Neck pain can result from a variety of causes, including:

  • Muscle strains. Overuse, such as too many hours hunched over a steering wheel, often triggers muscle strains. Even such minor things as reading in bed or gritting your teeth can strain neck muscles.
  • Worn joints. Just like all the other joints in your body, your neck joints tend to undergo wear and tear with age, which can cause osteoarthritis in your neck.
  • Nerve compression. Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck can take up too much space and press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.
  • Injuries. Rear-end auto collisions often result in whiplash injuries, which occur when the head is jerked backward and then forward, stretching the soft tissues of the neck beyond their limits.
  • Diseases. Neck pain can sometimes be caused by diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or cancer.
Sep. 11, 2012