Neck pain is a very common condition. However pain is only a symptom telling us something isn’t quite right. That something can be several things. Below are some of the more common causes of neck pain and the terms used to describe them.
Acute Neck Pain
A sudden onset of neck pain. There may have been a distinct cause such as a movement of the head or an injury from trauma. Sometimes there is no obvious reason. Often when there is no specific cause the underlying problem is of repetitive strain from postures or movements we do frequently do, such as poor posture at a computer or use of the phone sending and reading text messages
Although it’s usually associated with car accidents, any impact or blow that causes your head to jerk forward or backward can cause neck strain. … The causes, symptoms, and treatment of neck sprains and neck strains are usually the same. At Spine Central we preform a thorough assessment to first determine the cause of the problem then treatment directed at addressing the underlying problem.
The Latin definition of torticollis means “twisted neck.” It is also referred to as “Wry Neck” In torticollis, the neck tends to twist to one side, causing head tilt. This distortion is caused by muscle shortening one side of the neck. Often due to muscle spasm, but a congenitally shorting of the muscle can also be the cause.
Cervical Spondylosis / Osteoarthritis
Cervical spondylosis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis, is a common, age-related condition that affects the joints and discs in your neck. It develops from wear and tear of the cartilage and bones found in your cervical spine, which is in your neck. While it’s largely due to age, it can be caused by other factors as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, the condition is present in more than 85 percent of people over the age of 60, although some people who have it never experience symptoms.
Cervical radiculopathy is the clinical description of pain and/or neurological symptoms resulting from any type of condition that irritates a nerve in the cervical spine (neck). Symptoms typically include pain, weakness, or numbness in the areas served by the affected nerve. Symptoms differ depending on which nerve is affected.
Cervical Disc lesion / herniation / protrusion
When part of the disc herniates or protrudes out of the disc it can put direct pressure on the nerves supplying the upper limb. As well as neck, upper back and upper limb pain, other symptoms such as muscle weakness or wasting, numbness in the shoulder arm wrist or hand can result.
Cervical spinal stenosis
Where disc material or bony growth reduces the space for the spinal cord with the result of pressure on to the spinal cord. Due to all the nerves in the spinal card passing through neck travelling to every part of the body below the neck, effects can range from upper limb to lower limb (and everything in-between) problems, including muscle weakness and balance problems.
Postural Neck pain
As the name implies this relates to poor posture, typically a forward position of the head over the shoulders.