Neck pain or cervical pain is a very uncomfortable, painful, common medical condition that over sixty percent of people will suffer from at some point during their lifetime. This pain can occur anywhere from the shoulder tops to bottom of the head, with the pain sometimes spreading to other parts of the body such as the arms or upper back. Neck pain is a temporary condition for many individuals and will vanish on its own, while others suffering from neck pain need medical attention to receive proper diagnosis and treatment.
The cervical or neck, a continuation of the spine, is made up of seven bony vertebrae and ligaments that go from the base of the skull to the upper torso. The Atlas is the uppermost or top vertebrate and holds the head, while a vertical peg around the Axis, the next vertebrate, allows the head to turn. The entire neck has far more movement and flexibility than the back but does not have the thick muscles to protect it or bear the weight your back can. Your neck also contains nerves, muscles, tendons, and joints. Neck pain can come from your shoulders, head, jaw, or other areas near your neck
Most neck pain is due to muscle strains often caused by overuse, such as lengthy or recurrent activities. This can result in neck joint inflammation, painful neck muscle spasms, sprain from sudden ligament wrenching, or neck strain from an overused or overstretched muscle. Some of the many things that can cause neck pain include, poor posture such as slouching, stress and worry, sleeping in an uncomfortable or awkward position, continuously playing video games hunched over, prolonged computer keyboard use, painting the ceiling, or remaining in one position for an extended length of time. Less often, neck pain occurs from an injury or trauma such as whiplash, falling, or other accidents. Whiplash causes your head to jerk back and forward which stretches and pulls the soft neck tissues beyond their limit. Neck disc disorders and arthritis can also cause neck pain.
You should seek medical advice if your neck pain lasts longer than a week or two, or you have severe pain after neck or head trauma such as a blow to your head or whiplash. If you are suffering from weakness or loss of strength in your leg or arm or are experiencing tingling or numbness in your fingers, a shooting pain down your arm or through your shoulder blades, or there is a significant change in your bowel or bladder habits, seek medical attention immediately.