On Your Nerves: What Your Neck Pain Really Means

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Neck pain is a common complaint for many people, and almost every adult will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. You may experience different types of neck pain, such as a tingling sensation, burning, throbbing, or a dull ache. Sometimes, these sensations can spread through your shoulder, arm, and upper back. Consider these types of neck pain and what they might mean for your health.

Burning Neck Pain

A burning pain in your neck that gets worse with physical activity is often the result of a pinched nerve. You might experience a pinched nerve after a sudden jerking movement. This can happen as the result of an auto accident, a slip and fall accident, or fast athletic activities such as basketball. With a pinched nerve, the pain, numbness and tingling often spread up the back of your head and into your shoulder, arm, and hand. Pinched nerve pain is usually limited to one side of the body.

Bulging, Degenerating, or Herniated Disc

A degenerative, bulging, or herniated disc in your cervical spine might also cause pain in your neck. When the vertebral disc slips out of place, it irritates the nerve. The pressure on your nerve will cause the sensation of pain. You may also experience numbness and tingling in your arms, wrists, and hands. This type of neck pain often comes on suddenly, such as when you have fallen and the pain usually affects both sides of your body. If you have a degenerative disc disease, more than one disc may be involved.

Poor Posture

Many people spend 8 to 10 hours per day sitting in front of a computer, using an electronic gadget, or hunched over the steering wheel of their cars. If this is typical of your lifestyle, you may have neck pain that is due to poor posture. Spending time with your shoulders scrunched up and your spine curved puts a lot of pressure on your neck. Your muscles stay tight and the nerves can become inflamed. Try to use correct posture and ergonomic devices to help relieve your pain.

If you have neck pain that does not go away after a few days or if your pain gets worse, you should visit a professional with a BA in radiology. The physician may perform diagnostic tests such as an x-ray, CT, or MRI to find out if there is a slipped or herniated disk or another medical problem that is causing your pain. Don’t wait to get these problems checked out since having a hurt neck can be a sign your spine needs attention as well.

Brooke chaplan