What Is Neck Pain?

Do you suffer from neck pain? This acute or chronic pain condition can have a huge impact on your quality of life — your work, your relationships, your joy. In this article, we discuss the major aspects of neck pain conditions, including methods for finding neck pain relief.

Neck pain is a condition that develops quite often in adults, especially women. More specifically, reports show that 15% and 25% of males and females, respectively, whose ages range from approximately 21 to 55 years of age experience both neck and shoulder pain during their lifetime. In addition, this condition often becomes the cause of chronic pain and discomfort. Furthermore, there is some evidence to support the notion that a large number of individuals who experience pain in the neck may continue to suffer from it up to six months after the pain has begun.

In other words, neck pain tends to be recurrent, and a specific event that causes neck pain increases the susceptibility of experiencing frequent neck pain. Clinicians also report that patients who are aware of the incident that initiated their neck pain tend to suffer from this condition more frequently than those who never had a problem with neck pain. As a result, a previous condition or injury to the neck dramatically increases the probability of suffering from recurrent neck pain.

Although neck pain is typically localized to a small region, it can lead to dramatic functional and mobility impairments. Subsequently, the serious complications that neck pain may cause has been linked to a high number of disability cases, most of which hinder individuals from working properly and even functioning normally at home. In actuality, more than 10% of people who have persistent pain in neck have to discontinue working. It is, therefore, not surprising that neck pain is now reported as one of the main health issues that have a negative impact on the economy.

Decreased work productivity and significant increases in medical treatment have also been attributed to recurring neck pain. In particular, studies have reported that up to 50% of patients who have neck pain need to receive medical treatment to help manage their discomfort and painful symptoms. Accordingly, theoretical as well as empirical research regarding neck pain is gaining an increased amount of attention. For the past decade, research has specifically focused on identifying factors that indicate the onset of neck pain. Furthermore, clinical trials are being continuously conducted to determine if various types of treatments can effectively reduce neck pain or completely alleviate the symptoms.

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Anatomy of the neck

The region of the spine positioned near the bottom of the head is known as the cervical spine and this area is typically held responsible for the onset of neck pain. However, muscle, ligament, and tissue damage in any part of the neck may contribute to this condition as well.  Furthermore, the spine is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is a protective substance that cushions the nerves within the spine. The CSF and spinal cord are both held in position by a rigorous membrane known as the spinal canal. Spinal nerves that are embedded within the spinal cord provide