CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Neck pain can result from a variety of causes, including:
- Muscle strains. Overuse, such as too many hours hunched over a steering wheel, often triggers muscle strains. Even such minor things as reading in bed or gritting your teeth can strain neck muscles.
- Worn joints. Just like all the other joints in your body, your neck joints tend to undergo wear and tear with age, which can cause osteoarthritis in your neck.
- Nerve compression. Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck can take up too much space and press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.
- Injuries. Rear-end auto collisions often result in whiplash injuries, which occur when the head is jerked backward and then forward, stretching the soft tissues of the neck beyond their limits.
- Diseases. Neck pain can sometimes be caused by diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or cancer.
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- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed July 6, 2012.
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