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Six Common Causes of Neck Pain

There are a number of potential causes of neck pain. The way neck pain manifests is often the greatest indicator of its cause. A few common causes of neck pain include:

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1. Awkward Sleeping Position.

Sleeping with the neck at an awkward position can lead to pain the next day. Sleeping on your stomach often leads to the most discomfort for the neck and spine since it forces your neck to the side. Try sleeping on your back as often as possible to align the spine with the neck and prevent discomfort.

2. Sudden Impact.

A sudden impact that pushes the head to the side can create significant strain on the neck. Whiplash from a car accident is an incidence when someone may experience this form of neck pain. An athlete is also susceptible to these injuries, especially in contact sports like football or rugby. 

3. Repetitive Movement.

It's safe to say competitive swimmers face their fair share of neck pain. Turning the head side to side repeatedly during an activity, such as the front stroke, can aggravate muscles in the neck and lead to tension and pain. If you're required to engage in a repetitive task that plagues the neck, take regular breaks to stretch. 

4. Poor Posture.

Poor posture is one of the leading causes of neck pain. When the head is hunched forward, it's no longer in alignment with the spine and can create pain. Staring at a computer monitor or looking down at a phone lead to two major posture faux-pas that create "text neck". This kind of pain can be managed by taking regular breaks throughout the work day and regularly checking in to see correct your posture.

5. Stress and Anxiety.

Excessive stress or anxiety can lead to tension in the neck. When people are stressed they commonly tighten the muscles that run down the sides of the neck, along the trapezoids, and into the head. This is why tension headaches manifest in times of high stress. Book a regular appointment with a massage therapist if you are prone to debilitating tension headaches and neck pain.

6. Prolonged Abnormal Neck Position.

Holding the neck in an abnormal position for a long period of time can create lasting pain. If you have ever cradled your phone between your ear and shoulder during a long call, you know the feeling. Try to move the neck regularly to avoid this form of pain. 

Other Potential Causes of Neck Pain

Apart from the most common causes of neck pain, there are a variety of other ailments or conditions that can lead to neck pain as a periphery symptoms. If you have any of the following conditions, they may be contributing to your chronic neck pain:

  • Cervical Herniated Disc: When the protective part of the cervical spine breaks down, compression and inflammation of nearby tissues could lead to neck pain.
  • Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease: The lack of hydration that occurs in individuals with Degenerative Disc Disease can result in neck pain and stiffness from increased pressure on joints, nerves, and tissues.
  • Cervical Osteoarthritis: Arthritis breaks down joints between vertebral bones and can even produce irreversible anatomical changes that irritate the natural structure of the neck and cause pain and tension.

More About Neck Pain

Visit our neck pain page to learn more about causes, symptoms, and treatments for acute or chronic neck pain.

Visit the Neck Pain and Shoulder Pain Page >>

Learn more about Neck Pain with the following resources:

Neck Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Stretches to Beat "Tech Neck"

Help Prevent Neck Pain During Sleep By Adjusting These Five Things

Text Neck: Modern Day Neck Pain and How to Treat It

The 6 Most Common Causes of Neck Pain

Techniques that Help Relieve Neck Pain

How to Relieve Neck Pain in 7 Steps

The Best Alternative Therapy for Back and Neck Pain

7 Tips to Ease Chronic Neck Pain

5 Common Causes of a Stiff Neck

Everyday tips for managing your chronic neck pain

How To Relieve Neck Pain During a Long Car Trip

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