Home > Elder Care Guide

Common Symptoms and Causes of Neck Pain

Next to back pain, neck pain is one of the most common forms of chronic pain. Pain in the neck can be caused by a number of different factors, like sleeping in the wrong position and even bad posture. And because our necks spend a majority of the time keeping our 8-pound heads upright, the pain can be even more excruciating and uncomfortable. Moreover, neck pain can be caused by a number of diseases that can range from moderate to severe. It is important to know what some of the causes are so that you can receive treatment before it becomes a serious problem. Here are some common symptoms and causes of neck pain.

For one, one of the easiest ways to hurt your neck or to cause chronic neck pain is to sleep on it the wrong way. Orthopedic surgeons say that the number one cause of neck pain is a result of having the wrong pillow or mattress firmness. It is recommended to have a firmer mattress and pillow so that you aren’t waking up in the middle of the night with a sore neck. Pain from a sore neck caused by sleeping on it the wrong way can usually be felt just turning your head slightly to the left or right.

Next, your neck has the highest concentration of spinal discs and joints, so it can be incredibly vulnerable to arthritis. After a while our spinal discs and joints lose the material that makes moving them possible. This is a little bit like a car running out of oil, but with your neck you can’t just go into a gas station have it checked out and then get a quick change. No, you have to go to a doctor and have your neck x-rayed. It is important to be diagnosed with arthritis before it gets worse and you are left having to go through intensive pain management.

Another cause of neck pain is meningitis and it can be quite severe if left untreated. Meningitis is a bacterial infection of the meninges, which covers the spinal cord. Symptoms include a sore neck, but also fevers, headaches, and nausea. Meningitis needs to be diagnosed immediately so that the patient can make a fast recovery. Sometimes if you wait to long it can be too late. Meningitis can cause paralysis and even death.

Lastly, if you are feeling any kind of discomfort in your neck, it is crucial to go to a doctor right away. You never know where the discomfort and pain in your neck can be coming from, so it is important not to second-guess yourself. Moreover, neck pain that at first feels moderate and then becomes more and more excruciating can be sign of a bacterial or viral infection, which can cause severe problems, like paralysis and death. What at first might feel like a stiff neck could actually be a life threatening condition, so it is always better to be safe than sorry.

More to Read: