Neck pain can be caused from abnormalities in the soft tissue—the muscles, ligaments, and nerves—as well as with the bones and disks of the spine.

The most common causes of neck pain are:

  • Soft-tissue abnormalities due to injury (a sprain)
  • Prolonged wear and tear
  • Infection or tumors may cause neck pain
  • Neck problems may be the source of pain in the upper back, shoulders, or arms
  • Muscle Tension and Strain

The neck is particularly vulnerable to injury, especially in falls, car accidents, and sports, where the muscles and ligaments of the neck are forced to move outside their normal range. If the neck is dislocated or fractured, the spinal cord may also be damaged. Neck injury caused by a sudden jerking of the head is commonly called “whiplash.”

What is a
Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc is where the cervical disks protrudes and put pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots when the rim of the disk weakens. This can be caused by injury or simply due to age.

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal column narrows and causes pressure on the spinal cord. This can be due to long-term inflammation caused by arthritis or other reasons.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Stiff neck is usually accompanied by fever and severe headache. Meningitis can be deadly and is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms of meningitis, seek help immediately.

Cervical Disk Degeneration

The disks of the neck act as a shock absorber. In cervical disk degeneration (which typically occurs in people age 40 years and older), the gelatin-like disks can degenerate causing the space between the vertebrae to narrow. As the disk space narrows, added stress is caused to the joints of the spine which contribute to further degeneration.

When should you
Seek Medical Care?

If pain symptoms persist for more than a week, consult with a pain management specialist.