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Pain - neck; Neck stiffness
Neck pain is discomfort in any of the structures in the neck. These include muscles and nerves as well as spinal vertebrae and the cushioning disks in between.
When your neck is sore, you may have difficulty moving it, especially to one side. Many people describe this as having a stiff neck.
If neck pain involves nerves (for example, significant muscle spasm pinching on a nerve or a slipped disk pressing on a nerve), you may feel numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm, hand, or elsewhere.
A common cause of neck pain is muscle strain or tension. Usually, everyday activities are to blame. Such activities include bending over a desk for hours, having poor posture while watching TV or reading, placing your computer monitor too high or too low, sleeping in an uncomfortable position, or twisting and turning the neck in a jarring manner while exercising.
Traumatic accidents or falls can cause severe neck injuries like vertebral fractures, whiplash, blood vessel injury, and even paralysis.
Other causes include:
Gross A, Miller J, D'Sylva J, et al. Manipulation or mobilisation for neck pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Jan 20;(1):CD004249.
Young IA, Michener LA, Cleland JA, Aguilera AJ, Snyder AR. Manual therapy, exercise, and traction for patients with cervical radiculopathy: a randomized clinical trial. Phys Ther. 2009 Jul;89(7):632-42. Epub 2009 May 21. Erratum in: Phys Ther. 2010 May;90(5):825. Phys Ther. 2009 Nov;89(11):1254-5.
Devereaux MW. Neck pain. Med Clin North Am. 2009;93:273-284.
Graham N, Gross A, Goldsmith CH, Klaber Moffett J, Haines T, Burnie SJ, et al. Mechanical traction for neck pain with or without radiculopathy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(3):CD006408.
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