Severe Neck Pain and its Common Causes

Severe Neck Pain Can Result From:

  • Activity which affects or harms the neck
  • Trauma or an injury affecting the neck
  • Other medical conditions

Activities That May Lead to Severe Neck Pain

Activities involving repeated movement of the neck or movement of the neck in a specific manner may result in neck strain (overused muscle tissue) or a spasm of the neck muscles.

Both of these conditions can lead to severe neck pain.

Common activities which may cause severe neck pain include

  • Holding one’s head in a certain posture for a lengthy period of time (or perhaps on a daily basis) while at work, reading, studying , watching TV, or talking on a phone.
  • Upper body exercise may sometimes cause neck pain (e.g painting or overhead activities)
  • Sleeping  on a pillow that’s too high or too flat: does not provide the support needed to one’s neck and may cause severe neck pain. Even sleeping on your stomach may cause a twisted neck leading to severe neck pain
  • Stress or tension may also lead to developing tension in the neck muscles and may eventually cause severe neck pain

Severe Neck Pain Caused by Trauma

    • Motor Vehicle Accidents: often lead to a whiplash injuries
    • Falls
    • Direct blows: to the face area
    • Sports related injuries

Severe Neck Pain Caused By Medical Conditions

      • The Aging process is the most common reason: with degenerative changes setting in both in the disc and joints including the facet joints result in neck pain
      • Severe neck pain may arise as a result of degenerative changes such as the spinal canal  becoming narrow – Spinal Stenosis may cause severe pain in the neck and arms and / hands including numbness
      • Arthritis of the neck – Cervical Spondylosis may lead to severe neck pain or discomfort
      • Besides there are some illness such as flu like conditions, Meningitis  ~ causing inflammation around brain and spinal cord may cause symptoms like neck pain as well
      • Rheumatological conditions ~  Rheumatoid Arthritis , Polymyalgia Rheumatica , Ankylosing Spondylitis may cause neck pain
      • Fibromyalgia – with diffuse aching stiffness , fatigue with multiple tender points in specific areas including neck  and trapezius muscles .
      • Referred pain from another site such as Temporomandibular joint disorder ( TMJ) where the problem is in one’s jaw may present with pain in the neck; Heart Attack may also cause referred neck pain
      • Besides any infection  / inflammation / tumor in the neck area may cause neck pain
Orthopedic Doctor Dr. Rahman is a fellowship trained, practicing Physiatrist and Pain Management specialist and partner at Westchester Sport and Spine. Dr. Rahman has subspecialty training in Musculoskeletal and Interventional Pain Medicine and focuses on conservative, non-invasive treatments for most conditions.