There are many causes of neck pain. Whether it’s poor posture, a thinning disc, nerve compression, or a space-occupying lesion, neck pain can make daily life difficult. But how do you know when it’s serious enough to seek treatment?
To help you know when it’s time to see a doctor, we’ve created a helpful guide below.
Common Causes of Neck Pain: Injury, Tension, and Others
It’s important to first understand what your neck is made of. The neck is comprised of the spinal cord, cervical vertebrae, and arteries and muscles that connect the upper torso to the skull. Any injury to these bones, or surrounding ligaments and muscles, can cause stiffness or pain. Injury results when the neck is forced to move outside of its normal range of motion. Common injuries that result in neck pain include:
- Car accidents
- Sport injuries
For neck pain resulting from acute injuries like these, we recommend that you seek medical care right away.
Muscle tension occurs most commonly from repetitive activities and behaviors that puts strain on the neck. For example, if you sit at a desk all day and rarely get up and walk around, you may experience tension in your neck muscles. Poor posture, or sleeping in unusual positions, can also cause neck pain.
Other Potential Causes
If you haven’t been injured or engaged in an activity recently that could cause muscle tension, your neck pain may be caused by one of the following:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Spinal stenosis
- Protruding disc
- Degenerative cervical disc
In very rare cases, your neck pain may be caused by:
- Congenital abnormalities
When Should You Seek Medical Treatment?
First and foremost, if you are experiencing severe neck pain for more than a week, whatever the cause, we recommend scheduling a consultation with your doctor.
Other warning signs you should look out for include fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, weakness, numbness, tingling, or swollen glands.
In addition, if you experience any of the following for more than a week, seek medical care:
- Pain radiating down your arms or legs
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction
- An inability to move your arms, hands, or touch your chin to your chest
At Dynamic Health and Pain Management, we are fully prepared to help you overcome your neck pain. At our practice, we promote non-surgical and drug-free solutions, so you can live the happiest, healthiest lifestyle possible.
If you’d like to learn more about our practice, or schedule a consultation, contact us today.