7 Symptoms Of Chronic Neck Pain

As it so often happens when health maladies meet marketing campaigns, the true causes and treatments of acute and chronic neck pain are heavily obfuscated by a steady wave of misinformation. Think you can slap on some medicated patch and call it good? Unfortunately, dousing your superficial tissues with numbing agents is not going to promote the physiological changes necessary for real pain resolution to occur. There are dozens and dozens of pathways to a painful neck – injury, inflammatory processes from diseases/conditions, shoddy posture, poor diet, work habits, stress, sleep, and even clothing are all attributed to varying degrees of neck pain.

Before we can customize an approach based on these varying causes of neck pain, we must also understand the different forms of acute and chronic neck pain. We are conditioned by snake-oil salesmen to treat neck pain as a monolith that affects everyone in the same way. In truth, the pain itself can vary in almost every way – location, intensity, sensation, frequency, and so forth. This article will describe seven of the most common symptoms experienced by neck pain sufferers. Keep in mind that the average neck pain sufferer will usually experience a combination of the below symptoms in varying proportions.

1. Stiff Neck

Ever wake up with “question mark neck?” Most often caused by precarious positioning while sleeping, neck stiffness is marked by a limitation in your neck’s ability to rotate and bend. In some instances, you may have your full range of motion, but you will experience pain throughout the last 10 or 20 degrees of said motions. True neck stiffness, in the absence of any other symptom, doesn’t cause pain when at rest. While the intuitive route to treating a stiff neck would call for stretching, great caution must be taken to avoid a strain. Using gentle stretches for long periods of time is the best approach when dealing with a stiff neck.

While you likely can’t control your position while sleeping, there are several other preventable causes for a stiff neck. Spend any time in front of a TV, computer or book? Make sure that whatever you’re reading is directly lined up with, not above or below, your eye line. Take breaks as often as you can to stretch your neck (remember, gently) while at work or when taking that road trip. For those who have endured more than just a rough night of sleep, symptoms are greater and more numerous.