When your neck is hurting, it can seem like every move you make just makes the pain worse. Identifying the cause of your neck pain is the first step in curing it for good. Neck pain can be caused by a variety of issues that require a medical professional to diagnose.
The most common causes of neck pain are:
Simply overusing the muscles in your neck can cause them to be sore and painful, especially several hours after the exertion. This soreness and pain can last for days until the tiny tears in the neck muscles heal.
Our joints bear the brunt of our weight as we move around, and the neck joint is no different. It supports the full weight of our skull and must pivot, turn, and twist constantly as we move our heads around. As we age, or with prolonged physical exertion, the cartilage that pads and cushions the neck joint wears away, leaving the bone exposed. If enough cartilage wears away, the bone starts to rub against the bone, and pain quickly ensues.
Another common cause of neck pain is a compressed nerve. The nerves that run through our spinal cords in the neck area can easily become pinched and inflamed as the bones and soft tissues around them deteriorate. This compression and inflammation can cause pain at the site of compression, as well as radiating pain that reaches many other areas of the body.
Any injury around the head, neck or upper body can damage the tissues in the neck, causing anything from severe and acute pain to constant and throbbing pain. Some injuries, like whiplash, may not be evident until some time has passed after the incident.
There are several conditions that can cause pain and inflammation in the neck, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
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