What is Neck Pain?

Neck pain, scientifically called cervicalgia, is a common medical problem that affects two-thirds of the population. It is associated with strains on the muscles, nerves or ligaments of the neck, which may arise due to muscular tightness of the neck and upper back. Although the pain is usually concentrated on the neck area, it can also be a result of other spinal problems.

The Symptoms

Neck pain is usually characterized by a dull radiating pain in the neck and back portion of the cervical area. In some cases, the pain aggravates with continuous movement of the neck. Minor symptoms related to neck pain include difficulty in swallowing, swollen lymph nodes numbness, tingling sensation in the neck, stiff, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms include spondylosis, nerve pinching, body weakness, and activity intolerance mainly concerning the neck area and extremities.

Possible Causes

Neck pain is mainly caused by restricted movement of the neck and awkward postures. It is also caused by physical trauma including cervical disk dislocation, disk herniation, whiplash, and accidents causing injuries to the head and neck area. Moreover, infections generally located in the cervical area causes lymph nodes to swell resulting to neck pain. Poor body posture such as neck slouching, extending the neck for long periods of time, and even bad sleeping position may also result to neck pain.

Am I at Risk?

Typical neck pain is common to people who usually sit or stand in prolonged periods of time. Typist, keypunch operators, office workers, and others who maintain a restricted posture are prone to having neck pain. Furthermore, those who assume an awkward or body bending positions like dentist, writers and painters are also at high risk. Other serious cases include victims of accident, spinal infection and patients with diseases causing neck trauma.

Most cases of simple neck pain respond well with adequate rest, intake of pain relievers, and application of heat through hot water or heating bag. If the pain persists or becomes acute, it is advised to see a physician immediately.