What is neck pain?
Pain in the neck region is a common symptom. About 40% of the adult population experience pain in the neck during their lives. Neck pain has many different causes.
In most cases, the pain is not caused by a damaged structure (e.g. the spinal disc, a ligament or a bone). It is much more common for neck pain to be caused by the muscles in the neck region working incorrectly.
Causes of neck pain
The most common causes are:
- Tight and sore neck muscles.
- Reduced or no mobility in one or more of the neck joints.
- Headache radiating from the neck due to muscle tension (also called tension headache).
- Osteoarthritis or sprains in the neck.
Pain in the neck typically occurs due to heavy workload, monotonous or recurring movements at work, stress, poor posture or a trauma (a trauma is an external impact, such as having to suddenly brake in traffic).
Diffuse neck pain that can radiate down into one or both shoulders. Muscle tension may occur, which results in headaches. Dizziness may also occur in some cases.
What can you do to treat your neck pain?
Avoid hunching your neck while sitting down. Maintain a firm and straight posture when you sit and stand. It is also important to stretch the tense muscles. Training the strength and balance of your neck is important to reduce the risk of relapse.
Keep your neck active
Keeping your neck active without irritating it is important. If you don’t keep your neck active there is a risk that it will stiffen and cause muscle tension. This will extend the duration of your neck pain.
Train your neck with simple exercises
Performing simple exercise at home is helpful. In the beginning, it is important to focus on the mobility of the neck by performing exercises that increase the control of your neck movements. It is necessary to perform exercises that strengthen the small muscles that control and stabilize the neck. To achieve lasting results, you must gradually increase the difficulty and load of the exercises.
These exercises are typically unfamiliar to most people, but they play a very important role in preparing your neck for later stress.