Neck pain is a leading cause of pain in the aging population, as well as subsequent to auto accident-whiplash type injury, in which the neck is violently snapped back, then forward, after the victim is usually hit from behind, by another vehicle..
The neck—or cervical spine—is a coordinated network of nerves, bones, joints, and muscles directed by the brain and the spinal cord. It is designed for strength, stability, and nerve communication.
Commonly, there are a number of problems that cause pain in the neck. Additionally, irritation along the nerve pathways can cause pain into the shoulder, head, arm, and hand. Irritation of the spinal cord can cause pain into the legs and other areas below the neck
Most instances of neck pain will go away within a few days or weeks, but pain that persists for months could signal an underlying medical cause that needs to be addressed—in some instances early intervention may be necessary for the best results.
Neck Pain Range of Symptoms
Neck pain can feel like any of the following:
Stiff neck that makes turning the head difficult
Sharp or stabbing pain in one spot
Soreness or tenderness in a general area
Pain that radiates down into the shoulders, arms, or fingers; or radiates up into the head
In some cases, other symptoms associated with the neck pain are even more problematic, such as:
Tingling, numbness, or weakness that radiates into the shoulder, arms, or fingers
Trouble with gripping or lifting objects
Problems with walking, balance, or coordination
Loss of bladder or bowel control
See When Is a Stiff Neck Serious?
Neck pain might be minor and easily ignored, or it can be excruciating to the point where it interferes with important daily activities, such as sleep. The pain might be short-lived, come and go, or become constant. While not common, neck pain can also be a signal of a serious underlying medical issue, such as meningitis, or cancer.