A very common complaint that many people have is in regards to neck pain. The muscles in the neck can be strained from poor posture. Another common cause of neck pain is arthritis from wear-and-tear of the joints. It is important to note the location and severity of your pain and whether or not certain movements make your pain better or worse.

There are many different things that attribute to neck pain. Some of the causes include:

Muscle stains due to overuse. Some people overuse theses muscles when they spend countless hours hunched over a desk or even steering the wheel of a car. Sometimes small things such as reading or teeth grinding can strain the muscles in your neck. Another cause for neck pain is worn joints. Neck joints, like other joints in the body, undergo wear and tear as you age and this can cause osteoarthritis in your neck. Additionally, nerve compression can affect your neck. Herniated disks and bone spurs in the vertebrae of you neck can press on the nerves and cause neck pain. Injures are another cause of neck pain. For example, injures from whiplash—when your head is jerked backward and forward—as it stretches the soft tissue in the neck far beyond their limits. Lastly, diseases can contribute to pain in your neck. Some diseases that can cause this include rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis and cancer.

Neck pain is very rarely a symptom of a more serious issue. However, make sure to seek medical attention if you experience neck pain along with numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands or if you experience a shooting pain into your should or down your arm.

Active Release Technique is a type of therapy that can drastically improve neck pain and can help regain movement in the neck, restoring function and decreasing pain. Your chiropractor can also teach you neck exercises and stretches that can help you improve and speed your recovery along.

Mayo Clinic (2014). Neck Pain. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/neck-pain/basics/definition/con-20028772