Neck pain can make the most basic day-to-day tasks difficult. It may radiate to your shoulders, arms and hands, and might even cause headaches. While any type of pain can be a concern, neck pain is usually caused by a few basic things.
What causes neck pain
Muscle strain – Your neck must support your head, and if it has to work too hard to do so, you may strain or pull a muscle. Sitting at a computer or over a smartphone for long periods of time can strain your muscles. Even grinding your teeth or practicing poor posture can strain your neck muscles, leaving you with pain that can reduce quality of life. You might also be injuring or staining yourself while exercising, working or driving without even knowing it.
Worn out or aging joints – As you grow older, your joints naturally wear down. Osteoarthritis in particular can deteriorate the cushiony cartilage between your bones, which then form painful bone spurs that can reduce joint motion.
Pinched nerves – If your neck vertebrae develop herniated disks or bone spurs, they can press on the nerves extending from the spinal cord. This can result in a sharp, shooting pain, especially with a specific motion.
Injuries – The most common neck injury is whiplash, which most often occurs as a result of rear-end car crashes.
Physical therapy can help relieve neck pain
Some neck pain may resolve on its own, and home treatment like hot and cold compresses and stretching may help relieve the pain. But if your neck pain persists, you may want to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist or doctor to find a treatment plan that can help you regain your quality of life.
At Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Center, our team of trained physical therapists create personalized treatment plans to help patients reduce neck pain. If you are in the Woodbridge, Edison or Union areas of New Jersey, contact our physical therapy office today to schedule an appointment. Our team is ready to help you achieve long-lasting pain relief so you can get back to the life you enjoy.