There are different types of neck pain. Each has different causes. For example, Simple (or uncomplicated) neck pain. This is the most common type of neck pain. You might never know the exact reason for your neck pain, but it might be due to bad posture, tension from stress, anxiety, or depression, a strain in your neck muscles or ligaments. Perhaps you slept in an awkward position or jarred your neck while exercising , a twisted neck causing muscles on one side to tighten painfully. Doctors call this torticollis . Wear and tear on the bones in your neck (called the cervical vertebrae) and the shock-absorbing disks between them is a common cause of neck pain in older people. Doctors sometimes call this cervical spondylosis or cervical osteoarthritis. You can get whiplash if your head is suddenly jolted backward and forward. It’s common after car crashes and sports injuries. Your neck muscles and ligaments stretch more than normal and they may get sprained.
Neck pain is commonly associated with dull aching. Sometimes pain in the neck is worsened with movement of the neck. Other symptoms associated with some forms of neck pain include numbness, tingling, tenderness, sharp shooting pain, fullness, difficulty swallowing, pulsations, swishing sounds in the head, dizziness or lightheadedness, and gland swelling.
The type of treatment you need will depend on whether your neck pain is caused by activities, an injury, or another medical condition. Most neck pain caused by activities can be treated at home.
For neck pain that occurs suddenly:
Reduce pain by putting an ice pack on the sore area and taking acetaminophen (such as). Aspirin, or another anti-inflammatory medicine can also help relieve pain. Avoid more injury to your neck by changing activities and habits, such as how you sit or sleep. Try exercises or physical therapy to help you move your head and neck more easily.
To treat chronic neck pain, your doctor may prescribe medicine to relax your neck muscles. Or you may get medicines to relieve pain and help you sleep. You might also try massage or yoga to relieve neck stress.