Back Neck Pain Causes

Back pain is a common complaint among Americans, and the folks at can help. Common back and neck pain causes include normal sprains and strains, where either the muscles or ligaments in the back are pulled or torn. Often, this can occur in the simplest of fashions: by bending, rolling over in bed wrong, or even just turning around.

There are all kinds of back and neck pain, some of which have similar symptoms and some that are easier to diagnose because they differ. Cervicalgia is a condition where pain the neck does not radiate to other areas. It is caused by the weight of the head pressing on the neck and a gradual tightening of muscles that can cause strains and pain. A sharp pain in the neck and aching upon movement is frequent, as is pain when rotating the head. Tenderness, stiffness and headaches can also indicate this disorder. Pain that does radiate to the shoulders and arms may be indicative of nerve entrapment. These back and neck pain causes include tight muscles, damage to discs or bony deposits formed around the spine. Deep pain accompanies this condition, along with pain that runs up the neck to the head, and pain which causes dizziness or headaches.

Low back pain or muscle strains do not normally involve neck pain, and are characterized by muscle spasms, sudden sharp pain in the lower back, or even bruises and swelling if a rupture has occurred. This is a condition that builds up over a relatively long period of time, and may just seem to happen out of nowhere, but has been gradually acting within your back in the form of tightening muscles and pinched nerves.

Sometimes you can suffer from back or neck pain from more serious causes. Lumbar spine problems can cause neck and back pain, but usually radiate down the lower back into the legs. Patients usually describe pain that has been lasting for longer than three months, and leg pain that does not abate.

Inflammation of the muscles attached to the spine can become irritated, causing neck and back pain. It happens when your tendons become inflamed through misuse or prolonged hard labor, and can be attributed to chronic bad posture, and it can be detected through descriptions of pain in the upper back between the shoulder blades after sitting for long periods, or after exercising that area of the body.

More serious conditions involve discs bulging and rupturing, spinal cord conditions and other problems whose only options may be surgical. Surgery is inherently dangerous, however, and should be used as a last resort only after different other therapies have been tried, such as application of heat, stretching and strengthening exercises, ingestion of anti-inflammatory medication or injection of steroid preparations into the affected area (usually for bulges).

As with any medical complaint, make an appointment with your general practitioner and see if they will recommend you to an orthopedist or chiropractor. Often, there are treatments available that you can carry out at home, such as OTC pain medications and stretching and strengthening exercises that can help the milder of back and neck pain causes.

Filed Under: Neck Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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