There are many different causes of neck pain. While some are easy to diagnose, others are not. In certain cases, such as if you were in a rear-end collision, the reason for the pain and stiffness in your neck is quite obvious. But in other cases, you may be left perplexed as to why your neck hurts so much.
Continue reading to discover the six of the most likely culprits behind your stiff and painful neck.
1. Facet joint sprain
Each vertebra forms a facet when it joins with the vertebrae above and below it. If these joints move slightly and don't return to their initial position, it could result in a spasm that causes localized pain. Additionally, your symptoms may gradually become worse due to inflammation. Facet sprains can be caused by recurrent strains, quick, sudden movements, and exhaustion from overuse.
2. Bad posture
Most people lead relatively sedentary lifestyles. Desks and chairs put our necks and spines in awkward positions, which significantly worsens neck stiffness and strain. Even maintaining the best posture while sitting won't save you from placing unnecessary strain on your neck. Using a standing desk can greatly benefit your body. If everything is set up properly, the tension on your neck can be substantially minimized when you work in a standing position.
Your neck suffers when you are under a lot of stress, whether it is caused by increased financial obligations, relationship issues, or a restrictive work schedule. When you're under pressure,
The tension in your shoulder and back muscles increases greatly. Chronic discomfort and stiffness may result from this.
The greatest approach to keeping stress from affecting the health of your neck is to learn how to manage it. You may unwind and give your neck a break with the aid of yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and self-care practices like regular massages and baths.
4. A bulging disc
The symptoms of a disc bulge might vary greatly in different people. While it can completely ruin the lives of some people, others may never even realize they have it. The disc that lies between the vertebrae might sustain damage as a result of trauma or degradation over time. The spinal cord or, more frequently, the nerve roots that come from that area of the spinal cord may be affected by the bulge. Referred pain, loss of sensation, and even some degree of weakness in the arms and hands might accompany the pain in your neck.
5. Smoking and tobacco use
Smoking and using various tobacco products is a prevalent culprit behind pain in the neck. Making every effort to quit smoking, or never starting this bad habit in the first place is the easiest method to prevent this source of neck pain.
6. Cervical osteoarthritis
A major product of aging and a common cause of neck pain is osteoarthritis. Your neck consists of several vertebrae in your upper spine. Over time, the cartilage that cushions this region wears away, resulting in bone-on-bone contact and pain.
Osteoarthritis cannot be prevented, but it can be made to feel less uncomfortable. Rolling your neck gently from side to side on a regular basis can keep it active and moving. Circulation is improved and the area is kept lubricated as a result. Maintain a nutritious diet and moderate alcohol consumption to reduce inflammation, which is a factor in osteoarthritis pain.
7. Awkward sleep position
The muscles and connective tissues in your neck can get strained if you sleep with your neck in an awkward position or on a pillow that is too high. Avoid sleeping in less-than-ideal locations, such as in your vehicle, on planes, or on the couch or recliner, and consider investing in a high-quality, supporting pillow. You can also purchase a travel neck pillow that supports your neck's soft tissues if you do need to nap while traveling.