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Neck Pain - What Can Cause It?

Reviewed by
Dr. J Vishvathan 89% (114 ratings)
MD - Internal Medicine
General Physician,  •  29 years experience
Neck Pain - What Can Cause It?

The neck is one of the most important parts of the human body, as it connects the head with the rest of the body and renders precious mobility to the former. The neck consists of a number of vertebrae that start from the skull and end in the upper torso. There are also cervical discs that can absorb shock and allow motion along with the bones, ligaments and muscles that render support. Injuries, anomalies, inflammation and other causes may lead to neck pain which can cause severe problems if not treated properly and on time.

Read on to know more about the causes of neck pain.

  1. Muscle Tension and Strain: If you sit at a desk and work for too long without changing your position often enough, then the discomfort will gradually lead to chronic pain and inflammation due to the poor posture. Also, maintaining a poor posture while sitting, standing and walking can all lead to this kind of pain. The muscles of the neck can also suffer strain due to neck jerks during gym sessions of exercising. Also, if you sleep with your neck in a bad position, this can lead to neck and shoulder pain which can last for several days.
  2. Injury: The neck is a sensitive and delicate area that we take for granted many times. This part of the body is most susceptible to injuries which can be caused due to falls, car accidents, sports and other such occasions where the muscles, as well as the ligaments of the neck, may be forced out of their normal range, leaving the body in acute and severe pain. A fracture of the cervical vertebrae or the neck bones can also lead to neck pain which can take several weeks and months to get fully repaired. Sudden jerking of the head can also cause neck pain and neck injury. This motion is known as a ‘whiplash’.
  3. Heart Attack: Did you know that a heart attack can also give you neck pain? That’s right neck pain is one of the symptoms of a heart attack along with excessive sweating, nausea, pain in the arm and the jawline, as well as shallow breathing and shortness of breath. If you do experience such symptoms along with sudden neck pain, then you will need to call the emergency unit of the hospital or a doctor immediately.
  4. Meningitis: This condition refers to the inflammation of the thin tissue surrounding the spinal cord as well as the brain. Headaches and a stiff neck are the most common and persistent symptoms of this condition. This can also turn out to be a fatality if it is not treated on time.
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