Neck Pain - Causes

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What is neck pain? What are causes and risk factors for neck pain?

Pain located in the neck is a common medical condition. Neck pain can come from a number of disorders and diseases of any tissues in the neck. Examples of common conditions producing neck pain are degenerative disc disease, neck strain, neck injury such as in whiplash, a herniated disc, or a pinched nerve. Neck pain can come from common infections, such as virus infection of the throat, leading to lymph gland swelling and neck pain. Neck pain can also come from rare infections, such as tuberculosis of the neck and bone infection of the spine in the neck (osteomyelitis and septic discitis), and meningitis (often accompanied by neck stiffness). Neck pain can also come from conditions directly affecting the muscles of the neck, such as fibromyalgia and polymyalgia rheumatica. Neck pain is also referred to as cervical pain.

Risk factors for neck pain include injury from involvement in contact sports, motor vehicle accidents, bull or bronco horse riding, etc. Prevention of neck pain in the context of these activities should include neck strengthening exercises and often neck bracing.

Return to Neck Pain (Cervical Pain)

See what others are saying

Comment from: jim, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 22

I was lifting weights and hurt my pectoral muscle, I think doing bench press. Since that day a month ago, my neck has a burning sensation and tightness behind my head.

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Comment from: Need a New Neck, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 02

Several years ago I had a bad car accident. My neck pain began as an occasional stiff neck and eventually turned in to chronic severe neck pain. MRI showed 3 herniated discs, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. After 10 years of terrible pain I had a neck surgery, C5-C7 fused with plate. I wish I was a success story but I still have bad neck/shoulder pain with numbness in arms/hands.

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