of pain and loss of mobility in the neck. 

7. Carrying Too Much Weight

Carrying too much weight either in a backpack or lifting heavy things all day like furniture and shipping boxes causes the back to arch more, which can cause more pain in the neck. You are also at an increased rate of injuring yourself, especially if you are lifting improperly.

If you are overweight, the extra weight on your body’s frame can pull on your spinal cord and create neck pain from your spine trying to compensate for the imbalance. 

What To Do About Neck Pain?

There are many treatments and therapies available today for your helping you manage neck pain that can be accessed through a visit to a pain management specialist.

A pain management specialist will be able to evaluate and diagnose the main cause of your pain and create a treatment plan customized to your needs. A pain management specialist may also recommend physical therapy and gentle stretching exercises you can use at home to strengthen and increase the mobility in your neck. 

Although medication may be given to help relieve pain, this is not a permanent fix and can have dangerous addictive qualities. Pain management specialists seek to correct the source of the pain so that you can live a more active and drug-free life, if possible.

These are just a few of the procedures that are performed by a licensed pain management specialist to help relieve your pain:

Cervical Medial Branch Block

Medial Branch Block is an injection around the medial branches of the spinal nerves. Steroid medication like Cortisone is injected to help with inflammation. Medial Branch Blocks can help relieve neck pain and headaches coming from the neck. 

Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural Steroid Injections are useful for treating pain and inflammation in one or more cervical nerve root areas. A local anesthetic and a steroid medication are injected into the epidural space of the cervical spine. A cervical epidural is particularly useful for treating nerve compression from a herniated disc, spondylolisthesis, or arthritic deterioration. 

Occipital Nerve Block

An Occipital Nerve Block is a procedure where anesthetic medicine is injected into the back part of the head, into the Occipital nerve. This can help relieve chronic headaches and neck pain associated with spondylosis of the cervical facet joints, or osteoarthritis of the bones and discs in your neck

Stellate Ganglion Block

A Stellate Ganglion Block is a procedure where a local anesthetic is injected into the side of the neck on either side of the voice box. It reduces pain and swelling and helps improve mobility. 

Get Relief Today

Now that you understand some of the causes of neck pain, if you’re ready to take the next step in the process of managing neck pain, Colorado Pain Experts is here for you.

We believe that every patient is different and deserves a custom care plan that best suits their individual needs. We offer many options for pain management treatments for your chronic neck pain including chiropractic, acupuncture, medication management, and a wide array of neck pain injection procedures. 

Contact Us today to schedule your appointment and find out how Colorado Pain Experts can help you relieve your neck pain and get back to living your life again, pain-free.

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