As much as this neck pain is felt in the neck, it may as well be as a result of other problems that are still spinal. It may be caused by tightness of muscles in the neck and on the upper back. When the nerves that emanate from the cervical vertebrae pinch, they may also be another cause of neck pain. Pain in the neck is caused by joint disruption in the same way as joint disruption does to the upper back.
The head is held into position by the upper back and the lower neck. These are the most common areas causing neck pain. Movement of the head and neck is permitted by the major three joints of the neck. The joints of the upper back and the lower joints of the neck form a structure to support the head to fit in. If this system of support is interrupted in an adverse manner, there is resultant tightening of muscles in those areas causing neck pain.
Diagnosis of neck pain
Any of the structures in the neck may cause neck pain. These structure are such as airway, nerve, vascular, digestive and musculature or skeletal. It may also be referred to other areas of the body.
Causes of neck pain
The main causes of neck pain are:
- Dissection of carotid artery
- Pain referred from the acute coronary syndrome
- Neck and head cancer
- Such infections as epiglottis, retropharyngeal abscess etc.
- Spinal disc herniation. These are bulging our or protruding discs.
- Osteophytes and arthritis that keep on degenerating.
- Spinal stenosis. Condition whereby the spinal canal narrows.
There are also the more common neck pains which are lesser in intensity. These are caused by:
- Emotional and physical stress
- Prolonged postures. For example, when one falls asleep on a sofa and wakes up later on with a sore neck.
- Falls and minor injuries. These may be from car accidents, games, activities and everyday minor injuries.
- Pain that is referred especially from the upper back problems.
- Muscular strain may also cause neck pain
- Nerve that is pinched
- Herniated disc
Though the causes of neck pain are numerous, many of them can be easily corrected with the help of a professional medical personnel or simply by the various self-help techniques and advice.
Torticollis, poor posture when sleeping, injury of the head, rheumatoid arthritis, congenital cervical rib, mononucleosis, Carotidynia, particular cancers, rubella etc. are other causes of neck pain.
Treatment of neck pain
Treatment heavily depends on the cause of the neck pain. Many people with neck pains are treated conservatively. One may also be recommended to apply heat or cold in order to alleviate the pain. Medication, ergonomic reform, body mechanics training and physical therapy are other common treatment options that are available.
Epidemiology of neck pain
As of 2010, neck pain does affect around three hundred and thirty million folks globally. This is approximately 4.9% of the total population at that time. It was also found to be more commonly found in women than in men. However, compared to low back pain, it is less common.
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