Most, if not all people will have neck problems at one time or another, and it’s no surprise given how complex and delicate the muscle and bone structure is for our necks. Even our daily movements and habits can cause neck pain and injuries that may take time to heal.
However, it’s not surprising that many neck injuries and pains happen due to sports, work activities, recreational activities, and home-related work activities (such as repairs).
How does it feel?
Neck pain may not necessarily feel like pain at all. It can manifest at first as stiffness or a kink, as if a part of your neck doesn’t want to move in a certain way. After that, the pain may stay localized, but it can also spread to the upper back, and can even go down the arms. The usual area for neck pains is from the base of the skull to the shoulders themselves.
Anatomically, this means that neck pain can be involve all the bones and joints of the cervical spine. It can also involve the discs in between the vertebrae, which serve as a shock absorber. Finally, neck pain can also involve the muscles and ligaments that are used to hold the spine together. If any of these components are injured, then pain of varying degrees will be felt, either in a specific area, or as a general feeling of stiffness or aural pain.
How do I get neck pain?
Some activities can cause neck pain, such as:
Odd positions – Holding your head and neck in an odd position, such as a hunched or askew position for any length of time while eating, reading, sleeping, or watching TV can create muscle pains that can be difficult to manage.
Pillows – Pillows that either fail to support your neck or are too high and end up angling your neck upwards when you are asleep can also give you neck pain. This situation can be made worse if your bed is also too soft, such that the combination of your pillow and bed can make your neck distorted or bent while you’re sleeping.
Thinker’s pose – Letting your forehead rest on your palm or fist can cause neck strain, surprisingly.
Stress – This is an underestimated reason for neck pain, but when it does happen, it affects the muscles that run from the back of the head to the shoulders. This can manifest as either stiffness or outright pain.
Work – To be more specific, overworking your upper body can result in neck pains.
The neck can also have pain due to the following situations, which are usually borne of sudden movement.
Sprains or strains – Whiplash is the most common form of this kind of injury. This no joke, as the pain can radiate all the way down to the hands and fingers. You can even have a pinched nerve to go with the neck strain, which can turn into chronic pain in certain positions.
Serious injuries – after an accident, if you feel like you can’t move, then it may not only be whiplash, but even a fracture or dislocation of the spine. If it involves the discs, then a torn or ruptured disc can lead to symptoms similar to a pinched nerve. IF this happens, don’t move too much, and wait for help to come in and assist getting you to the hospital.