What does it mean if I have neck pain?

There are various causes of neck pain that you should be familiar with. It can be a simple strain or might be an indication of a serious underlying health condition that necessitates further assessment by a doctor.

Common causes

The daily aches and pains are the usual causes of neck pain. If there is no underlying condition or injury for a sore neck, it can be the following:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Poor posture or being in one position for an extended period of time
  • Long-term bone and spinal issues

The sprains and strains to the ligaments or muscles in the neck can occur after engaging in physical activity. This might be the case if engaging in a new activity or the individual stretched too far.

Causes of neck pain

The sprains and strains to the ligaments or muscles in the neck can occur after engaging in physical activity.

Management

The primary management for a neck strain or sprain is similar as with other muscles. The primary measures include:

  • Adequate rest
  • Stop the activity that triggered it and avoid it until better
  • Apply an ice pack to reduce the pain and inflammation

Neck pain with muscle spasms

One possible issue that can trigger muscular spasm with neck pain is a twisted neck. It is managed using pain medications and self-care measures after other causes were ruled out.

The pain that stems from a twisted neck typically persists for a few days. Certain actions such as driving should be excluded while the issue lasts. The reason for this is that the neck could not be turned to properly see left or right.

When is neck pain serious?

There are instances in which neck pain can be caused by a serious condition that requires further assessment.

Serious conditions

The uncommon causes of neck pain that requires prompt treatment are those when the pain is:

  • Severe or intense
  • Manifests with other symptoms
  • Persists for several days without subsiding

Cases of serious infection is an urgent issue with the body that can also result to discomfort in the neck. This also requires immediate medical attention. The serious infections such as meningitis include symptoms such as fever and general feeling of being sick.

Severe injuries

Any injury that drastically affects or hurts the neck should be checked by a doctor even if it does not appear painful. An injury that warrants attention includes those that occur during contact sports or falls among the elderly.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on neck pain is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage neck pain due to muscular injuries and conditions, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.

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