5 Reasons for Neck Pain and their Treatment

· January 31, 2017
Neck pain may be caused by poor posture, as well as excess stress. Therefore, it's wise to improve our posture and deal with our stress levels to avoid this.

All of us have suffered from (or will suffer from) neck pain at some point in our lives. It only takes a bad posture, carrying too much weight or even moving in an awkward way for neck pain to appear. In this article we’ve brought together 5 of the main reasons for neck pain, along with some treatment for each one.

In some cases, what is a slight discomfort at the start, may become chronic. Conditions such as osteoarthritis or degenerative disc hernias can make the pain more persistent and, therefore, disabling.

We recommend you to always put yourself in the hands of the right professionals. Sometimes a good physiotherapist can work wonders.

Almost 90% of neck pain eventually disappears on its own. In fact, sometimes a good night’s sleep or a good rest are much better than a painkiller.

Here are 5 reasons for neck pain, and possible ways of treating them.

1. Neck pain and dizziness

Dizziness can have a variety of causes. However, weakness, loss of balance or disorientation in patients between 60 and 70 years is almost always due to a common cause: neck pain.
A woman suffering from dizziness.
Dizziness is often caused by neurological disorders associated with mechanical neck disorders, often associated with age. This type of dizziness is called cervicogenic dizziness.

Sometimes, people associate this type of dizziness with weakness, a bad day or tiredness. However, the cause of this is due to a spinal problem. For example, a sharp turn or poor movement may cause dizziness or fainting.

Furthermore, you may also experience vision problems, nausea, and vomiting. Although this isn’t a serious health problem, it causes a lot of distress and anxiety. Therefore, you’ll need to go and see a doctor before you experience any further problems.

See also: 9 Foods to Fight Fatigue and Headaches

2. Muscle spasms and stress

You’ve almost certainly got a headache and a stiff neck at the end of a hard day’s work. So, what are the reasons for neck pain in this instance?

These are classic symptoms of a muscle spasm problem which is almost always due to the following fatal combination: stress and poor posture.

  • This problem usually lasts between a couple of days or a week, at most. However, we can hardly do anything during this time.
  • We mustn’t forget this important fact: stress itself can trigger neck pain.

It increases the stiffness of the neck muscles, hinders flexibility and tightens the nerves in this area until it eventually spreads to the head. In addition, if we maintain a bad posture for hours, then the problem intensifies.

3. Reasons for neck pain: cervical osteoarthritis

One of the main reasons for neck pain is arthritis in the neck. This affects a small part of the younger population; however, it affects almost 90% of people over 65.

  • Cervical spondylosis is a very common degenerative disease. The joints in this area wear out and it is common to feel stiffness, dizziness and neck pain.
  • In addition, this problem is accompanied by a tingling sensation and a loss of strength in one arm or hand.
  • The only positive thing about this incurable disease is that its progress is slow. In addition, there are treatments that can offer us a good quality of life.

A woman with a personal trainer.
4. Herniated discs: disabling and painful

Although herniated discs are less frequent than lumbar hernias, their development can be equally problematic.

  • When you suffer from a herniated disc this means that your spine loses its flexibility and elasticity. Furthermore, the ligaments surrounding the discs become brittle and tear, which causes neck pain, back pain and difficulty in moving.
  • In addition to pain and stiffness in the neck,  you may also feel the loss of sensitivity in the upper extremities and you may experience dizziness.
  • According to experts, effective treatments for herniated discs are medication, rest, and rehabilitation. However, the only option is surgery in more severe cases.

5. Get enough sleep to prevent neck pain

A deep and restful sleep of between 8 and 10 hours alleviate, most importantly, the classic muscle spasms associated with stress.

Moreover, bear in mind that chronic insomnia increases the risk of different musculoskeletal disorders.

So, try to take care of your sleep regime by using appropriate pillows and a firm mattress that molds to your body.

A bed with comfortable pillows.

Having said that, it’s also necessary for you to sleep in a comfortable position if you have neck pain. Here are some simple guidelines.

  • Don’t sleep on your stomach.
  • Avoid using a pillow that twists your neck.
  • Specialists recommend using a rolled up towel and placing it just below your shoulders. You’ll see how relieved you feel when you wake up the next morning.

Read more: Beat Insomnia With These Four Tips

In conclusion, although neck pain is a very common condition, it can always be treated.

Something as simple as taking care of our posture, our sleep hygiene and always seeking the advice of the appropriate health specialists, if need be, can all help us to have a better quality of life.

  • Gross, A., Kay, T. M., Paquin, J. P., Blanchette, S., Lalonde, P., Christie, T., … Santaguida, P. L. (2015). Exercises for mechanical neck disorders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004250.pub5
  • Côté, P., Cassidy, J. D., Carroll, L. J., & Kristman, V. (2004). The annual incidence and course of neck pain in the general population: A population-based cohort study. Pain. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pain.2004.09.004

  • Boucher, P., Descarreaux, M., & Normand, M. C. (2008). Postural Control in People with Osteoarthritis of the Cervical Spine. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.02.008

  • Binder, A. I. (2007). Cervical spondylosis and neck pain. British Medical Journal. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39127.608299.80