Causes and Types of Neck Pain

There are many causes for neck pain, the most common of which are muscle strains, arthritis, and disc problems. Tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon) is also a frequent a cause of neck pain. Sometimes, a vascular problem causes neck pain. Trauma is probably the most frequent cause of pain. Neck pain might also be referred pain, a pain which actually originates in a different anatomic area. For example, some people who have migraine headaches have neck pain. Although extremely rare, some patients with a more serious disorder, such as a tumor in the upper part of the lung, may have neck pain as an initial complaint.

Chronic neck pain is defined as neck pain that has persisted for greater than 6 months. Unfortunately, what we have found is that frequently chronic neck pain is due to neck pain having been improperly treated initially. Hence, we encourage patients to seek medical treatment for neck pain that lasts for more than a week or is associated with neurological problems such as weakness or numbness, in order to deliver beneficial treatment as early as possible.