Neck pain is a common complaint, affecting almost everyone at some point in time. When neck pain comes suddenly with intensity, it is considered acute. This can be a simple crick or, more seriously, muscular rheumatism or facet syndrome. The degree of pain in the neck can range from a mild discomfort to a burning, severe sensation.
Any neck pain that lasts for three months or longer is considered chronic, and it may be indicative of a serious medical situation. Both men and women have pain in the neck, but women have the condition more frequently.
What Causes Neck Pain
Injury is one common reason for pain in the neck, but a muscle problem or mechanical one can also be the source. Many people have arthritis in their necks, and a bulge that traps a nerve in the vertebrae of the back can also be a reason. The trigger for the discomfort can be simply sleeping in an awkward way causing stress to neck muscles.
Some of the more common conditions that lead to neck pain are trauma or injury, such as a sudden jolt or whiplash. Worry and stress are also attributable to continuing the ache. Sitting or standing in a certain way that keeps the head in a sustained position is another way to produce neck problems, such as using a computer keyboard for long periods.
More serious causes for neck problems come from osteoporosis, brittle bones, or a slipped disc. A curvature of the spinal due to a deformity (scoliosis) causes many pains of the neck, and on some rare occasions, infection and / or tumors may be the culprit. More often than not, a specific reason is not forthcoming for the underlining reason of pain in the neck.
Identifying the Pain
Because other issues may cause pain in the neck, the discomfort may extend to other parts of the body. Pain may run down to shoulders or to the back and separate the shoulder blades. The hurting can extend up to the head or down the arm as far as the hand. Neck pain will also lead to headaches, either in one side of the head or both.
Pain at the base of the skull can be in tandem with weak feelings in the arms and shoulders. A condition known as torticollis can cause the head to turn to one side. Some neck pain will affect a tingling in the fingers and arms.
It is important to properly explain the pain to a qualified doctor and have a prognosis when neck pain is prolonged. Determining the cause plays a large part in easing the pain and discomfort associated with neck pain.