Doctor John J Kozik D.C.
Minor neck aches, pain, and stiffness are something we all suffer from time to time. They are usually brought on by overwork or holding the head in an awkward position, such as sleeping upright in a chair. Fortunately, these are minor situations and clear up after a day of rest or a good nights sleep.
On the other hand, recurring aches, pains, and stiffness of the neck, or discomfort that lasts for more than twenty-four hours, should have professional evaluation. Persistent pain in the neck is a symptom of something gone wrong. Nerve irritations or "pinched nerves" are likely possibilities. Also, repeated episodes of stiff neck may indicate early stages of joint or disc degeneration.
The neck (cervical spine) contains the upper portion of the spinal cord and eight pairs of spinal nerves. The nerves of the cervical spine lead or are connected to almost all parts of the body. Nerve "pinch" or irritation in the neck can produce symptoms in various parts of the body. For example, pain between the shoulder blades and some arm complaints can originate in the neck.
In addition to pain and stiffness, symptoms that are all to commonly caused by irritation of the nerves within the neck can include: headache; pains in the face, ears, and scalp; dizziness; pain in the shoulder, arm, and hand; numbness and tingling in the fingers; throat discomfort; difficulty in breathing; chest pains. The neck is the most vulnerable part of the spinal column, subject to all sorts of major and minor injuries. It is composed of seven small bones (vertebrae) and supported by only muscles and ligaments which must hold and balance the head which weighs approximately ten pounds.
The neck is very susceptible to stresses and strains from any source and will often react violently to seemingly insignificant falls or accidents. According to some authorities, the neck is strained more frequently than any other structure in the body.
Common Causes Of Neck Strain: