Life can be a pain in the neck. That may be an old phrase, but there’s a lot of truth to it.
Neck pain happens to many people and for many different reasons. It’s annoying and makes life a lot more difficult. The phrase “pain in the neck” dates back to around the turn of the century, so people have had this issue for quite a while.
Unfortunately, getting rid of neck pain often means knowing why you have it. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of ten of the most common causes of neck pain. Read on, and we’ll try our best to eplain everything.
1. Posture or Sleeping Position
How we stand, sit, and sleep can affect a lot of things, and neck pain is one of them. In particular, craning your neck forward, such as when texting, surfing the internet or even reading a book, is a bad idea.
Keep in mind, we’re not telling you to stop doing these things, or even to cut back,but be aware of neck craning and try to avoid it in the future.
When it comes to sleeping, there could be a few different solutions. One such solution is to sleep on your back. Sleeping on your side can compress your spine and cause those annoying neck pains.
You may also be using too many or too few pillows, which can cause your neck to rest at an unnatural angle. You may want to consider investing in a memory foam pillow, which will support your neck without forcing it into an odd position.
It seems like every day, we find out that stress does something else to us. In this case, it can cause our muscles to grow taut, which makes it easier to strain them. If you’re the type who feels stressed and overwhelmed on a regular basis, your risk for stress-related injuries goes up.
The best advice for this is to calm down. Take a break whenever you feel the need to.
If frequent stress is a problem for you, one that’s disrupting your life significantly, we encourage you to see a counselor. They can teach you to help manage your symptoms and even refer you to a psychiatrist if they believe medication might help.
3. Carrying Too Much Weight
Don’t worry, this isn’t an entry about losing weight, although that can still be a health issue. It’s about literally carrying weight, like in the form of a purse or a backpack.
Carrying too much weight, and especially carrying it unevenly, causes our spines to bend and strain, which can lead to injury and discomfort. In terms of how to cure it, the only thing we can suggest is trying to distribute weight evenly, and cut down on it if you can.
4. Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus is a set of nerves that start in the neck and stretch down into the arms and hands. There are many potential causes of a brachial plexus injury, but the most common ones are motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries.
Having a brachial plexus injury is a bit like having a broken arm. It hurts or feels numb, and you may not be able to move it. In most cases, these injuries will heal naturally in a few months or less.
If they don’t, you should seek medical attention, because your condition may require surgery.
Whiplash has some of the same causes as a Brachial Plexus injury, and a few of the symptoms may be similar. However, a person with whiplash may also suffer from headaches, pain in the lower back, dizziness, tinnitus, and other symptoms besides.
Treatments for whiplash are often simplistic. They include pain pills, ice packs, physical therapy and home-based or outpatient procedures. Symptoms will often disappear within a month.
6. Pinched Nerve
In the neck, a pinched nerve will feel a lot like a brachial plexus injury and can be caused by many of the same things. However, a pinched nerve can also be the result of being overweight.
The big difference is that a pinched nerve usually disappears within several days. They also can be alleviated, to an extent, by home remedies such as ice packs.
7. Slipped Disk
Often caused by age, this condition occurs when one of the cushioned discs between vertebrae becomes prolapsed. This means that the bones in your spine are not as well protected, which results in pain during daily activities, often on one side of the body. You may also suffer tingling and muscle weakness.
Though age is one of the causes, it isn’t the only possible cause. You can also suffer a slipped disc from excessive muscle strain or being overweight.
Slipped discs need to be diagnosed by a doctor. This will often require a discogram, but can usually be treated non-surgically using painkillers and regular mild exercise.
Certain types of headaches can have neck pain and stiffness as a symptom, including migraines. If this is the case, it should go away when the headache does.
Most headaches, even migraines, can be treated with home care and painkillers. If you suffer from migraines, you should also consider therapy for help in reducing stress.
Aging makes us more susceptible to neck pain and medical conditions that can cause them. One such condition is arthritis.
In most cases, nothing can cure these conditions, but consulting with a doctor may help you find ways to cope with them or even slow their progression.
10. Sprains, Strains and the Unexplained
Like it or not, there’s not always an obvious explanation for pain. It may be something as simple as a sprain or strain, or some other mild, short-lived ache.
Our bodies are weird, and they sometimes do things we can’t explain. Unless sprains and strains are happening a lot, there’s no need to see a doctor.
Causes of Neck Pain
There are many potential causes of neck pain. Some come from sports injuries, being overweight, or car accidents. In some cases, you could just have poor posture or be too stressed out. It may even be the result of age or some random pain that comes and goes with no explanation.
That’s only a few explanations. If you want to know more, we encourage you to do research on your own.
The best advice we can give is to try to stay healthy and active, and to see a doctor if something feels wrong.
If you want to know more about pain and how to treat it, please visit our site. We can tell you all about the different kinds of stem cells and what role they play in medicine.