Types and Causes of Chronic Neck Pain

While we know that many adults suffer from chronic lower back pain at some point in their life, not nearly enough attention is given to those who suffer from neck pain or injuries. As the neck serves as the base for the head, it plays a central role in mobility, and often pain associated with conditions of the neck tends to be severe, whether it’s acute and sudden, or chronic. There are several underlying conditions that are known to cause chronic neck pain, and there are a number of treatment opportunities for these conditions.

Common types of neck pain include: 

·      Pain brought on by activities or movement

·      Pain that radiates down the arms

·      Chronic fluctuating pain

·      Morning and end of the day pain

·      Lack of coordination and pain

Unlike chronic back pain, most episodes of neck pain usually go away with time, and are brief and fleeting instead of chronic. There are however, some conditions that cause neck pain that require special treatment options.

·      Strain: A strain or pulled muscle in the neck is the most common cause of neck pain, and this condition is likely to heal on its own within a short period of time.

·      Discs: Herniated discs of the neck are one of the most common causes of chronic neck pain, as the discs in the neck function slightly differently from the discs in the spine and back. When the neck experiences a tear in a disc, the substance inside the disc will leak out and it’s inflammatory properties begin to irritate the nerve fibers of that region.

·      Facet Joints: Facet joints are joints deep within the spine that aid with agility and movement, and cause lots of pain when they become disrupted or disturbed. Like other joints in the body, such as the knees or the wrists; facet joints in the neck have the potential for arthritis and other painful joint conditions. Facet Joint pain is the most common underlying cause for chronic neck pain.

If you are suffering from severe neck pain, chronic or acute, be sure to see a physician immediately to ensure no nerve or spine damage has occurred. After getting your doctor’s approval, try a few different neck exercises designed to help heal your injury and ease your pain. Aerobic exercises, neck strengthening, and neck stretches are all ways for you to treat your own neck pain, and hopefully prevent a more severe condition from taking over. Subscribe to our blog for more information on treating your neck and back pain, and overall spine health!