Almost everyone has neck pain at one time or another. It may be something as simple as waking up after sleeping with your head in an awkward position, or it could be due to an accident or injury. Here are some tips for dealing with neck pain.
What causes neck pain?
Neck pain occurs when there is some type of problem with or injury to any of the sections of the neck. The neck is structurally complex and comprised of several parts. These neck structures include:
- Neck Bones – The neck is comprised of seven bones stacked all on top of each other. These bones are also part of the spine and are referred to as the “cervical vertebrae.” If these bones get worn down or get growths on them, called spurs, neck pain can occur.
- Ligaments – These are very strong tissues that connect the bones to one another. If the neck is moved too quickly or forcefully back and forth, it can damage these ligaments. This is the case when a person has whiplash due to a car acc > Discs – Between the bones all along the spine, and in the neck, are some special cushions, called discs. A muscle strain, tension or poor posture ca cause pain.
- Nerves – Down the middle of the spine is the spinal cord which essentially is a bundle of nerves. These nerves branch out from the spinal cord and reach out to all parts of the body.
What types of symptoms are associated with neck pain?
When there is pain in the neck, since it contains part of the spinal cord, it can cause a wide variety of symptoms. These include:
- Pain, tightness or stiffness that affects the neck, upper back, arms or shouders
- Weak neck muscles
- Limited mobility in the neck
- Pain when you turn or tilt the head
- Numbness (often described as having “pins and needles”) in the shoulders or arms
- Difficulty walking or moving your legs
- Losing control of the bladder or bowels