Neck pain is a common complaint. Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture — whether it's leaning over your computer or hunching over your workbench. Osteoarthritis also is a common cause of neck pain.

Sometimes, neck pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem. Seek medical care if your neck pain is accompanied by numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands or if you have shooting pain into your shoulder or down your arm.


Signs and symptoms include:
1. Pain that is often worsened by holding your head in one place for long periods, such as when driving or working at a computer
2. Muscle tightness and spasms
3. Decreased ability to move your head
4. Headache
Contact our Physiotherapist if your neck pain:
1. Is severe
2. Persists for several days without relief
3. Spreads down arms or legs
4. Is accompanied by headache, numbness, weakness, or tingling
Your neck is flexible and supports the weight of your head, so it can be vulnerable to injuries and conditions that cause pain and restrict motion. Neck pain causes include:
1. Muscle strains . Overuse, such as too many hours hunched over your computer or smartphone, often triggers muscle strains. Even minor things, such as reading in bed or gritting your teeth, can strain neck muscles.

2. Worn joints. Just like the other joints in your body, your neck joints tend to wear down with age. Osteoarthritis causes the cushions (cartilage) between your bones (vertebrae) to deteriorate. Your body then forms bone spurs that affect joint motion and cause pain.

3. Nerve compression. Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.

4. Injuries. Rear-end auto collisions often result in whiplash injury, which occurs when the head is jerked backward and then forward, straining the soft tissues of the neck.

5. Diseases. Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, or cancer can cause neck pain.

6. Whiplash is caused by the head and neck suddenly forced backward and immediately forward with considerable force. The soft tissue along and near the cervical spine can be torn or ruptured as a result. This neck injury commonly occurs in a car accident that involves a rear-end collision.

7. Myofascial Pain: Achy muscles and surrounding connective tissue can cause irritable trigger points in muscle, typically in the upper back or neck. Trigger points can be chronically painful or painful to the touch. The pain may be localized or can spread to/from another area of the body.

8. Headaches: Neck problems also affect muscles and nerves connected to the head. This can result in a tension headache due to neck muscles tightening, or occipital neuralgia where a pinched occipital nerve in the neck causes pain to radiate up to the head.

Can neck pain be a sign of something serious?

Neck pain alone is rarely a symptom of a more serious problem. Seek medical care if your neck pain is present with numbness, loss of strength in your arms or hands or if you have shooting pain into your shoulder or down your arm.

How does a pinched nerve in the neck feel?

A pinched nerve will usually present with pain referred into the arm, and/or upper back, and be associated with numbness, pins & needles or tingling. Pain quality may vary from unpleasant sharp pain, to a dull ache. Referred pain in the arm may be triggered by head movements such as twisting and looking upward

When should I be worried of neck pain?

If your neck pain is intense, and associated with headache, and it is the worst pain you've ever had, and different than your usual pain, seek urgent medical care.

How do you loosen tight neck muscles?

Gentle stretching and exercise strategies such as chin retractions, postural exercise or other self care tools can help. Consult with a physiotherapist today to get personalized care.

Does stress cause neck pain?

Stress can be a significant contributor to neck pain. Stressors, both mechanical and mental in nature, can cause increased tone (tightness) of the neck muscles and contribute to painful muscular trigger points.

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