Many of us have awakened in the morning with neck pain, and we immediately know we somehow slept wrong. We move around and within a short amount of time, the pain is miraculously gone. But what happens if that neck pain doesn’t go away, if it’s chronic, or no amount of over-the-counter medications are helping? You start asking: what is causing my neck pain?
Simple Muscle Tension, Strain, And Stress
Do you sit in front of a laptop or computer all day? Many people sit there for long periods of time without getting up or changing position. Unless you practice proper ergonomics, you most likely are sitting incorrectly, for too long a time, and with poor posture. These are all causes of neck pain. In fact, this is the most common cause of neck pain.
Purchase an ergonomic chair which will prevent you from slouching and support your lower back. Likewise, an ergonomic desk will adjust to keep you at the right height to view your monitor.
Get up and move at least every 30 minutes if you must work at a desk all day.
Take an over-the-counter pain medication when needed.
Certain Medical Conditions
The following medical conditions can result in neck pain:
- As you age, your cervical discs degenerate resulting in osteoarthritis in the neck. This narrows the space between vertebrae and adds stress to the joints.
- Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes muscle pain throughout the body and especially in the neck and shoulders.
- Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain and swelling of the joints along with bone spurs. When this occurs, there is resulting neck pain.
- Meningitis is a serious condition that causes inflammation of the tissue around the brain and spinal cord. The symptoms include fever, headaches, and a stiff neck. Do not delay getting medical help if you suspect you have meningitis.
Injury And Trauma
Neck pain is a frequent complaint after a car accident. Commonly called whiplash, it occurs when your head is severely jerked.
Your neck can become injured in a fall, playing sports, and auto accidents.
Yes, it’s true. If your neck is not properly supported as you sleep, you will wake up with neck pain. This can be corrected by trying other positions: on your side, stomach, or flat on your back with pillows under your thighs. Find one that works for you. Also try different types of pillows.
When To See OrthoNY
Most neck pain is not serious, but if your neck pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms and is not relieved by medications, you should seek treatment:
- If the pain spreads down your arms or legs
- If you have a headache, numbness, weakness, or tingling
- You have a lump in your neck
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction
- Nausea and vomiting