Neck pain is a common ailment that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be caused by various factors, such as poor posture, muscle strain, injury, emotional stress, and underlying health conditions. Neck pain can range from mild discomfort to severe, shooting pain that can disrupt daily activities and impact overall quality of life.
Understanding the types of neck pain and their symptoms is crucial to finding relief. Acute pain lasts less than six weeks, sub-acute pain lasts six to 12 weeks, and chronic pain lasts longer than three months. Pain can be axial, mostly felt in the cervical spine, or radicular, causing tingling and muscle weakness.
Symptoms of neck pain can include:
- Dull aching, stiffness
- Sharp shooting pain
- Burning sensation
What are the causes of neck pain?
To understand the causes of neck pain, let’s examine the structure of the neck. The neck, also known as the cervical spine, consists of seven vertebrae that make up the spinal column. These vertebrae are separated by flexible cartilage discs that act as shock absorbers. Inside the spinal column lies the spinal cord, which is surrounded by multiple nerves. Additionally, the head and neck are supported by various muscles and ligaments.
Neck pain typically arises from damage or injury to one or more of these structures. Acute neck pain is usually not severe and tends to resolve within a couple of weeks. However, certain conditions can persist if left untreated.
5 common causes of neck pain include:
- Muscle strain: Injuries to the muscles or ligaments in the neck are a frequent cause of pain and stiffness. Muscle strain can occur due to factors such as sleeping in an awkward position, prolonged poor posture, or overuse injury.
- Injury: Neck pain can result from injuries sustained in car accidents, contact sports, or falls. These injuries can affect the soft tissues, leading to conditions like whiplash. In more severe cases, fractures and dislocations may occur.
- Age-related wear and tear: As a person ages, normal wear and tear can contribute to neck problems such as osteoarthritis. This condition can cause issues like cervical disc degeneration, where the discs between the vertebrae deteriorate and lose flexibility. Additionally, the narrowing of the space around the spinal column can lead to spinal stenosis or a pinched nerve.
- Herniated disc: A herniated disc occurs when the cervical discs protrude and exert pressure on the nerves or spinal cord. This can result in pain, tingling, and weakness.
- Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis weakens the bones, increasing the risk of fractures. It can also affect the neck, causing problems like pinched nerves, pain, stiffness, and numbness.
Risk factors for neck pain include age, physical activity, sedentary lifestyle, chronic emotional stress, smoking, and certain inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
Also Read: Neck Pain? Try these 5 Simple Exercises for Quick Relief
It is crucial to seek medical attention if neck pain lasts for a week or longer, occurs after an accident or injury, radiates down to the arms, hands, or legs, is accompanied by headaches, worsens over time, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as weakness or loss of coordination, numbness, tingling, loss of control over bowel or bladder function, fever, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Ayurvedic remedies can help manage neck pain and alleviate discomfort. Ayushakti Ayurved offers personalized consultations and treatments to address the root cause of neck pain and provide natural, holistic solutions. Book an appointment with Ayushakti Ayurved today and experience the benefits of Ayurvedic healing.
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Blog Author: Dr Rajeshree Mehta
Expert Review: Dr Smita Pankaj Naram
Co-Founder, Ayushakti Ayurved Pvt Ltd
Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only. Please consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before trying or consuming any medicines, home remedies or treatments mentioned in this blog. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.