Possible Causes Of Neck Pain

From the doctors of Capital City Chiropractic, Columbus Ohio.

Possible causes of neck pain can come from, well, a lot of places. Some possible causes of neck pain are from laying crooked while watching TV, it can come from sleeping in a draft, it can come as a response to a cold or flu, it can hurt because of a sinus infection (“referred pain”); it can arise from an injury like car accidents, it can come from over lifting or carrying, it can come from pinching the phone between your ear and shoulder, or it can even come from “stress.”

These are some common causes of neck pain that we see at Capital City Chiropractic in Columbus Ohio:

  • Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD) is one possible cause of neck pain: Over time (years), repeated injuries to the neck can result in DDD. The small “shock absorbers” that lie between the vertebral bodies lose their water retaining capabilities, become narrow, and less flexible, which is a common source of neck pain (and stiffness).
  •  Mechanical Neck Pain is a possible cause of neck pain: Any condition that does not involve the pinching of nerves can be placed in this category. There are 2 small joints called “facets” that lie in the back of the vertebra that are a common source of neck pain. “Sprains” or injury to ligaments that hold bones together and “strains” or, injury to muscles and/or tendons that move the bones are also grouped here. 
  • Pinched nerves are another possible cause of neck pain: Results in pain down the arm. There are 2 primary causes: A) Herniated disk (HD): Think of a disk like a jelly donut. When the jelly “leaks” out and pinches a nerve (resulting in arm pain), that’s an HD. B) Bone spurs off the front of the facets &/or back edge of the vertebra can also pinch a nerve, resulting in the classic arm pain.
  • Spinal stenosis: (2-types) A) Central: A narrow spinal canal pinches the spinal cord creating pain, numbness and/or weakness in the arms &/or legs. B) Lateral: Narrowing of the hole where the nerve exits creating arm pain, numbness or weakness, if the nerve is pinched (like an HD).

If you have Neck Pain And Headache chiropractic care is a great treatment option as headaches can be caused by Pinched Nerves in the cervical spine. 

Of course, there are many other possible causes of neck pain, but these are quite common and should be first considered when evaluating a patient with neck pain.

We always recommend that you sleep with a supportive neck pain pillow to keep your head and neck properly supported while you sleep. I also recommend these for people that don't have neck problems as a means to help prevent them in the future! 

Severe Neck Pain

Severe neck pain can have many causes. Some are easy to take care of and others require medical intervention.

The first thing to consider is the mechanism of injury. Was there a traumatic event such as a car accident or fall that started the pain?

Is the pain radiating or traveling into the shoulders, elbow, wrist or hand?

If these events are occurring I would recommend that you get to a hospital right away and be sure that your case does not require medical intervention. If not your next step may be to explore the possible causes of neck pain. If you must go to the hospital, after you have been evaluated and released, the next step is to have a chiropractic evaluation to determine if there is a biomechanical component of your severe neck pain that can be helped with conservative care.

In many cases, the chiropractic adjustment with home care such as ice, heat, pain relieving balm and home exercises can help get you through the acute phase of the injury in a very timely manner and on with your life.

In some cases your medical doctor will work with your chiropractor to manage your problem while a biomechanical distortion is corrected. This will assure that your time spent on medications for your problem is kept to a minimum.