Prolonged or repeated movement to the neck’s joints, ligaments, muscles, bones or tendons usually caused by activities, account for the majority of the causes of neck pain. They can cause neck muscle spasms, a strain, neck joint inflammation, or a sprain. Tension from focusing intensely or stress often causes painful, tight muscles connecting the shoulders, neck, and head. Other causes of neck pain include overhead exercises or work that uses the arms and upper body, such as weight lifting or holding your head in an odd, uncomfortable, or forward position for extended periods, while doing things such as reading, holding the phone receiver, playing video games, or working on the computer. Taking a nap sitting upright, sleeping with your neck in an uncomfortable position, a pillow that is too flat or high, or using your arm or upright fist as a headrest are often causes of neck pain. In many cases, doctors cannot find any specific reason for a person’s neck problem.
A healthy well-balanced neck allows for stresses, movement and strains of the body and head. The cervical spine, which runs through the neck, consists of discs that separate the interlocking vertebrae, ligaments and muscles that hold the neck spine together. When trauma or injury occurs to parts of the neck or the neck becomes unbalanced, this can cause a sore neck or painful neck injury. Several causes of neck pain include minor injuries such as, falling a short distance, tripping, twisting, or excessive cervical spine motion resulting in moderate neck problems. Direct blows to the head, face, or neck; whiplash; an injury that penetrates the neck; strangulation or other outside-neck pressure; falls from substantial heights; or sport-related injuries are often causes of neck pain and injury.
Medical conditions, some of them age related, are often causes of neck pain. Disc disorders occur when the disk cushioning between the vertebrae in your neck becomes dry, often due to aging, which causes the space to narrow near the nerves. Herniated neck disks occur when a disks inner gelatinous material protrudes through the tough covering of a disk and can irritate nearby nerves or cause a pinched nerve. Other causes of neck pain occur when bony growths or other tissues press on the nerves in your neck. Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory disease that commonly occurs in the upper neck region, can cause destruction of the neck joints. Meningitis is a very serious illness that causes the tissues of the spinal cord and the brain to become inflamed. Influenza is another of the many causes of neck pain. It usually makes the whole body including the neck ache but does not cause severe neck stiffness. There are many other causes of neck pain such as infections, tumors, or even side effects from prescribed medications.