Neck pain is a very common problem, affecting about 10 percent of the adult population at any single point in time. Neck pain can range from a dull ache to an electric-shock type of sensation. Other signs and symptoms that accompany neck pain, such as numbness or muscle weakness, can help pinpoint the cause of your neck pain.

Most neck pain lasts just a short time — a few hours or days. Neck pain that continues longer than several weeks is considered chronic. But even persistent neck pain can usually be helped by exercise, stretching, physical therapy and massage.

Sep. 19, 2012